July 13, 2010

The Married Single Working Mother

I am apparently a married... single, working mother. The phenomenon: I have this great husband. But I do not see him much. This is not a new story. The man who travels, who works all the time. And when he is here, he is really somewhere else because of his work brain. That's okay, I understand it. He has a ton of stuff going on right now.

I work a brainful job during the day as an attorney. Then I have a three-hour break (raucous laughter) with the kids at night, and then I start up again. I sleep sometimes. Not very often. I am on Martha Stewart's 4-5 hour sleep schedule, but a whole helluva less productive and home-makery. I don't cook or have a ribbon box. I should, if I am awake 20 hours day.

I commute into Atlanta like a nutcase for about two hours a day. There have been days when it took me a total of four hours to get to and from work. One day during the heavy rains, I was caught at the base of spaghetti junction in a flood. That was a six hour commute. I had to potty on the side of the road. Humiliating. And all this just to travel twenty-nine miles. That's like moving negative miles per hour. Moo ha.

I don't see my kids alot. I don't see myself alot. I kinda feel like I am wandering around, walking in circles, picking up crackers and crumbs and clothes. But every moment of my life is quite calculated, actually. There is a method, a reason and a practice for it all.

I'm not complaining, mind you. The whole thing is just a bizarre realization.

I used to lay on the couch or workout or read a book. Or sleep until noon (oh, the days). Or do whatever I wanted. All the time. These small feats of complete autonomy are strangely strangers now. This bizarre realization, to me, is that life changes. Simple. But I never realized. And when life changes, these transitions happen instantly, in a blink of the eye. I do not think that as a young twenty-something, I could even predict an ounce of the massive change.

I will never forget when James was about five days old. The way my neck and back felt. The Mommy muscles emerging. That small change, while quiet and unremarkable, was a preview into my future.

I love love love my husband, my job, my kids. [I do not love my commute.] So what gives in all of this? Can this married single working motherdom really be just stemming from the nasty drive that sandwiches my morning and evening? Is it the lack of sleep? But I've never really slept anyway. I think it has to be the traffic. I'm going to get a hovercraft. That would fix it.

Jason simply tells me that this is our life now. Stupidly, I never really thought about that. This is my life. And it is a beautiful and blessed and happy life. I was just grossly and inadequately unprepared for all the changes. The sly transition into the married single working mother. The adultness of it all. About eight years ago, I was just a kid pretending, when I started law school. Whoa Nelly, am I an adult now.

It's the delightful burden, revisited, I suppose.

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