My client needed to bump our session up a couple of days. The day he wanted was Joshua’s first day of preschool.
Working mommy conundrum.
Okay, maybe not my worst nightmare, but my heart jumped to my throat and I froze with my mouth open. I knew this day would come, but I never thought it would be the very first chance possible. The very first time I had something I really really didn’t want to miss, and had actually already successfully protected, I had this happen.
I clenched the phone with my hand and said, “Of course I can make it on August 20th! Not a problem” as I scrambled to contact my travel agent and beg her to find a way for me to be able to pick Joshua up from preschool at 11am, and still get to Columbia, SC at a reasonable hour.
It couldn’t be done.
And so, I compromised.
I was able to take a 12:04pm flight, which allowed me to spend the morning getting my son ready. Dressing him in his adorable plaid shirt, wiggling him into his khaki shorts, wetting down his double cowlicks–the front one and the back one–rubbing gel in his hair, and fixing the parts that he brushed down with Becca’s hairbrush in his own attempts to “do my own hair.” I coerced him into brushing his teeth by allowing him to do so while he sat on the toilet (boys) and helped him put on his “pack pack.” We took a picture on the front steps, during which he smiled (yay!) and after which he jumped from my arms and said, “No you hold me Mama!” and ran to the car.
By taking a later-than-normal flight, I was able to walk my son into his classroom. Sit at the play dough table with him, and redirect him to said table three different times. (He was so excited to explore every nook and cranny of the room! Which he did–later. :)) I got to take some pictures, and put his name tag on him. I watched him sit down for story time, and learn how to sit with his legs just so. I got to see him look at his teacher with bubbling adoration in his eyes as she started to read a story.And I got to slip away, out the door, leaving my big preschooler to his own adventure–after hugging him tight and telling him Daddy would be there to pick him up.
By compromising, I was able to do what the client needed (and he did have a very legitimate reason for needing to move the session last minute), and still be there for my son.
Was I there to pick him up from his first day of preschool? No. And that makes this mama’s heart sad.
But was I able to talk to him on the phone? And hear his sweet baby-almost-big-boy-voice say, “Mama! God made a-mee-mals!” when I asked him what he learned today? And later Facetime with him at 9pm because he was just too excited from his awesome day to go to sleep? Yes. I was.
I’m fully aware that in this profession that I’m blessed with, and just simply by being a working parent, I will run into times where I have to choose. I’ll have to choose to protect certain special days and possibly lose business. I’ll have to choose to recognize that I can’t do it all and might not be at every event or occasion. But that’s just it–it’s a choice. It may be a tough choice on some days, but it is a choice.
I’m so proud of my boy. I so proud of my hubby. I’m so proud of us, and the family we are becoming. Are we perfect? No. Is this mama making mistakes–daily? Yes. Am I doing things right too? Yep. But that’s all in the making of a mother. And this mother is definitely being made–day in and day out as I learn what exactly it is to be a mom.