End of an era

Eight weeks have swept by in a rush. My maternity leave is ending and I am poised to return to work.

And to that, I say: yikes.

Frankly, I find myself wondering how I’m going to juggle it all. I think the answer may lie in lists. I’m a big believer in them, mainly because 1) I’m such a writer that if I don’t write something down, it seems somehow vague and unreal, and 2) there is such immense satisfaction in crossing off the items that I complete. In fact, when it comes to crafting “To-Do” lists, I often include tasks I’ve already completed, just so I can cross them off and feel like I’ve already accomplished something. Hey; it works. It helps me feel like I’m keeping my chin above water.

And I’ve alerted my husband to the fact that dinners for the next several weeks may be the kind that come frozen in a bag, or the type that arrive at the door, carried aloft by a teenager with a Round Table baseball cap. Again: whatever helps me keep that old chin high and dry.

I do think some prayer is in order, seriously. The catch, of course, is that I don’t really have time to pray, or at least to do the kind of long reflective praying that I used to. But I can’t forget that spiritual help is out there if I seek it. I’m sure there’s some patron saint of moms who work outside the home.

And, of course, there’s always Mary, who knows the guilt we moms feel about not being able to be everything to everyone at every moment. And I think she’d look at me and say, “You know what? Let it go, that guilt. Prioritize the most important things and let the rest lie. You’ll be just fine.”

I’ve got Our Lady of Multitasking on my side. I think I’ll make it.

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