I had an obligation for work that would require me to be on the computer from 8:00 pm until 9:00 pm which is also bedtime at our house. My husband was down at the neighbor’s house helping them install a floor. Somehow I was going to have to put the girls to bed and do my work at the exact same time.
I got this I thought to myself, as all mamas do. I called the girls over to me for a quick chat.
“Girls, Mommy has to do some work that will require me to be on the computer tonight for one hour. Unfortunately it starts at 8:00, so I’m going to need your help. Do you think you could brush your teeth and go potty and wash your hands all by yourself tonight?” The girls nodded eagerly. “And do you think instead of Mommy reading to you tonight that maybe you could read to each other?” More nods.
So, at precisely 8:15 I was perched on the floor of Maddie’s bedroom, my laptop in front of me, my eyes on the screen. Maddie and Katie were atop Maddie’s bed tucked under the blanket.
“Want me to read Paddington to you, Maddie?” Katie asked as she snuggled in close to her sister.
As I worked, I had one ear bent towards them, listening to the beautiful sound of one sister reading to another.
“And w—w—w…..” Katie stopped.
“When,” Maddie encouraged.
“And when Paddington stepped into the boat….”
Their voices were the perfect backdrop to the clickety-clack of my keyboard.
For the first time ever – and for only a few fleeting moments – I had perfected the elusive balancing act in the life of a working mom.