Wednesday, April 12, 2017

It's Not About You

Working overnight means I am oddly available for dayside tasks.  Available, that is, once I've slept, and eaten, caught up, and recovered. Which works perfectly well when the kids are in school. While they are learning and running and living in the world, I am responsible (except when my phone starts to buzz with "I need" texts) only for myself. The apartment is my own, the tasks at hand are simple (sleep, snack, shower). And once "my time" is over, I emerge as "Supermom" (well, okay, "Pretty Good Mom"), able to tackle homework help, and transportation, moderate cooking (or really good ordering), and even a little fun.

But then, there comes a day--or a week--when the kids are off. The apartment belongs not just to me, but to all of us, and the tasks at hand are not so simple--sleep, but entertain too, snack--but make lunches too, and shower, but only if there is time left. And I can't help but realize that the up-side of overnight work is the hours in between that are mine, the hours that evaporate on the school breaks. So, every so often, I want to scream at my new apartment-mates, "It's not about you!"

I don't, of course. I squeeze in the sleep, and work out the snacks, and give up the shower. And, along the way, I find that I enjoy the new company and appreciate the different pace. And try to manage the nights without owning the days. But I hold on to that voice inside me--probably one that all of us should own and pull out sometimes. The voice that is able to say "It's not about you!"

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