Below is an adaptation of my weekly blog entry for Working Mother magazine...
Last week, while I was in the middle of making dinner, perusing my older son's half-done homework, and trying to listen to election returns on NPR, Bear took off his pants. Not a totally unheard of occurrence for this wigglesome three year-old, but this time he did it with such purpose I had to stop and ask him what he was doing.
"I have to put on my Superman underpants," he replied. And why? "So I will be stronger," he said, with a look that told me I should have known the answer.
Oh, if it were only that easy! If the makers of Jockey could produce some magic formula to transform a tired, cranky mommy at around 5 p.m. each day into Supermom. I could skip the evening traffic and fly to Wolf's taekwondo class, dinner would be on time, and the strange keyboard pattern would no longer be on my forehead because I fell asleep on it.
There have been many posts (on momblog) regarding the balance among work, family, and self; that the three-legged stool cannot stand if one leg is absent. How do we do it, then? How do we create the framework that allows us, as working mothers in diverse professions, the same dedication to our families and ourselves as we do to our jobs? I left a pretty nice set up at an Anchorage non-profit a few months ago to stay home with our boys. But something was missing, something as intrinsically important to me as my job of mothering and spouse-ing. The stool seemed to be missing not one leg, but two, and only with the re-emergence of a previously shelved writing career have they come back.
Yes, some days I desperately want those Supermom underpants. A child needs me to help at school two days before a huge deadline. The dog dies, or the car does. There are certainly moments when I wonder if it is all worth it, this running around crazy-like.
Then I take a look at that little stool in the corner of my office with all three legs firmly planted on the ground, and all is right. I wonder if Yukon would think Supermom lingerie is sexy, though?