my kids go off to school on the bus and they come home on the bus. they really have no idea what i do during the day....as long as i'm here when they get home, they don't usually think to question my whereabouts. they're teenagers.
a few years ago, some of their friend's moms had gone back to work part time and more....my kids were more impressed with the kids who had moms who worked at the gap or polo than the moms who were single moms or doctors juggling it all......it was the discount! it meant more loot! at the time, they said, "mom, you should get a job. ya know...DO something! other moms are getting jobs....why don't YOU get a job at polo?"
within a week of those comments, if i was running late, arriving home in the afternoon after them, they demanded to know, "where are you?......"MOM! you're never home.......how come you're NEVER home
recently, i had to visit my orthepedic surgeon for a follow up visit after a few months of weekly visits to physical therapy....twice a week to physical therapy....30 minutes away...for a problem with my shoulder that had been treated with cortisone after an accident. the therapy began to seem ...well, redundant. i spent hours coming and going and pushing and pulling and pressing. when meeting with my doctor, at our regular scheduled appointment, we exchanged pleasantries, talked a bit about the physical therapist...his name was brad...we were on a first name basis. the doctor and i paused...there was an awkward silence...i broke the silence...i couldn't bear it another minute!
i said in a whisper, " i think we have to end our relationship." the room grew small. the doctor, visibly upset, said, "really? but, why?" "it's not me, it's you", i responded uncomfortably. "i want what's best for you", he said. sadly, he prodded, "how can you feel this way? we've only just begun" ( i could have sworn i heard karen carpenter singing in the backround).....i nodded...."well, you've been wonderful...we've had something very special...a time i'll never forget".....he continued, "are you sure you want to go off on your own?".....i had to break it to him...right then and there. i had had enough. i had to blurt it out....."you've been taking up too much of my time".....that was when he asked the painful question. "why? what do you all day?"
"what do i do all day?" i asked indignantly. moments later, i responded, " well," i was fumbling to find the right words
i, i, ummmm......well, i have kids.".......he asked how many. "two" i said......."how old are they?"....i mumbled, "thirteen and fourteen."......................he was unimpressed.....he was an older man, with grown children, who had obviously multitasked while earning multiple degrees at harvard and yale and other ivys....and birthed multiple children...and continued careers while birthing the babies....(got the picture?) very unimpressed.
"do you work?" he asked. i answered his questions defensively, "well, no....but, i do my artwork, i volunteer, i do lots of things" i groped, "ummm, i have to walk the dogs...we have two."....."and i go to pilates classes." he kept it up...more of these questions! "how many times a week do you go to these pilates classes?" ..........." i try to go at least once a week. that is unless i have a long dog walk or another appointment......i continued pondering the questions. "well, i know i'm busy...."....."actually, there doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to get everything done"....."sometimes, my husband cooks dinner because i'm so busy!"
finally, i was driven to tell him.........the truth............"i don't know how my days fill up, i don't know what i do, specifically."........"i mean, it's not like i'm sitting home all day EATING BON BONS!" that was it....i cracked under the pressure! i couldn't take another minute."
i walked to the door. i turned towards the doctor. before i walked out the door, i said, "and by the way, you're geographically undesireable!"
it was over. i was free.......................now, what did i do the rest of the day?