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Part-Time Mother

I started rehearsals for a show last week.
I don’t really do shows any more; I truly love being home
with the girls and between rehearsals and performances shows are a
big time commitment – not to mention a sacrifice to everyone
else around you who is picking up the slack for you. But a show
came up with a role I’ve always wanted to do and a relatively
low commitment time-wise, and Brian encouraged me to go for it.

I only rehearse for four hours a day – but those hours happen
to be from 7-11 p.m. So while I’m home for the girls most of
the time during the day, I leave right before bedtime, which is a
crucial snuggle/wind down time for both girls. And then
there’s the fact that I get home at midnight or later, and
get up at 5:30 to fix breakfasts, pack lunches, and start the next

So I am tired.

I’m not complaining here – no
“poor me” at all, I promise. I chose to do this and
I’m having a great time. But I’m extremely cognizant of
how much it’s taking its toll on the girls.

When I was a child, I knew when my mom wasn’t in the house. I
could wake up in the middle of the night and know whether or not
she was home. And if I heard her come home late at night, I’d
snuggle down under the covers and lie there anticipating the moment
when she’d come in and check on me. After she left my room,
I’d sigh contentedly and REALLY go to sleep, confident all
was right with the world.

I may be just projecting my own childhood here, but it seems my
girls are the same way. Whether I get home at 9 p.m. or 1 a.m., I
head into their rooms to snuggle them a few moments. It’s
time I could be spending prepping lunches for the next day or just
plain sleeping, but I treasure those moments. One night I snuggled
Maddie for a minute then moved to leave. Her arms snaked up around
my neck and pulled me back down, so I nestled in again. Then she
sighed, “I just feel like I don’t get any time with you
any more,” and you can bet I stayed there for a long time,
simply holding on.

My girls sleep better when Mom’s in the house.

And even though I’m gone mostly when they’re in bed, my
physical exhaustion takes its toll on the rest of the household:
daily chores aren’t done, the house starts to fall apart, and
let’s face it – Mommy’s got a short fuse. Being
around a crabby mom is no fun for anyone.

The flip side to this, of course, is that the girls are getting
some pretty exclusive Daddy time, which is great in
everyone’s book. He spent all Saturday with them, decorating
Easter eggs, making lots of paper airplanes and taking them out
back to test, and in general having a wonderful time with them. The
girls adore basking in all his undivided attention.

But they still miss their Mommy.

Saturday Brian brought the girls to the theatre so we could eat
lunch together, and as I left to get back to rehearsal Maddie
crumpled on the floor of the restaurant sobbing, “Mommy,
don’t go!” in a way she hasn’t done since
kindergarten. And I left a piece of my heart on that floor as I
walked away to go back to my exciting, soul-re-charging rehearsal.

There’s no such thing as free time for a Mommy. Everything
has a cost.


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