By Erin Bogulski
“Mom, Smokey just ate the Lego piece to my truck,” my son yells from the living room.
I juggle retrieving the slobbery piece of plastic from the dog, turning the burner down and starting the baked potatoes in the microwave. I’ve only been home for 15 minutes and my second job is in full swing.
I know that I signed up for this motherhood gig but there are some days, especially today, that I would like to erase my name from the list. Motherhood, after all, is an act. One for which I would like to be nominated for an Oscar one day. Best Mom to clean and bandage a boo-boo or Best Mom to tuck the sheet in just right.
We get preached to about having balance in our lives. I see balance as drinking a glass of wine while my son plays at the community playground. I have made good use of that extra "PAW Patrol" sippy cup. In all seriousness, I have only done that once. If I just gave you a genius idea, then you’re welcome.
Balance can also come in the form of trying to have adult time. To anyone with small children, the possibility of an adult night out is like winning the lottery.
I’ve seen the meme several times and is goes something like this: “When you have kids you need to ask your Mom again if you can go out.”
Date night for my husband and me means being able to sit at the bar. My husband has actually walked into a restaurant, proceeded to walk to the bar and kiss it. Confused onlookers could only chuckle when he shouted, “We don’t have kids tonight!”
On the subject of balance, you know I was going to bring up cleaning. Most of the time, my house looks like it just sneezed. I try. I try hard. I have toy organizers, storage bins and a designated play area for my son. In theory, it should work. Marie Kondo would walk into my house and just shake her head. I’m definitely not getting nominated for an Oscar in this category.
The subject of working versus being a stay-at-home mom is always a sensitive issue. Let me be clear – if you’re a mom, it is hard. Period. I work full time. I have missed out on milestones and monumental events in my son’s life because I was working. I have depended on day care and grandparents to take my place. It has never been an easy decision and I can only balance it out with weekend trips to the zoo and bribery for ice cream if my son will just get up and get dressed at 6 a.m.
Then there is the balancing act of exercise. This winter I have lived in fleece-lined leggings. There, I admit it. They hide five extra pounds like nothing. Every mom can agree that elastic waistbands are our best friend. I can dress them down with a sweatshirt or up with a sweater. Sneakers, flats or heels? I take my pick depending on the day.
I enjoy running and ran all nine months while I was pregnant. I have fallen off the wagon many times. I have been in shape, prepared meals and taken my son in the jogging stroller religiously. I have also eaten doughnuts daily and binge-watched “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
To every mom out there doing the same thing as me tonight, remember how important you are. In the crazy balance of life, it will often be overwhelming and exhausting. Take time for yourself and fill your own cup first – preferably with an alcoholic beverage.
Erin Bogulski, of Derby, is learning lessons in work-life balance.