I have a bad habit of romanticizing working parenthood, even though I live it every day and really should know better by now.
All week, I look forward to Friday, and not just because it promises the coming of the weekend. I still have eight hours of work to put in, but I get to do those hours from home instead of at my office.
The romantic side of me dreams that this Friday will be different: my 15-month-old daughter will play independently and quietly all morning, allowing me space to focus on my perfectly achievable to-do list and to relish the work I love. My coffee will stay hot. I’ll take a break for lunch and play time, and we’ll run around the house and dissolve into giggle fits. She’ll go down for a long nap, and I’ll have three hours of uninterrupted work time, allowing me to plow through my remaining tasks.
There will be room on my plate for everything. There will be room on my lap for everyone.
On my real Friday morning, my phone’s alarm begins to chime, starting low and increasing its volume as I claw my way out of the deep circles of sleepiness at 5:30 a.m. I stumble to the bathroom and scroll through Instagram while brushing my teeth, a habit I know I need to kick (the scrolling, not the brushing).
Assessing my reflection and weighing the cost of the time it would take to shower, I decide to pull my dirty hair back into a messy bun, but not the glamorous kind. I tiptoe down my creaky stairs to start the coffee while I cringe and pray with every step that my daughter doesn’t hear me. If I’m lucky, I’ll have about an hour of uninterrupted work time before she wakes up.
Selah wakes at 7:00 a.m. on the dot, and after a breakfast filled with demands and shrieks for more, I open my laptop and get back to work on the manuscript I’m editing. My daughter, who was playing happily on the floor fifteen seconds ago, breaks down crying when she sees I have something in my lap that is not her. I turn on the TV, I turn off the TV; I bring out toys I hid last week and the puffs she’s not even hungry for, hoping to distract her and buy myself work time in five-minute increments.
To read more about this day in the life, my mom guilt, and some musings on craft/creativity/calling, head over to Coffee + Crumbs for the full post.