#sol14 March 14 Balance

Slice of LIfe

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too! Check it out here. Thank you,  Two Writing Teachers

I step out of the shower, hopeful that everyone will stay asleep as I finish getting ready for my early meeting at school. But as soon as I breathe a sigh of relief, I hear my littlest guy, E wake up. He’s four and the pitter patter of his feet is one of the cutest sounds in the world. His crying is one of the saddest sounds. As soon as he realizes that I’m not still in my  jammies and in my bed, he begins to cry. These are not crocodile tears, or manipulative cries, but real sadness overflowing.

“I wanted to snuggle you!” he says and my heart breaks.

“Put your jammies back on!” he begs and I want to cry.

I can’t snuggle. I’m already running late for my meeting and I can’t afford to do anything but rush. I can’t not snuggle. His sadness and pleas  are honest, and being a mom is my most important job. I sit with him for a bit. We snuggle on his chair as a compromise.  He settles until I remind him that I have to get ready for work. We snuggle some more, his eyes closed as his head rests on my shoulder. I give kisses and hugs. (“Hugs are very important, mommy.”)  Then I say, “I really need to go. I have a meeting.”

“Snuggles are more important than meetings, mommy.”

He’s right. They are. But I need to go. So I give last hugs, rush rush rush rush rush, give more last hugs to everyone, hop in my car and drive away.

Mornings aren’t always emotionally tough, but when they are, I tend to spend my drive to work wondering if I should quit my job. Mornings that aren’t emotionally tough still make me wonder: How can I bring balance to this double life I lead, as mommy and teacher?

If you have the magic answer, I’d love to hear it.

24 thoughts on “#sol14 March 14 Balance

    1. I think from a distance, it seems like some have found the balance… but I’m unsure if anyone really truly does. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    1. Hi Kay – That’s what I hear – easier or different. 🙂 Sometimes it is my 10 year old daughter who has the toughest time when I leave. . . but one day it’s totally going to be me crying as my children leave for college! I plan on reminding them about all the extra snuggles I gave them! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  1. It has been one of those weeks in my house too Ona… Wishing for the magic bullet in work life balance. Those mornings wear on my heart all day…

    1. Balance is knowing you are giving your all to each moment. It’s not like a chemistry equation you can balance by adding another compound to one side. It’s about knowing you are doing your best being in each moment, knowing the balance is in the overall feelings you create with the moments you string together.

      1. This is such a great way to think about it – moment to moment. I’m glad it isn’t a chemistry equation – because my experiment would be so blown to pieces right now if it were! I’d much rather think of it as moments strung together. Thanks!!!

    2. Kristen! I wonder if spring break really messes with the schedule… even a couple days off with mommy can throw it all out of whack! Glad you stopped by – thanks for the comment!

  2. Balance, it’s elusive, like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow … But all we can do is simply stop and relish in the beauty of the rainbow before it disappears. We seem to always wish we were somewhere else … I took a year leave from my vice principal job to stay at home with my kids, as I felt what you described every single day, and now that I’m at home, I am missing the classroom and the passion I have for my work. Be well and enjoy the weekend with your family.

    1. Your comments about your year off really describe how I felt each time I’ve taken family rearing leave (about a year off with each of my 3 kids…) I loved my time at home – but often found myself missing school, mentally planning for my return, finding lesson plans and buying supplies. . . So even when I’m not teaching, I’m still out of balance! I hope you are enjoying your time at home, in between the missing work. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  3. This slice completely pulled at my heart strings, Ona. Balance is so, so, so hard. That tug… that push-pull. It is so real. And then he said what he said. It can rip your heart out, can’t it?

    I’d love to use this slice in my daily “be inspired” feature on TWT. If that’d be okay, please email me at stacey{at}staceyshubitz{dot}com.


    1. It can totally rip your heart out. 😦 And his sweet sweet voice. . . Thanks so much for stopping by – I’ll email you – because I’d be honored to be featured. 🙂 Thank you!

  4. OH the tears are streaming down my face even though I am sure, beyond a doubt, that even SAHMs have guilt and balance issues trying to figure out how to be all to everyone and make the pieces of life balance. Your title, Balance, says it best…we work to live but the balancing part is delicate and precarious. At times, like when you want to snuggle, the pull can tear you apart. I’m sure that he will be less interesting in cuddling at bed time, but keep trying!

  5. I had to stop over after seeing yours in the SOL inspiration link and that it’s about your four year old. I have one of those and a two year old and I have no clue as to what the answer is. But I’m glad I’m not alone in trying to find it. Excellent slice for sure!

  6. You have one sage little boy- cuddles are more important, and you did stop for one. You honored him and also respected your responsibility. As a mother of three nearly grown boys, teaching them to honor their responsibility has been as important as all the curling up in bed and reading together.

  7. Oh, how heartbreaking and completely relatable to all us moms/teachers! Even now that my girls are 18 and 21 it’s sometimes hard to juggle! Your little boy sounds so lovable. What a blessing he is. It’s also a blessing to be a teacher. I don’t have any magic words to make it easier. Just know you’re not alone, and talking and writing about it will help!

  8. You really can’t balance your life. It’s not possible because no one can. Remember that life is like juggling. I read once that some of the balls are glass and others are rubber and they will bounce right back if you drop them. Just remember which are glass and don’t drop them. 🙂 I personally think you did a wonderful job snuggling and then going to work! 🙂

  9. AWWW! “Snuggles are more important than meetings.” So powerful. It sounds like you’re doing a great job balancing them… and hopefully you can get a lot of extra snuggles in over breaks and summer!

  10. What a hard yet beautiful start to a day – no one loves us like a small child! I imagine that was one very long day. I wonder if you could retell this story to him in bed at night (perhaps even read your blogpost), so he might see how much his love and cuddles mean to you. This was so very sweet – I’m glad that it was noted on SOLSC and I got to read it today! There’s no magic answer for finding balance…but our children should see how hard we work at finding this elusive goal, how much we’d love to “wave a magic wand” and get everything we want!

  11. Beautiful and heartbreaking slice. I feel the same push and pull and trying to balance it all. Your little boy is so, so sweet. And so, so smart! How could you not stay for a little snuggle? So glad you were featured today in the “be inspired” section — I missed this one!

  12. What a struggle! I think the only way I survived those early years (and even the later ones that my kids are in now when mornings are more about them rushing around, making sure homework is in the backpack, and alarms are ignored) was that I left long before the kiddos were awake. My husband is a SAHD and gets to experience the joys of mornings. I feel like I really missed out on something, except on those days when I feel like I’ve dodged a bullet! Hang in there.

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