As usual, I was a little anxious about us getting back into the swing of things after a break. The alarm came mighty early on Monday morning. Zuzu did not want to get out of bed. Neither did I. It is very hard to get a three-year-old out of bed when she has sweet-squishy-sleepy-face and just wants to snuggle with you. She was tired enough that she wanted me to help her get dressed rather than doing it herself, so I shimmied her into a pair of navy leggings, a gray knit dress with silver thread running through it, and she wore her gold mary janes and a pink silicone necklace that she has been instructed to bite when frustrated (in lieu of her friends, natch).
By the time I got out of the shower, Coco was awake and fussy and still requires a hit of mama milk to get up and moving in the morning. I made coffee and slapped peanutbutter on a graham cracker, giving her part of a graham cracker to chew on (after letting the dog out because he is a food thief). I loaded up Coco, her bag of cloth diapers, my school bag with books, my water cup and my coffee, and headed out.
After two and a half weeks of unlimited mama-time, I was afraid that my little mama's girl might freak out when it was time for her to go to school, but she happily trotted over to her teacher. When I went to kiss her good-bye, she could barely be bothered with me, as her teacher was bringing her breakfast.
I was walking back out to my car when I got a text from David telling me that Zuzu's drop off went smoothly.
Perhaps we had all reached our quota of family togetherness time?
I got to work, snagged a good parking spot, and walked up to my third-floor office. I unlocked the door, unloaded my bags, hung my super cute 2016 calendar, put a few drops of essential oil in my diffuser, watered my plants, and sat down at my computer with a sigh of relief.
I love my kids more than anything.
But after two and a half weeks of nonstop togetherness, it was so awesome to be alone in my office. And it was pretty fun being back in the classroom talking to college students.
I'm teaching a J-term class that's not about literature but instead is about how to choose a major and how different majors can lead to unexpected career paths. It involves a lot of guest speakers and plenty of discussion about the purpose of college (vocational training? or creating well-rounded, ethical citizens?). Also I'm co-teaching it with a friend, so we're enjoying ourselves.
In case I start feeling guilty about how happy I am about being back at work (and away from the incessant demands of my children--I have SO MUCH respect for moms who stay home with their kids full time), I just need to remind myself that Harvard Business School's recent research shows that kids can also benefit from having a working mom.
So... me enjoying adult conversation, a captive audience listening to me talk, and peace and quiet in my tidy, sunlight office? It's really benefiting my children. We call that a win-win!