Monday, November 11, 2013

Wearing All The Hats

The kids having lunch in my office.
I've written before about my love for Bright Horizons back-up daycare. It's fabulous, and I'm tremendously lucky to have it as a benefit so I can cover the so many days the kids don't have school or camp. I don't have to use every moment of my vacation time for childcare--this benefit leaves me with enough time to take actual vacations. I'm grateful, really.

But these days when I take the kids downtown are mentally exhausting.

The transition time between home "me" and work "me" is non-existent. I wake up, get us out the door and on to the train, check them in at daycare and get straight to work. At lunch, I become Mom again, and at the end of the day, I have my elevator ride down to the daycare to decompress from work before Mom-me is on again. There isn't a moment spent on autopilot. Even in the elevator on the way back from lunch, I had to police who got to press the buttons (yes, apparently this still matters to nearly 6 and 10 year olds) and say the phrase "shoes stay on in the elevator."

It's also one of the only times when I'm so simultaneously a working mom. I catch a glimpse of my reflection standing over their seats on the train, and I can't believe I'm responsible for both of them, yet dressed in my work uniform of black pants and blow dried hair. But perhaps the most striking moments are when coworkers see me with the kids. There are over 500 people at my company, and only a handful know anything about me outside of work, so it's always weird. My kids don't know them, they don't know my kids, and I don't feel like their coworker anymore, just Mom. I'm wearing every hat I own, all at once.

Hannah realized the other day that she's getting toward the end of her eligibility for Bright Horizons, as she won't be able to go at the age of 13. Some day soon, she won't come downtown with me, and I'm sure part of me will miss these days. But not too much. I tend to get a little overheated wearing all the hats.

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