I work part-time, about 20 hours per week. Right now, at this stage in my life, that’s about all I can handle. But what do I do with the other 148 hours per week?
I am a parent.
I wipe children’s faces and noses and bums. I’ve caught spit-up with my hand and pee with my t-shirt.
I don’t go to the bathroom alone or shower in peace. If little hands are not reaching to be picked up, they are wiggling fingers underneath the door or rattling the knob to get in.
I rarely sit down, and when I do, it’s usually to make a grocery list or fold laundry or do some online banking. I wake up at 5:30 to have some gym time and I go to bed late so that I can have some couch time.
I prepare three meals and many snacks every day. I rarely get to enjoy my food hot. I dole out vitamins and prunes and fish oil. I clean up the table, I wipe down the highchair, and my dishwasher is always full.
I put shoes on six feet in the morning, hats on three heads, and sunscreen on twelve limbs. I can pack a diaper bag in two minutes flat while carrying a baby in my arms. I can leash the dog, open the garage door, and unfold the stroller while simultaneously tracking down keys and bringing in the newspaper.
I take my kids to swimming lessons and skating lessons, playgrounds and playgroups, library programs and parks. I get their teeth checked, their eyes checked, their spines checked, and I get them weighed and measured. I teach them about manners and sharing and taking turns. I teach them to play gently with the dog.
I make sure they’re hydrated, fed, and rested. I make sure they’re getting enough exercise and fresh air, and not too much screen time. I keep their 20 fingernails trimmed and their 20 toenails clean. I brush their hair and their teeth and help tidy their rooms.
I read countless books and play countless hours in the playroom. I walk miles through wood-chipped trails and point out the birds and the trees and the squirrels. I smile when my daughter points out every airplane that flies overhead and my son gets excited at every big truck that we see.
I practice the alphabet and numbers, I sing songs and make up rhymes, and I tell more stories than you can imagine. I take pictures often and videos sporadically, and I write down their milestones in a baby book.
I am also a wife, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a sister, a niece, a cousin, and a friend. I’m a chiropractor, a runner, a Crossfitter, and a foodie. I love travelling and reading and coffee and chocolate. I love being outside, getting up early, and taking naps. I’m organized and loyal, a perfectionist, and a to-do-lister. But to my kids, I am a mom.