I see you working to get your presentation done, your pitch perfected, your case won. I see you running the meeting, the conference, the operating room, the show. I see you waking up early: maybe to exercise, maybe to have two sips of coffee in peace, maybe to read the paper, maybe to breastfeed or pump. Maybe several of those things at once!
I see you leaving early for the end-of-school program, moving your work dinner for the band concert, making dinner reservations for graduation. I see you buying teacher gifts, filling out camp forms, figuring out anew how the rhythm of family life will work once school is out. I see you compromising and adjusting so that others won’t have to. I see you figuring out the half-days and the costumes, the baked goods and the birthdays.
I see you rushing and sweating and worrying. I see you getting misty as you reflect that they are getting older, that the distance between this June and the last keeps getting frantically faster. I see you judging yourself for not feeling “enough” at home or at work. For not having the “perfect” house, body, job, child, relationship, blah, blah, blah.
I see you tumbling into bed at night, tired and spent. Your mind overflowing with all the things that still need doing, the endless lists, the dreams and visions for yourself and your family (sometimes compatible, sometimes not). I see you wishing and wanting and working. I see your love and dedication and sometimes frustration.
I respect you. I admire you. I support you.
I see you. I know you. I am you.
1 I love and respect all moms and dads, but there’s a special kind of hell this time of year for working moms, so this one goes out to my fellow working moms (with a special shout-out to ML).