We Interrupt This Program For a Test of Mom’s Other Identity

Full-time work brings with it a whole range of emotions for a mother who has spent the last seven years in the role of stay-at-home mom. Behind all of these feelings lies the general fear of completely losing balance and failing at all of my roles in the process.

 The first day of school is pretty traumatic, for me, that is. I cry at the bus stop as my older two wave goodbye happily, and later, I get upset again dropping my youngest off at nursery school.

My youngest waves and marches off holding the hand of his new teacher as I stand there, stunned.

In addition to feeling anxiety over my role adjustment, I’ve had to get used to normal full-time hours. It’s slightly sobering for a former teacher to step into work outside of a school calendar. I  turn my contract over in my hands, shaking the packet a bit, hoping a slip of paper listing a winter break, summer break and spring break will fall out. It doesn’t.

Despite my nerves, I’m really happy, because my job now is to write. That’s fun work. In fact, seeing my own byline is thrilling, and sometimes the appearance of it even seems miraculous, (when it’s attached to a football article).

“I’m a geek. I think this work is fun,” I tell my editor, who asks how I feel about covering a weekend event.

“Good!” she exclaims. (Remember that, kids. Nerdiness eventually pays off.)

In addition to gathering information for prospective articles, part of my job responsibilities at the local weekly newspaper is to pull and reformat the information in police blotters for half of the county. What I’ve learned from this experience so far is twofold.

First, I’m sure glad I have a home security system and, secondly, as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince shouts in his song Batdance: “This town needs an enema!”

Today I make a decision to stay past five o’clock and finish all the police blotters, so they are not looming over my head on Monday morning. Although interesting, the task is tedious. 

I type:

At 5 p.m. on September 5 an incident of aggravated harassment was reported on Peace Lane.

I squint at the computer monitor. The police note next to the incident: “Comp. claims boyfriend spit in her face and threatened to kill her.”  

“Wow.” I remark aloud to myself. “They ought to change the name of that street.”

My thoughts are churning with local crimes when I am startled by a rapping on the window pane.

I expect to see someone cutting a hole in the screen in an effort to add irony to next week’s police blotter.

I imagine how my replacement would type my demise:

At 7 p.m. on September 17 an incident that was completely messed up was reported on O’Reilly Avenue. (Reporter murdered while compiling crime data when she should have been at home serving fish sticks to her kids.)  

But fortunately, it’s not a psycho at the window. It’s just my psychic neighbor, the owner of a very cool spiritual gift shop across the street from the office. She’s wearing a red flowing skirt designed to shimmer at dusk.

I shut the lights, meet her outside and lock the front door.

“Honey, what are you still doing here?” she asks.

I frown, thinking:

An odd question for a clairvoyant, but I’ll assume it’s rhetorical.

 “Alright,” she says, putting her hands on her hips. “Put down the bags and look up at the moon. Do you see it?”

I do. The moon has taken the form of a pale pregnant belly, popping out of the darkening blue sky. 

“Now, take a deep breath,” she says.

Again I listen, closing my eyes and letting out a sigh.

“Feel better?” she asks.

I do. The moon has a way of pulling one back to center.

“Yes, thank you.” I reply.

“Good, now get out of here,” she laughs.

Smiling, I pick up my stuff and run. We wave to one another in the road, exchanging happy weekend wishes.  Man, everyone should know at least one intuitive person, I think.

first day of school

In the car, I check a message on my cell phone from my children. It involves bedtime stories and missing pets.

“I am still family-focused,” I whisper.

On the drive home, the moon is sitting in the top corner of my windshield. A voice on the radio is singing:

“If you’re lost and you look, then you will find me, time after time.”

 I reach the driveway feeling relaxed and ready. Ready, that is,  to read chapter 5 of Mary Poppins aloud and interrogate Mr. Norman Whiskers – the family cat- about a missing pet crab.

by Loren Christie

Loren is a mommy and a writer living in New York. Visit her personal blog: Dude, Where Am I?

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Comments
One Response to “We Interrupt This Program For a Test of Mom’s Other Identity”
  1. Loren, this is great stuff that will hit home with many other multi-identitied mommies out there!

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