Being a working mama means I have to spend a lot of energy making sure my priorities are straight. I'm guessing that moms who stay home with their kiddos have to occasionally (or often) check their priorities too, but working mamas face the challenge of earning a paycheck that at best requests (at worse requires) them directly to deprioritize their family in favor of doing the work that their paid to do.
I won't do that.
Of course, on some level being away from my kids and putting them in childcare at all is, to some degree, choosing work over being with them.
What stirs this thought is that today we were trying to make arrangements with the new caseworker on when to have the new kiddos placed in my home. Usually it's fairly easy to find a time where I could hang out away from work. I could work from home, I could go in late, or I could go home early. There's usually always some sort of option like that. Even if I have one day that's overbooked I could usually find at least one other that has flexibility.
This week it is not the case:
Monday - Jam packed work schedule - baseball game at 5:45-7:20.
Tuesday - Jam packed work schedule but I could have come home early. Until coach scheduled practice. Which was canceled due to weather, but by that time it was too late to arrange for a placement that night.
Wednesday - Jam packed, but the preferred day by the caseworker. Simultaneous team meetings from 8:30-11, simultaneous dentist appointment for little miss, new team meeting from 11:30-12:30, important meeting from 1-2:30, and interview from 3-5, followed by new team meet n greet 5-7. *Sigh*
Thursday - Jam packed work schedule, double booked from 3-4 with new team meeting and dissertation checkup meeting, school at night.
Friday - WIDE OPEN...but no one wants to wait that long.
So I was left trying to figure out which meeting I needed to get out of on Wednesday. The only one that was remotely logical was the meet n greet at night, which isn't a great choice because that is when I'm supposed to meet all my new coworkers (and, we were headed to a fancy schmancy restaurant downtown). But that's what I did and I really didn't blink an eye.
As I was thinking about my choice certain words rang in my head - words I've heard several times in the last month as we've prepared to welcome 4 different kiddos into our home.
"I don't know how you do it. Your life changes on a dime and you just adjust".
Most of the time that comment is from working mamas.
How do I do it? I don't know. A little bit of mie and a BIG dose of God. That's the easy answer. But this question really does confuse me a bit because I think - How could I not do it? This is my family? In my head it's not even a choice. And then it hit me - in some people's heads it's not a choice to miss work. I'm not a person who drops my responsibilities either...
...but I'm a mama who tries very hard to make sure her priorities are in order with God first and family a close second. Only then comes work - and whatever else tries to distract me from the important things in life.