balance, mindful, working mom

Would Anybody Like The Last Piece?

My typical workday + mommy duty hours are similar to an amazing holiday pie or a fabulous full sized birthday cake. At the end of the day, you find the awkward last piece. When the last small serving of my personal time and energy remains, I just don’t know what to do with it at times. Someone wants it. Something needs it. Others don’t know how to ask (politely) for it. Who needs it the most? Who or what is most deserving?

cake pops
I call dibs on the crumbs, sticks, and wrappers.

I usually devote these precious bits of bottom of the barrel energy to the “time saving” chores that will help me be get out the door quickly the next day.

Pack the lunches. Pour the baby bottles. Line up the backpacks and other bags. Click in the car seat. Plan the outfits. Decide if it’s a hair washing day tomorrow and plan accordingly.  Send a few last emails (after contracted hours). Capture a spider that is freaking everyone out. Locate the lost shoe that has been missing for 3 days.  

I tried putting all of it on hold the other night, and I forced myself to just enjoy a few installments of my favorite reality TV “housewives” show after everyone else went to bed. It was rare TV viewing that was given my undivided attention. It felt strange. It was somewhat fun. I didn’t really know how to use the remote correctly. 

In the middle of my morning commute the next day, however, I realized what I had forgotten. I left the baby bottles and my work laptop at home. I had also forgotten two non-essential, but nice to have items. Sunglasses and a hoodie. An extra stop was necessary to resolve the absent items. Portions of the pie/cake of my daily routine were quickly given away before the official workday even started. As the day went on, many more people, things, and events needed a piece throughout the day. I served it up. 

So again, at the  end of the day, I’ve been stuck with the crumbs. I decided to just enjoy them. Rather than TV time, I used the tiny bits of energy that I had left and I wrote this post. Time saving chores won’t bring me the same satisfaction that I feel when I do something that makes me happy and balances out the chaos a bit. I enjoyed the last piece. I think I’ll call dibs on it again tomorrow.

Until then,

How do you treat yourself when you have a bit of extra time to spare?

classroom, mindful, working mom

That’s The Real Question

The excitement of Back-to-School is making a slow transition back to reality.The reality is that I’m a working mom again. I like to think that I’m a “pretend” stay at home mommy for about 3 months out of the year. I have two kids of my own, but this week I met 25 new ones who will also be under my care until June. Oh yes, I have to teach them a whole lot of things by then too. I think we’re in good shape so far. It was a good week.

Oh the exhaustion. My almost 8-year old and I were enjoying a chill moment on the couch after the first day of school.

“We did it. The first day of school is done”, I said, offering her a high-five.

“I can’t believe it! I can’t believe I’m in second grade! And good job today, Mommy.”

“So how are we going to do this everyday for the rest of the school year?” I was really asking her for some insight on this one. I was tired, and the day was catching up with me.

“Now that’s the real question, isn’t it?”, she responded. Her tone was so even, so calm, and so composed.

Good answer. Really good answer. I’ll take it.

I asked my daughter a silly question at a moment of stress and exhaustion, but her response was real. It was Mommy-like. It was teacher-like. And yes, she may have heard my husband say that a time or two. I have no idea how the year will go, but it started off well. There’s no way of knowing what is to come, and I only have control over what’s happening to me in the moment when it happens. Reflecting back is helpful to some degree. However, I know it’s not healthy to dwell. For now, my brain sees a couple of lists. 


My 14th  First Week of School

Motivations:

  • The custodian told me again that I have the cleanest and best smelling classroom in the school. He thanked me.
  • I implemented meditation in my classroom. 5 minutes of being mindful after recess is powerful. 
  • I heard some healthy gossip at work. A couple of people want to clone me. I do to. I can get more housework done that way.

Meh:

  • I had McDonald’s once this week for dinner. Exhaustion won that round.
  • At Target, I wiped my toddler’s nose with his own sweater in front of someone I ran into. I hadn’t seen her since high school. It was an awkward reunion. Meanwhile, there are 60 boxes of tissue living in my classroom.

Motivation and Mehs are the driving force of life. Compliments and affirmations can really make someone’s day too. I plan on stopping more often to enjoy the moments, even if they’re “meh”.


Until then,

I will tuck a few tissues away somewhere, just in case.