On the job - at home, at work, at school

Four years ago when my son was in kindergarten, I was THE mom. I was THE room mom. I was THE art docent. I was THE weekly workshop mom. I was THE co-chair of a major school fundraiser. If someone asked, I would say, “yes.”

Today, while attending my daughter’s first kinder field trip, I realized that I’m no longer that mom. I was there for my daughter as I had been for my son. However, something was very different. All I could think about was getting back to work and the other 30 non-work “to dos” for the day.

How I wish I could still be THE mom – present and fully vested in my role as mom, and minus the day's many complications. I wish that I could still be there for every event, every field trip. I wish I could coach and lead. It was so satisfying and seemingly simple.

These days, I split my time between my kids, my parents, my 93 year-old grandmother, my in-laws and running a business. There’s no time to be THE mom. In fact, there’s no me time p.e.r.o.i.d. I’ve been squoozen.

Yep … I said squoozen. It’s a made-up word I use to describe feeling smashed and thrashed from all sides – both as parents of young kids and as adult children to parents with needs. Oh, and there’s that lil’ thing called a career. Having it all as a working mom just doesn’t work.

I still do what I can on the school front. I return permission slips, money and my kids on time every day (which is no small feat). I’m in my daughter’s kinder class once a week as work allows. My son’s class – I’m there once a month, if I’m lucky.

That said, I miss being THE mom. I relish being in the classroom and at school, and not because I’m a control freak (I am), but because it gives me such ridiculous joy. Seeing them learn and thrive makes me feel good. It makes me feel good about life.

I know that I’ll always be THE mom for two great kiddos. But, boy how I miss those days when I could say “yes” to most any classroom request and then, enjoy the fun of it with my kids.

Would I change it? Probably not. I want my kids to also see me as a career woman – succeeding and enjoying my job is just as powerful a message as being present in the classroom. However, I wouldn’t turn down a personal assistant to take care of life’s time-sucking chores – starting with the laundry and dinner.


  1. I am THE mom and there are plenty of moments where it fills me with such joy. I like being available for all of the walk-a-thons, costume parades, or just playing in the park... but oh man, does this life suck you up whole too!

    I miss having a career for all the reasons you probably enjoy yours. It's empowering. You're showing your daughter (and son) that women can and should have ambitions and interests of their own. The sense of accomplishment!

    The day-to-day work of mothering- cooking, cleaning, wiping butts- it never ever ends. I long for the days when I could be assigned, develop, and COMPLETE a project, and then get praise and bonuses for it! Yea! Bonus!

    Then, there are the subtler things like when my mother-in-law told me I should be grateful to have a husband working so hard to support me.

    I appreciate my husband, but not in the way that she meant. I am far more formerly educated than my husband and once had a promising career, so the idea that I NEED him to support me is insulting. But for some reason, people have the impression that choosing to be a SAHM means you had no other options in life.

    I stay home because that's the arrangement that suits our family's needs at the moment. As far as I'm concerned, we're equal parents and equal partners, but it's suffering little indignities like this that make me wish I could be more than "just THE mom".

    Yes, this comment has become a mini post :-P, but my point is that you should be proud of everything you have accomplished! And for what all of your hard work brings to your family.


  2. LOVE this post and love your word "squoozen". I feel that way most days too... (sigh). Love your perspective. :)


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