in june 2010, our lives got turned upside down in the best possible way: the birth of our awesome kiddo, john. in october 2013, brother charlie charged into our life to change the status quo again. and june 2016 brought us brother ben to round out our trio.

i'm proud to have "mom" at the top of the list of titles on my resume, but i'm also still a hard-working professional. how does a working mom juggle work and family? ride along with me and see if i can figure it out!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

divided attention

we had a scare this morning. or more accurately, i guess i had a scare.

i was in my bathroom, fixing my hair and doing my makeup, etc. john is old enough now that he can play in the living room or his room while i get ready; he doesn't have to be right by my side. when he's in the living room, i can hear him since it's right around the corner. when he's in his bedroom, i can hear him through the wall of the bathroom, which is also the wall of his room.

about halfway through my makeup, i realized i didn't hear anything. nothing. silence. it's *never* silent in our house.

so i called out to him. "john?" walked into the living room - nothing. "john?" walked into the kitchen - nothing. "baby? john?" walked into his bedroom - nothing. i've checked almost all of the house now. he's nowhere. he can't have gotten out. what if he's hurt? what if he knocked himself out somehow? what if - oh, the terrible what-ifs of a mom's mind.

finally i went back into his room and noticed his closet door was cracked an inch or two. i pull it open, almost scared of what i'll see. "john?" and there he is, just fine. fascinated by the little mirror on an old baby toy of his, turning it this way and that, so involved he didn't even realize i was frantically calling for him.

and it got me thinking ... john is with me every morning. we get ready together, we ride to school/work together. but in those busy mornings, how much of my attention does he really get? almost none. i'm eating/feeding him/feeding the dog/showering/getting dressed/doing hair and makeup/getting him dressed/putting the dog in the kennel/out the door and gone.

so i have a question for you other parents. how do you handle this divided attention? is it just a fact of being a parent? do i just accept that mornings are for getting ready, not for seeing each other? and what if he HAD gotten out of the house, how long would it have taken me to notice he was gone? how do you balance the necessities of leaving the house with taking care of your most important little priority(ies)?

i'd love to know what other parents think, 'cause this morning made me feel pretty terrible.

1 comment:

Holly Conrad said...

It's a give and take, my Dear. Some things will take priority because you let them and some will take priority because they need to. For example, we have a wood stove that heats our house. I am frequently home with Kaylee by myself. I have to be able to check the stove/add wood/restart the fire if it goes out, etc. every hour or so in order to keep heat in our home. It isn't always possible for me to check on things while she's sleeping, so sometimes I have to put her in her pack-n-play while I go outside, much to her dismay. During these times, I know she's safe and nothing is *really* wrong, except that Mama has left her sight, so I do what I need to do. I also know that if I don't take care of the stove, we will be in a cold house, more susceptible to catching a cold, and just plain miserable. In your case, it doesn't seem like you're adding any extraneous activities in the morning that would take away from your time with John. Your routine seems pretty basic in preparing for work. You need a job to provide for John, you need to look and feel professional to do your job, so you need to make time every morning to get ready and look professional. Unfortunately, normal life doesn't get to stop just because we have a baby. You can't watch him every second of every day; you can only do your best to keep up.