31: The Secret Life of a Busy Mom

31: The Secret Life of a Busy Mom

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Multitasking Mom's Survival Guide

The Secret Life of a Busy Mom

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.

~George Moore

There are days — and if you’re a mother you know the kind of days I’m talking about — when I feel like ditching my SUV at the airport and hopping a plane to Bora Bora. No one would know me there or, better yet, need anything from me, so I could spend my days whiling away the hours at the beach, turning my ghostly shade of pale skin to a golden bronze.

Or, on other days, I imagine myself appropriating a red convertible and riding across the country, Thelma and Louise-style, yahooing all the way. I would be a red-hot mama, visiting truck stops and seedy hotels, and staying wherever it strikes my fancy. On the road again, with the music cranked up, I wouldn’t have a care in the world.

On other days, I imagine quite a different life for myself. On those days, I’m a single career gal, à la Mary Richards in Mary Tyler Moore. I’m striding confidently by a pond of ducks, a gaggle of schoolchildren, alone in the streets and tossing my knit hat up into the air.

In my dreams, I am remarkably free of the overwhelming responsibility of the care and upkeep of a home and family. I don’t have to worry about the laundry getting done, the kitchen cleaned, the living room made livable, the carpet vacuumed, the toilets scrubbed, the field trip form filled out, the birthday planned, the bedtime story read, the prayers said, the toilet paper roll replaced.

“What’s for dinner?” is a question I would never hear unless I asked myself. All I would have to think about is Me! Me! Me!

Yes, there are days I imagine my life without a family and children. While eating lunch at a sleek Art Deco restaurant on Miami Beach, I look at the waitress/aspiring actress and imagine how much fun her life must be. It must be a whirlwind of parties, dates and the possibility of an amazing future.

And then reality strikes, and I remember what my life was like before I married and had kids. My life, pre-children, was rather lonely, even when it included parties, dates and the possibility of an amazing future. There was something missing, and what I wanted, more than anything, was someone to love, who would love me back.

Yes, I have to remind myself that on days when the house never seems to get clean, the kids are constantly fighting and I wonder where I disappeared amid my roles of wife and mother, an impromptu hug around the waist, a sweet kiss goodnight and hearing “I love you, Mom” brings it all back into focus.

It is then that I realize I am exactly where I want to be.

~Gina Lee Guilford

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