By: Shannon Ralph
This week has been an exercise in letting go. I knew I would be busy when I started back to work full-time. I expected to be tired. I expected to have to deal with spending less time with my kids. Less time with Ruanita. I didn’t, however, anticipate that I would have to be letting go of so much.
Twice in the last week, my children have needed to go to the doctor. Lucas had strep. Sophie had a urinary tract infection. Since the time my children were born, I have been the “doctor mom”. I have always been the one to take them to the doctor when they were sick. Or needed immunizations. Or needed their well-child visits. Or needed to see a therapist. Or were puking up their guts and oozing snot in colors that aren’t found in nature. I scheduled all appointments. I attended all appointments. Sometimes Ruanita was there, too. Other times she wasn’t. For the first time since they were born, I missed a doctor appointment this week. Two doctor appointments, actually.
It’s hard to let go of some things. It’s not that Ruanita is incapable. She is perfectly capable of taking our kids to the doctor. I trust her implicitly. Though I did make her take a hand-written note to Sophie’s appointment today. I am not a control freak. I simply had specific things I wanted the doctor to know. Yes, that may have been a bit much, but it’s so difficult to let go.
And it’s not just the doctor appointments. Ruanita is folding clothes now. And she doesn’t fold them like I have always folded them. Socks do not look the same. They are these odd, shapeless bundles of cotton that border on obscene-looking. My socks are showing up in Lucas’s drawers. And she rearranged Lucas’s drawers. Rearranged! Without my prior knowledge. She just casually mentioned one day that she moved Lucas’s socks and underwear to his bottom drawer. What?! Bottom drawer?! Is she five cans short of a six-pack? Two tacos short of a combination platter? What is she thinking rearranging the system I have had in place for years? I am at work two days and all hell breaks loose! Armageddon has arrived at my house!
And this week, she is taking Nicholas to get his hair cut. Did I mention that I have always been the “haircut mom”, as well? I wonder if I should send a hand-written note to Kids’ Hair? Maybe a pictograph? A visual aid of some sort?
We want it all. We want the career. We want the children. We want the blissfully happy home life. I have it all. I really do. I simply need to learn to let go a bit. I can’t control everything. I can’t be the “doctor mom” and the “clothes mom” and the “haircut mom” forever. But I want to be. I don’t want to let go. I don’t want to forfeit the reins.
But I must learn to let go.