Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Finish Lie

No, it's not a typo - it's my latest realized truth. There is no finish line. It's a FINISH LIE.

Life as a working mom lately has been a series of unfinished business: the load of laundry that sits for an extra long time in the washer before meeting the dryer, the projects that don't exactly get completed to the standards I want to hold, and not even being able to finish up in the bathroom. (I don't mean getting that extra luxurious hair-conditioning mask in the shower or that peaceful, steamy bath with classical music softly playing in the background. I mean: Monday I put eyeliner on one eye and proudly went to work.)

To be honest, the work-life balance is kicking my ass. And I'm not alone. In an informal Facebook poll of my friends, most of us are averaging three uninterrupted hours of sleep per night, and if we are lucky, we squeeze in another three after a feeding/burping/under-the-bed monster-check. Most of us go to bed around 11, wake up in the wee hours, and hopefully get another wave of sleep, though that second wave of sleep usually involves another small person in the bed. And most of the people that contributed to my poll work outside the home as well as being parents, so there's a lot of bleary-eyed people out there, which leads to even more craziness (Like when I catch myself halfway through my Emily Dickinson lecture to my seniors. Who are reading Hamlet).

I guess the moral of the story is the fact that our "finished" days are, well, finished. Gone are the days when a task meets its end with grace, when an afternoon goes according to plan. Now it's a handful of Cheerios in the car on the way to work and a quick spoonful of yogurt at my desk while plowing through correcting papers at lunch. The weekends which once stood as a beacon of possibility are now overflowing with church, kids' parties, the occasional family visit, and laundry/shopping/home improvement. Despite my love for making lists, my lists now sprout arms like a mythological creature, and sometimes it feels like they're after me.

But then, at the end of a long day, I look at my children when they're asleep, and not only thank God that they're finally asleep, but that they are mine. 

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