The scent of bleach and Pine-Sol dance atop her wood floors, while fresh lines from the vacuum simultaneously decorate the carpet.
The entire scene is enhanced by the smell of the freshly lit candle, now flickering away,
Signifying that the school bus would soon appear and her morning job would be complete.
Her afternoon work would be full of math and reading and social studies homework; littered all over her freshly polished kitchen table until hungry bellies began to expect dinner; which she would soon make from scratch.
She serves her family and cleans up,
While they fill their bellies before she has the chance to even sit down at the dinner table.
As the formerly hungry bellies leave the table she tells herself she’ll “eat later.”
Before long the evening bedtime ritual is set to begin.
Clothes are laid out
Showers are taken
Stories are read
Perfect little people are safely and snuggly tucked into bed where
Sweet dreams awaited them.
Overwhelmed with both love and gratitude, she watched her perfect little person soundly sleep.
Soon she is interrupted by her own growling and still empty belly.
“I never did eat,” she reminds herself.
Passing the hallway mirror on her way to the kitchen, her reflection reflects a tired and stark face.
Having been so consumed with everyone and everything else all day,
She realizes that she never did get around to applying her makeup today
To change out of her workout clothes
Fix her wiry hair.
In that moment, staring at her reflection, she can’t help but wonder when or where she will ever find the time to
Fill her own belly
Apply her makeup
Fix her wiry hair
Put herself together in an outfit other than her morning Yoga gear
Honor a currently non-existent bedtime routine for herself?
Almost as fast as her wonder intruded on her thoughts, it was shut down by both shame and guilt.
“I’m a Mom,” she told herself, continuing to remind herself that,
“I have it all. What more can I possibly expect?”
And in that moment she went back to work, feeling oddly defeated and confused…