Being a working mom, heck, being a mom in general, is like riding a never-ending emotional roller-coaster. One minute you’re riding high, feeling pure joy, the next, you’re feeling down, like you might hurl. The emotions I feel throughout the day are usually accompanied by music, something I like to call “brain radio.” Below is a compilation of tracks that are regulars on my mental working mom playlist.
U2: Beautiful Day
Ahhh, a new day. Full of promise, full of opportunity. The birds are chirping, the sun moon is shining, and I’m ready to tackle the day. Let’s. Do. This.
Lenny Kravitz: Fly Away
Twenty minutes into our “beautiful day,” my preschooler doesn’t want to wear the clothes she picked out the night before. Cue tantrum. At some point in the scuffle, 1-year-old son drops a shadoobie on the carpet. Can I go to work now?
Incubus: Aqueous Transmission
Finally at work. As I sink into my plush office chair with a cup of piping hot coffee, a feeling of calm washes over me. And gratitude. For coffee I can drink without reheating 50 times.
Kanye West: Stronger
After taking a few minutes to unwind, and look through my emails, I begin to put together my to-do list. This is something I do every morning. As someone who is easily distracted, I require the structure of a to-do list to stay on-task throughout the day. In addition to keeping me on-track, crossing items off my list gives me a feeling of sweet satisfaction. Feeling a little bit like a boss.
Jay-Z: Dirt Off Your Shoulder
One of the responsibilities I have as a school psychologist is to evaluate students, and report the findings to their parents and school staff. Sometimes, the evaluation results are not well received. Parents are upset; staff is upset. Usher in Jay-Z. You can’t please them all. “You gotta get, that, dirt off your shoulder.”
Alicia Keys: Girl On Fire
And sometimes, I do make my coworkers and parents happy. After collaborating with a student’s teacher and other related service providers for several weeks, we are finally seeing a child who exhibits behavioral challenges make progress. In the words of Charlie Sheen, #winning.
It’s 3:15. That means it’s quittin’ time. Need I say more?
Jimmy Eat World: The Middle
Dinner prep. With a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old. Oops, dropped the fluorescent orange Kraft Mac n’ Cheese “cheese” pouch on the burner. It caught on fire. The baby is screaming, and my eldest is demanding glue so she can work on her “craps” (crafts).
UB40: Red Red Wine
Everyone is seated, with a moderately healthy meal in front of him/her (baked chicken, macaroni, and steamed green beans). I excitedly cut into my chicken; I realize I haven’t eaten a thing since breakfast. My youngest proceeds to throw his chicken on the floor; my eldest proclaims “I don’t like this meat, I want spaghetti.” Mama needs fruit. Mama need grapes. The fermented kind.
Michael Franti & Spearheard: Say Hey (I Love You)
Following the sh** show that is dinner time, my family and I transition to the living room, where we all sit on the floor, and the kids play. I watch my daughter as she hops across the floor, careful not to step in the “lava.” My son joyfully builds a three-block tower, looking expectantly and proudly at my husband and I. My heart can barely contain the love.
George Michael: Faith
I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes, I wonder if I’m doing any of this parenting stuff right. I question everything I do, wondering if the decisions I’ve made are the right ones. But, I realize that constantly questioning myself will make me crazy. I need to have faith in the knowledge I have, and the decisions I’ve made.
That’s my playlist. What about you? What’s on your working mom playlist?