Last July, I learned my dear friend, M, had liver cancer. The news was terrifying and maddening, considering she was only 35 with two kids under four years old. A year later she is kicking cancer’s ass despite some serious hurdles. Talk about a hard-working mama!
When I heard the news, time stood still and sped up all at the same time. The news prompted a sudden halt to life as I knew it. Simultaneously, I started planning what I needed to do next, and that’s when time started moving at warp speed.
On that day, I vowed to be a better mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend. I swore I would never get caught up in petty bullshit ever again and that I would be more grateful. I don’t think this is unusual. How about this week when you heard the news about the shooting at the Colorado movie theater? Obama even said he’d hug his kids a little tighter that night and I don’t doubt we all did too. Tragic news stirs our greatest fears and opens our eyes to our blessings. Sadly, we often revert to old selfish, petty ways, and of course I have. Since last July I’ve hardly been the poster child for a more meaningful life.
What has changed, however, is that I have a new perspective on time. I want more. Lots more. Like, years more. I want years back. I’m hungry for time. I want more time to spend with M. I want to make her homemade meals. I want to pitch in by babysitting her kids while she goes to her treatments. I want to write her more letters and cards, rather than lame texts and emails. I want more time with ALL my friends and family. And here’s where being a working mom comes in…where the hell am I supposed to find that time? I’m not saying that SAHMs have more hours in the day. I know they don’t. Our jobs are just different. Perhaps their jobs allow them to do more things that impact others in a positive, helpful, way? My friends who don’t work outside the home get to spend more time with M these days..even if it’s just a quick visit on a Tuesday morning for coffee, they can see her and impact her day-to-day life more than I can. I don’t have that luxury. I’ve made peace with my messy house and the permanent mountain of laundry in the basement, but I’m just not cool with missing out on life. Am I whining? Hell yes! But it’s only because I‘m desperate for some tips or feedback for how to make more time with the schedule I have as a working mom.
I saw my 94-year- old grandfather yesterday for the first time since who knows when. Granted, he lives over two hours away and that I try my best. I also know that before I started working full-time, I was documenting my life and those of my children so much better than I am now. I took more photos, made more albums, wrote more journal entries and documented more milestones. I also visited my elderly grandfather more often.
So if you are one of those scrapbookin’, homecookin’ working moms, I salute you. How and where do you find the time? What’s your secret? Are there any programs or apps you use to streamline all this stuff and to create more quality time? I feel like life is passing by so quickly. I wish it would just STOP for second so I could organize all my kids’ artwork, print a few photos, frame them or place them in albums for my kids to enjoy when they get older. Most of all though, at this time, I want to be hanging out with M, watching the Real Housewives of NYC, and fetching her a glass of water when she needs it.