In spite of everything, I find myself slipping to That Mom mode more and more.
The last five years have been a relatively free-and-easy life, believe it or not. The kid was/is a lot of work, sure, but she was portable and unscheduled, so we pretty much did whatever the hell we wanted, all the time. Even last year with Pre-K, our time was still pretty free. I would drop the kid off at school, hit the gym, pick her up, and then we’d have the whole afternoon.
Now… not so much. The powers that be decided that Jillian needed to be in afternoon kindergarten, which basically ruins my day. RUINED, I TELL YOU. Okay, fine. Not ruined, but whoa there is more structure in our days than there has been, and it’s taking some getting used to. Most mornings, I still go to the gym, but now I have the kid in tow so my time there is limited. Errands now need to be done in the morning (with kid in tow, which… ick) or in the roughly 2.5 free hours I have between school dropoff and pickup. The day feels like it gets away from me more often than not.
It occurred to me the other day that this is more like a “real” job than ever. The things I hated about having a “real” job were having to be somewhere at a certain time and adhere to someone else’s schedule (aside from the annoying dress codes, annoying co-workers, sitting in a cubicle with cube walls blocking a window, crap food OR vending machines, unchallenging work, idiotic/shithead bosses… etc). That has never been my favorite thing, and to have five amazing years of not having had to deal with that… yeah. It’s a change, all right.
When I worked at Borders (RIP), during calendar season, we’d get these giant calendars in with titles like “Busy Mom’s Giant Calendar” and they were always a source of hilarity for us because who could imagine needing a giant (ugly) calendar like that?
I suddenly find that I need to be far more organized than I ever have in my life. I need to know where we need to be and what we need to be wearing and what time and where and how much and do I send a check and is it our week for snack and and and and and and……..
I need to know what days Jillian has PE so I can send her to school in appropriate footwear. And then what day is Art class and do I need to send a smock or some other coverall situation? Snack is every day but then there’s Girl Scouts and what time and where and is it our week for snack and where is Jill’s Daisy vest and her notebook and OH MY GOD. And then there’s this much $$ due here and $$ there and $$ + $$ if you’re doing the additional XYZ and then a parents’ meeting and can you chip in $$ to this and $$ to that and what the fuck.
Then on Sundays we have Hebrew school, which brings with it a whole ‘nother set of requirements and scheduling and $$ and we need to go to services and the holidays are coming up and whoa.