TODAY IS ONE OF THOSE DAYS – no, weeks – that makes you realize how delicate the balance is of work vs. family… and also humbles you into remembering that sometimes, despite elaborate plans and optimistic intentions, it isn't always possible to do it all. At least not on your own terms. And for someone like me, with control-freak tendencies, that's hard.
(Lest you think I'm left to deal with this on my own, please know I'm feeling grateful to have a spouse who is more than willing to share the load. His week has been blown up, too. But today it was my turn.)
I'm lucky to have a job where I can flex my hours and arrange my schedule to accommodate the frequent personal crises that come up. I can often telecommute if I need to. But as great as that sounds to someone who doesn't have that option, it's not without cost. Especially if you have a sick or needy kid in the house. Or two! Working at home is one thing when you're alone, but quite another if you're not.
Peezer decided that he had a wicked headache last night, and said he still had it this morning. I'm almost 100% sure he isn't capable of the theatrics that would be necessary to trick this experienced mom into believing he had a malady was anything but legitimate. And let's face it, as much as grown-ups need the occasional mental health day, you have to believe kids do, too. So whatever it was, he wanted his mom, and I said okay.
Seth is still home, and needing extra help (ice, pain medication, waitress services). Yesterday, he got a hard, removable boot, instead of an actual cast, but we're still waiting on approval for an alternative to crutches, which, owing to his left-side weakness, won't work. So today, I set about begging and pleading trying to obtain the blessing act of Congress Royal Decree approval for Seth to get one of those knee-scooter thingies so he can maneuver at school next week. This involved two calls to the orthopedic doctor's office to request a letter of medical necessity, several calls with the medical supply store, and two calls to the insurance company, which I had to make because apparently the provider's line shuts down at 11:30 a.m. on Fridays. Because I guess people don't have medical needs on weekends. (WTF, Carefirst?)
So much for my mammogram, which I'd finally scheduled for this morning. I've been carrying around the prescription since my annual exam in August and delaying it because… well, I don't know why, it's like there's never a good time to do these things, but I finally did schedule it, largely because of her, and because I know it's ridiculous to postpone these things. Only you can't take a headachey seven year old and prop him in the waiting room with a Nintendo DS and tell him to just hang out till Mommy's done.
Meanwhile, I'm supposed to be telecommuting. Remember that? And that is the other hidden challenge in what may seem on the surface to be a pretty sweet gig: I don't get sick days. I can take off, but I don't get paid. My clients still expect their projects to be completed. But try telling that to the seven year old who's like, "Mama, can I watch that funny video of the preschooler?" when I'm trying to crunch spreadsheets and – ironically – assist an employee whose kid was not properly enrolled for coverage.
And yes, I do understand the irony of blogging instead of finishing that spreadsheet, but my concentration is elsewhere now and my heart just isn't in it. Because two of my kids need me today. And so that is where I need to focus.
That doesn't stop me from fantasizing about martinis and manicures and sneaking away to warm, tropical locations… but unless the Money Fairy drops a big bag o'cash on my front step, I'm going to have to finish my work. But probably not till tomorrow. Because today, I gotta be Mom.