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Living the Dream

I don’t know how you do it.

You working moms, I mean.

Especially you working moms who are far more beleaguered than I am. Especially you working moms with more than one child, little family support, and a killer commute that takes you to a job you don’t enjoy for a wage which doesn’t do you justice.

Because I have one only one child, a commute (including day care drop off) that takes no more than forty-five minutes, a mother-in-law who saves my bacon on a regular basis, and a well-paid job I enjoy.

And I am just barely doing it. Just. Barely.

But I also have a husband working fifteen-hour days and I’m smack dab in the middle of the Toronto Film Festival, which means I will once again return home after 9 p.m. tonight.

And I’m seven weeks into a new job where I’m struggling to prove I have the energy and the smarts to succeed in a business full of smart and energetic people.

And as satisfied as I am that I am doing a good job at the office, I find myself wracked with guilt over whether I’m doing a good job at the most important job there is: you know the job I mean.

Tell me, you working moms, is it always like this?

Would you have sighed in exasperation this morning when your mother-in-law approached your car? Would you have been calculating how many precious seconds her conversation would cost you in your race to pick her car up and drop yours (with its car seat) off? Would you have smiled tightly and prayed that exchanging basic pleasantries wouldn’t make you late for work again?

Would your heart have sunk with shame, as mine did, when she leaned through the car window, kissed you on the cheek and said, “I know you’re in a rush, but I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday dear”?

I had forgotten.

It’s my birthday today. I’m thirty-nine years old and undeniably a grown-up.

And also a working mom.

And I don’t know how you do it.

Photo courtesy of Don Mills Diva

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