I must begin by saying that I don't know how working mothers do it. My hat is off to all of you. Seriously.
This past week I have been gone pretty much all day between my very brief part time job at the preschool and rehearsals and performances for A Christmas Carol. The time I have had at home has been short and limited, and, I confess, stressful.
When I agreed to take on this role just last week I vowed to myself that I wouldn't let things slide as much as I did when I was doing the opera. I vowed that I would be better at keeping up with my commitments both in and out of our home. And so this past week I have not only learned a new role, acclimated to a new cast and crew and OPENED said show... I have also decorated inside and out for Christmas (including shopping for and putting up a real tree), done a considerable amount of shopping and mailing of packages to friends and relatives who live far away, worked on the Christmas pageant I am directing for our Sunday School, written our yearly Christmas letter (yes, I send one of those out. and no, I will not share it with you. And yes, it is a bit braggy about all our world travels this year. sue me), worked on a short drama we'll be performing in worship in a few weeks, practiced with my praise team, spoken to friends and family on the phone, organized getting the materials for my small group bible study, fed my family, done many loads of laundry, etc, etc. I find myself short on patience and energy, and feeling guilty for not enjoying every moment. And then I realize that it is only December 5th and in many ways I am ahead of the holiday game, in comparison to where I usually am at this point in the month. And yet the stress....
I am being too hard on myself, I know. It's OK to let a few things relax. Really... did the tree have to be decorated TODAY? But I had planned to do it during this time, and gosh darn it, I got it done.
My husband, I have to say, has been wonderful. He's been giving up his quiet time in the morning to take The May Queen to school since I have to head to the theatre for our performances for school groups. He is putting her to bed nearly every night, but not before they drive around and look at all the lights (and "conflatable" Santas, et al). He has not complained at all about the frozen pizzas and lack of milk in the refrigerator. I came home today to find the laundry machines running. When I talked to him about doing this show last week he said "You want to do it. We will find a way." When I told him that tomorrow I would be going into the city to do a show in the morning and then driving the hour home to pick up The May Queen from school, and then driving back for a show in the evening he said "I can leave work and get her if you can find something to do down in the city" (um... yes! Hello working on my Christmas cards at the library... and... dare I think it... a movie?!)
That is the way he has always been about my acting. Always. Well... there was that time when I was leaving home at 6am to do children's theatre and then going straight to rehearsals for another show and coming home at 11pm and I would crawl into bed next to him exhausted... one night he DID roll over and eye me suspiciously and say "Who are you and what are you doing in my bed? My wife wouldn't like this. Of course, she's never home, so she won't find out..."
But he really truly has been always supportive of it. And this past week as I've watched him step up to the plate to help out with newly appreciative eyes, it makes me want to make sure I keep up with everything even more. Because he truly is a gem. Even if he does begin snoring 5 minutes into the time we've set aside to watch our taped (final!) episode of Heroes together.
So enough with the complaining, and on to being thankful. The time I do have at home with my family I will cherish. And if the floor doesn't get washed... well... that's OK. The twinkling lights from the Christmas tree make a great distraction from the pile of junk mail on the kitchen counter.