I’ve got my own farewell committee. For the last few weekends that I’ve had to work, the girls have decided that they want to wake up with me. So as I’m getting dressed I’ll wake them. I tell them that I’m going to get dressed and eat breakfast and that they can join me if they like. Usually Mac asks for “five more minutes” and Caitlin will pop out of bed bleary eyed and disoriented. They will follow me into the living room and sit with cartoons while I prep my lunch and eat a quick breakfast. They will follow me around and tell me funny stories about their plans for the day. They will ask again and again when I’ll be home, and what we will do when I get home. It takes everything I have not to respond with sleep. Because sleep is always on my to-do list.
They are crying less and less as I’m leaving, which is a very good thing. The first few months after I went back to work were the hardest. Leaving them during the week is one thing. Leaving them on a beautiful Saturday morning is another. But most days we have smiles and cuddles and promises of things like dinner out, or watching some of our favorite cartoons on DVR when Mommy gets home. The working weekend mornings are changing and so am I.
It’s got to be strange to have a mother who works on the weekends. Actually the entire family has had to re-think how we weekend around here. The Hubbs and the kids were a little shell shocked when I had to start putting in eight hour days on the weekends. It’s strange for me too, but in a different way. I don’t have to worry about child care on the weekends. Dad takes over and rallies the troops. I don’t have to worry about lunches to pack or breakfast to make. So it’s with some ease that I’m able to walk out the door most Saturdays and Sundays.
Saying good-bye to their little faces is still hard. I’m not going to lie. The girls totally understand weekends now. They know that they have no school and can waste the day away if they want to. And for the most part they do, but now they don’t get to waste the day away with me. They waste the day away with dad. It’s taken me a bit to get okay with that. In the beginning I was super jealous of their weekend adventures, but not so much anymore. It has been so good for The Hubbs to have those adventures with the girls. Not that he didn’t have adventures with them before, but their lives have been very mom-centric. When you stay home, it’s unavoidable. It’s always been, “Dad’s got to work so we will go without him”. Now lately it’s been, “Mom has to work, so we will go without her”. It seems weird to type that, just like it’s still a little foreign to live it.
So imagine my surprise and delight when Mackenzie decided that she wanted to start walking me out on Saturday and Sunday mornings. "I want to wave to you from the door mom", is what she said. Since there weren’t any tears, I decided why not? Even if she is rocking miss matched pajamas. Even if her hair is a mess. Big sister had to get in on the act too, in her undies no less. The Hubbs came out to see what the big deal was, and I snapped a picture. This is my farewell committee. They may not be super excited for me to be working my weekend away, but they are trying to make it easier. They are trying to distract me from thinking about “missing out” and “mom guilt”. They do a fantastic job if you want to know the truth. Plus it makes my job as a mother easier knowing that they are happy. Happy even if mom couldn’t go to the pumpkin decorating party on Saturday morning. Happy even if mom couldn’t go out to lunch after, or shopping for a new door lock, or just to play in the yard with the neighbors. Knowing that they are happy makes me happy and makes me better at my job, both at home and at the store.
Trust me, it’s not picture perfect. This was the day Caitlin combed her sisters hair with Moroccan oil, and it looked like Mac hadn’t had a bath in a month. It was also the Saturday that mom came home too tired to do anything but sit on the same spot in the couch for an hour. Or that we had “whatever we could forage” for dinner. And all of those things are okay, as long as we are happy.