Some women like their hair done; others prefer makeup or new clothes. For as long as I remember though, I’ve always been a Nail Gal. No matter how the rest of me looks, if my nails are done, I feel beautiful.
It should not come as a surprise then that I often spend a couple hours of my Mother’s Day (or Mother’s Day weekend) at the nail salon, sitting among other Nail Gals.
“What kind of mom are you?” a lady pedicuring next to me asked last year after witnessing me proudly showing off my then 2-year-old’s photo to the one who was helping me feel beautiful.
Huh?, I thought as I awkwardly answered, “A happy one?”
She laughed and replied, “Well, that’s what all moms should be.”
After later eavesdropping in on her conversation with others, I realized she was referring to a Stay-at-Home or Working Mom, which (not to sound too Carrie Bradshaw) got me thinking…
In less than a decade, I went from being a Nail Gal (and other things, too, of course) to a Teacher to a Wife to a New Mom to a Stay-at-Home Mom to a Work-from-Home Mom to a Part-Time-Working Mom to a Mom of Two. I suppose I could’ve answered “All of the above!” to the lady’s question, but do those titles describe me as a mother? Do children with a Part-Time-Working Mom describe my son and daughter? I am definitely biased, but I feel there is much more to us than that.
Working part-time as a writer and writing teacher has made me feel complete since my jobs allow me the time to spend with loved ones (something I lacked while teaching full-time) while simultaneously providing me with the brain stimulation and feeling of monetary contribution I was craving while staying home. Although I’m proud of my new title, I’ve had to adapt into a certain “type” of Part-Time-Working Mom in order to make it work for my family and me:
For example, I have become a schedule-crazed human. My three-year-old daughter takes one nap a day at 1:30 p.m. and goes down for the night at 8:30 p.m. My six-month-old son takes three naps still, one at 10 a.m., one at 1:30 p.m., and a short one at 5 p.m. and is sound asleep by 8:30 every night, too. Yes, there are situations where we may have to tweak these times, but for the most part, we stick to the schedule (until, of course, they are ready for a new one) since I can really only get any of my writing and lesson plans done when they sleep. I could NOT survive as a Part-Time-Working Mom without my pre-slated, kid-free work times.
I have also relied heavily on grocery stores for ridiculously pricey pre-made meals or pre-chopped vegetables and fruits, as well as my awesome MIL who often cooks for us. My hope when leaving my full-time job was to always have healthy meals made for the fam; however, if I cook every day, I am wasting one nap preparing the foods (i.e. washing, cutting, marinating, etc.) and the other nap cooking, meaning the earliest I can begin my writing and lesson planning is at 8:30 p.m. after 13 hours of mothering, aka: the hardest yet favorite of my jobs.
Between tutoring two weeknights until 10 p.m. and one day on the weekend, I often prioritize my family, the gym, and my bed over friends. Yes, I miss them, and yeah it is always a blast when I do get to see them, but girls nights mean giving up work time, hubby time, and sleep time and gaining at least an hour or two of cleanup time, and, most times, it’s just not worth it for me right now.
I have no idea why the lady at the nail salon was so concerned with which of two categories all of us Nail Gals fell into that day, but she was right about one thing: all Moms should be happy.
Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate Moms, but Moms, whether working or not, scheduled or not, spending too much money at the grocery store or not, a homebody or not, etc., should be celebrating themselves every day.
Currently, I am rocking socks covered in punctuation marks, just finished straightening the playroom for the fourth time today, and may or may not have just swallowed a fruit snack my daughter dropped on the floor earlier. But hey, my nails are done, so I feel beautiful.