Continually Shifting and Always There

I wrote this a few weeks ago. I was out for a jog on a Sunday morning and all of these thoughts filled my head and I couldn’t stop crying. Generally when I write something emotional I sit on it for a bit before I hit publish to make sure it wasn’t a momentary blip.


If there is one constant in the world of a working mom, it’s that the balance is always shifting. From the first time that someone introduced me as Juliana’s mom – there was an internal struggle of yes! I am someone’s mom followed by – but wait, I have a name – I’m still my own person, right?

I will forever be grateful for the years that I worked from a home office. I saw my children first thing in the morning and as soon as they got home.  For many of those years, I walked one block with them to preschool/daycare and I was minutes away from them all day. During the years of constant ear infections it was a dream to be so close.

Over the past few years I have managed to put the kids on the bus to school most mornings. I have gotten up and ready for work and then encouraged children to wake up and get ready for school. Once they were on the bus I would get in my car and spend the next 50-60 minutes driving to work. Scott or one of my parents would be there in the afternoon when they got home. Juliana still complains when I am dressed for work in the morning because she knows I won’t be home after school.

As we were winding down the school year, we were operating on auto-drive. Everyone out the door, wave goodbye as the bus drove away, walk downstairs, get in the van and start my commute.

It was a routine morning on one of the final school days and I had just gotten on the turnpike when my phone dinged with a text. I glanced at my watch and saw a text from Juliana that Ruslan had puked on the bus. Scott had an appointment that couldn’t be changed so I called my dad who was fortunately working from home that day but currently wasn’t there. So I called my mom who was able to go get Ruslan from school and drop him off with my dad before she went to work. By the time the bus arrived at school and the nurse called me, my mom was on her way, and by the time I pulled into the parking lot at work she had picked him up and I went about my work day. How did stuff like this get coordinated before cell phones…

Last year I met a woman who in conversation asked me if I would be interested in trying something new and then said maybe I still needed time to get out of the intense mom years and carve out time for myself. Those words stuck with me and I have had several reactions:

  • The intense years end? My kids will eventually demand less of my time?
  • Time for myself sounds awesome!
  • Won’t I feel guilty?
  • Do I want them to need me less? Won’t that make me sad?

We are in the midst of summer which is anything but routine in our household. The kids go to a variety of camps so we are constantly coordinating drop-offs and pick-ups and working around different times each week. I have been able to put them on the bus to day camp and drop them off at a few other camps, but I haven’t been around much when they got home this summer.

I was home early one day last week so I was there when the bus dropped them off from camp. Ruslan came in the house crying that his eye hurt. I quickly determined that he had been swimming without goggles and the chlorine was bothering his eye. I suggested eye drops and he eventually agreed that it might help but wouldn’t let me put them in. After several minutes of him being upset but not letting me use the drops, I finally suggested that “maybe Daddy should do it” and much to my surprise he said yes. He sat and let Scott put the drops in and then happily ran off and I went into another room and cried because I felt like he didn’t need me. And I still can’t get that moment out of my head. I want the kids to be happy and well cared for when I can’t be here, but I still wish I could always be the one that is available. It’s hard.

Of course I want them to grow up to be self-reliant adults but in my heart I still want to be there holding their hand every step of the way. Growing up is hard for everyone.


On the day that I wrote this and on two other occasions since then, Ruslan has been unable to fall asleep without me. So I guess they still need their Mama sometimes.

all3-camp all3-beach



1 comment to Continually Shifting and Always There

  • hello haha narf

    you are a really good mama.
    and they will always need you. even if they are mad or moody or whatever and won’t admit it, they need you. just like you still need your mom. it never goes away.