Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A full day's work by 9 AM

I start work at nine. I get up at six.

Even though we make lunches and lay out everyone's clothes the night before, we need that much time to get all five of us packaged and delivered to our respective places of work and play in good spirits.

I shower, dress and oversee the kids pulling on play clothes or school cardigans while Pete makes breakfast. There's a flurry of smoothing hair into pigtails, stowing rain boots in backpacks, pouring coffee and hunting for library books. We drive Saskia to before-care at her school. Then we head over the bridge and into the city, where we bring Ariana to daycare and Leif to preschool. Finally, Pete swings by my clinic and drops me off on his way downtown. I use the half hour before my first patient to review lab results and catch up on work email.

At two minutes to nine my colleague flies through the door, unstrapping his bike helmet. He's forty and single. His hair is a mess, he's out of breath and he seems exhilarated. "I woke up ten minutes ago," he announces. "I just rolled out of bed and out the door!"

Watching him hang up his reflective jacket and rummage in his briefcase for a granola bar, I vaguely recall a life where my only real responsibility between waking up and presenting at work or school was to put on clothes.

Now, I can hardly remember what it's like to show up at the office without feeling like I've already done a full day's work.


  1. So true. I remember getting on an airplane when my then 2 kids were 2 years old and 5 months old. We had heaps of stuff--it was absurd how much we were carrying with us. This other woman, also traveling with her small kids, said, "Remember when you used to show up for the flight with a book...and maybe a bottle of water? Yeah, those days are over." Nothing, is simple anymore once the rapscallions, as we call them in our household, are in the picture.

  2. You've described my life exactly; I can't tell you how many mornings I've awakened early to take care of the laundry (and even clean a bathroom - I know! I'm checking cleaning services...), pack lunches, make sure that various projects are ready to go.

    "Now, I can hardly remember what it's like to show up at the office without feeling like I've already done a full day's work." You've put into words what I've been feeling for many years!


  3. Gee, and how amazing, some of our male colleaugues NEVER know any different--and a lot of them are married with kids, too.

  4. I must say I've been on both sides - the post call mom getting the kids ready and to school, and the already at work mom whose kids aren't even up yet. I'm lucky to have a husband that does the morning kid thing most of the time - because when I do it - I do do a good job - it makes me appreciate the not doing it. However, there's nothing that beats that time with the kids before work (even if it's filled with grumpiness and whining)

  5. I loved this one, our mornings to a tee- especially the perpetual search for library books, tears about lost items, the dying need for a specific pokemon card (one out of the hundreds we have strewn about the house, answering to "Mom-eeeeeeeeeee, there's no toilet paper"- its like we're doomed to a life of racing.


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