When I was eight I found out that the lady across the street whom I regularly babysat for was out-of-town at a funeral. Her husband was home with the kids. This elicited immediate sympathy and spurred me into action. So I did what any eight year old would do. I made and brought them dinner, all by myself. That's right...I said 8. (Macaroni and Cheese Rookie-Style...recipe to follow)
From a very young age, if I've been anything, I've been domestic. There is no doubt that this is my calling in life. It's what makes me happy. By the time I was 30, I had been blessed with a husband, five kids and a lifestyle that allowed me to be all kinds of domestic, all day long. But two years ago, that all changed.
One phone call, twelve months and four moving trucks later, I found myself surrendering my cherished title of Homemaker for that of Administrative Assistant instead. Working mother. Desk drone. Adrenaline and duty (and shopping for the most darling professional wardrobe) helped with the transition, but still...I will never forget the first time I ate lunch...at my desk...alone. What?
Let me say that again. I ate lunch. At my desk. Alone. But it's what we working people do, frequently, as I've come to discover. And let me just say...it never feels right (and I hope it never does). I'm not sure what lessons I'm supposed to be learning from this experience because frankly I spend most of my time in survival mode, but here's what I can tell you so far:
1. When you hear of a working mom who comes home at the end of an eight hour work day and makes dinner for her family, that doesn't just fall under the "expected" category or even the "admirable" category...it's freakin' awesome! Maybe you're intimidated by the woman on your street whose homemade pie wins a blue ribbon at the state fair every year or whose preschool age triplets have already performed a violin concerto with the symphony. Forget about it. These women have nothing on the gal who brings home the bacon AND fries it up in a pan. Bravo, lady! Bravo!
2. If you think my comments in #1 are fighting words and you wanna have a throw-down between working moms and stay-at-home moms now, do us all a favor and don't. C'mon...that's a dead horse and we all know it. We are sisters, we are awesome, and we need to rock-it in whatever station in life we find ourselves in. Let's not be stupid; it makes our awesomeness look frumpy.
3. It's really nice out here in the work-a-day world. People are nice. They put forth an effort to make time at the office as pleasant, attractive, and civil as can be. With that being said; how big of a leap is it for the breadwinner at your house to go from that atmosphere to the one waiting for them at home?
I hope however far the distance, that it's at least gradual. That it's free of sweat pants and smeared mascara. That they're given a little time to transition from the 9-5 grind to whomever you need them to be at home. Think Scuba diving decompression chamber, maybe? I know, I can't believe I'm saying this either but now that I have been both the one who is come home to and the one who comes home and I have both playbooks in my possession...I have to say: soften it up girls. You both need those first 15 minutes of his arrival home to be tender and sweet.
4. See comment #2 if comment #3 makes you mad.