As a woman, we are expected to be many things and wear many hats. While generally speaking, we do an outstanding job balancing those responsibilities, it can still be difficult to transition between them without feeling mentally and physically exhausted. When we're at work, we're thinking about home and while we're at home, we're thinking about work. And while it is difficult to get yourself out of the fog that one gets in from listening to people talk about "growth" and "data" all day, it's important to try otherwise you'll find yourself missing out. I was reminded of this a couple of weeks ago after picking my son up from daycare after a long day of teaching middle schoolers.
It was our first full week back at school with our students and while I was beyond excited to see them and hear all about their summer, it was exhausting. I had been looking forward to picking up my son from daycare all day long. I had missed him so much it hurt but by the time we were pulling into our driveway, I was D-O-N-E. All I could think about was putting him to bed and sitting on my couch with a cup of tea, candle, and a book. I wanted the next three hours to rush by so I could have some time to myself to recharge. As we walked down to our mailbox to pick up the mail, my son peeked in, turned to look at me with big eyes, and screamed, "MOMMY! IT'S A TREASURE MAP!" As he grabbed the Bed, Bath, & Beyond promo, we spent the next two and a half hours running around all areas of our house trying to find the treasure. It was perfect.
Mundane tasks like getting the mail are done out of necessity, not out of joy and I feel like we, especially my fellow working mamas, spend our days constantly looking to check off the next item on the to do list without much thought into the enjoyment of the task at hand. I know that on that day in August I was definitely guilty of doing just that. Thankfully though, our children are there to remind us that every moment is an opportunity for adventure and a memory to be had. If I had it my way that afternoon, I would have sat on the couch with my son and we would have watched Mickey Mouse until dinner because frankly, I didn't think I had the energy for anything else. Looking back, I couldn't be more grateful that I didn't get my way. Memories aren't made zoning out while your child turns into a tv zombie. They are made by seeing the exceptional in the mundane, the adventure in the monotony, and the sun through the fog. They are made by looking at an advertisement and seeing a map that leads us to an unknown treasure and thankfully, our children are there to help us find the way.