Working mom’s do this crazy balancing act between home and work that can cause us to walk a fine line. It is very difficult to leave work at work when we go home, and leave home at home when we go to work. We are not two separate people, but one, all inclusive Wonder Woman, working miracles every day. We fight bad guys on a regular basis, and bad guys come in many shapes and sizes. For me this week, Wonder Woman had to fight them at work, and at home. Let me explain.
It started out with my son falling apart at school. They made changes this year, and being the introvert he is, Alex has been totally overwhelmed with these changes. Instead of going to his class room with the few classmates he is used to, all of the kids now gather together as a whole school in the cafeteria while they wait for the bell to ring. Walking into this crowd is not a great way for him to start his day.
I found myself standing outside the cafeteria in my high heels and dress as I hugged my sobbing son. My watch began to yell at me, and the Wonder Woman inside of me yelled at it to shut up. It did. I comforted him, got him something to do to distract him, and he calmed down enough so I could leave. Wonder Woman beat those bad guys, but I cried all the way to work with smudged mascara to start the day. Oh well.
I worried about him the entire time I was at the office. I glanced at the picture of him taped to my hard drive, and wondered how he was doing. When the end of the day came, I couldn’t get to him fast enough. He was fine, which I knew he would be, yet home had stayed with me at work all day long. That was the beginning of my week.
The end was even harder. Having Friday’s off, I often check my work e-mail throughout the day at home to make sure I don’t miss anything important. I busied myself around the house, playing catch up from a super busy schedule, picking up toys, doing dishes and laundry, and trying to get to those jobs that go untouched for far too long. Like my refrigerator. Ahem. Moving on….
Wonder Woman Working at Home
I swiped my phone, and checked my work e-mail. I read one that was a direct sucker-punch to my guts. Someone completely unrelated to the non-profit I run, tore me apart for something extremely trivial. She went on and on with capital letters, bold, underlining, and the worst of all- arrogance and condescension. As she tried to verbally squish me with her big boot while simultaneously elevating herself with her skills that never fail, I sat in the middle of my laundry pile and cried, feeling like a failure over a small mistake that was being blown out of proportion. My day off from work had turned into a full-blown work- from-home-operation-clean-up assignment. Wonder Woman surfaced and I dealt with the situation as best as I could. My e-mail was professional and calm, but to the point. It did not reveal the yoga pant wearing, no makeup, broken down mess that I felt I was.
Not long after, my husband and son walked through the door to see me crying. They rushed over to me and I explained in seven-year-old-language that I had made a mistake and someone had been mean and hurt my feelings. We stood in the middle of the dining room having a group hug. I knew that if I was going to enjoy my weekend with my family, I would have to find a way to consciously let this go and leave it at work. Way easier said than actually done. I must admit, I did not do a very good job. Work was with me all weekend.
Those are the hard stories.
But there are the good ones too.
Let me introduce you to Mico.
Mico has been in the family since Alex was 18 months old. Mico is my second child. Mico has had cataract surgery, skin grafts, and several plastic surgeries on his nose. Mico is well loved. He goes everywhere with Alex.
One day, Alex informed me that Mico was 62 years old and his birthday was June 1st. We had a full blown birthday party for him and he received many cards and bananas.
He is famous on Facebook. At least in MY circle he is. So when Mico accompanies me to work, my co-workers know who he is. One day, Alex decided to send Mico to work with me to keep me company. This is a big deal as apparently, Mico is really starting to show his age, and he spends most of his time sleeping when Alex is at school.
For one whole day, I had Mico sitting on my desk amidst paperwork, brochures and time sheets. He was a great little monkey, who never got into mischief, though Alex warned me he might, so to keep an eye on him. Bringing home to work with me that day, was an absolute delight.
So you see, this idea of leaving work at work, and leaving home at home, is not so easy. We are two people in one, wearing many hats, accomplishing many things, and sometimes, hard as we try, our worlds mix. It can’t be helped. We deal with it as best as the Wonder Woman in us can, and we go on, thankful for the good aspects of this mixing work and home.