I always figured that there was nothing quite like the foot pain you experience after being on your feet all day, working retail on Black Friday. It didn't matter how many pairs of shoes you brought to change into or how many layers of cushion-y socks you wore under your boots- after 3, 5 or 8 hours on your feet during that special day on the retail calendar, you were DONE. Only copious amounts of peppermint foot lotion (try LUSH's), a warm water soak and a massage (only someone who loves you deeply will get near those gnarly toes!) can really fix that day's damage. Thankfully, Black Friday only comes once a year and I no longer work in retail. But, I've discover a new pedal affliction- any working mom will know what I'm talking about.
I've been back to work full time for about a month now. On Tuesdays, I drop Cameron off at daycare before I head to the office. Other mornings, I go to rehab first or the grandmas come to our house to watch him. Tuesdays are my "mommy in heels" day. I get up a bit earlier so I can get myself, then Cameron, ready to head out the door. He'll usually play for about 30 minutes before he gets hungry for his morning bottle and that gives me time to brush my teeth, wash my face, iron, make/eat breakfast and prepare my lunch. Then he gets his breakfast, at which point, we're both wearing bibs if I'm already dressed for work. He sits in his bouncy seat and watches me put on my make up, fix my hair and hide treats around the house for Mowgli to find throughout the day.
We head out the door about 30 minutes before I have to be at work. The drive to his daycare is short (usually 2-5 minutes depending on stop lights) and I try to talk or sing to him on the way there. Once we arrive, I have to lug him, in his carseat, with his plaid lunchbox, along the sidewalk, into the building, and down the long hallway. Usually in heels.
A brief digression - I LOVE heels. Tall ones. What would you expect - when you're 4'11, if you want to be seen (and not run down with a grocery cart or plowed over by a stroller), you do what you need to do! It's self preservation, really. While I try to find the most comfortable (HA) yet cute pairs, it really doesn't matter if my toes are crunched up inside or if I have blisters on my achilles. Wedges are my favorite summer love affair.... knee high boots in the winter make me swoon. I'm not a shoe junkie though - I don't have to have every pair I see. But, if I find a pair I love, I wear them out. FYI - there's a great cobbler on Olive by my parents' house if you ever need shoe repairs (Yes, there are still such things as cobblers) - he has saved many of my heels from an untimely demise. Upon survey my closet, I realize the only flats I own are gym shoes and flip flops.
Okay, back to my Tuesday morning. So, I find myself teetering along, like a pack mule in a pencil skirt and heels, transporting Cam to his classroom. Once we arrive, I have to slip these little blue booties over my shoes so as not to track germs into the infant room. I get Cam situated, usually in a Bumbo or Boppy with a little play gym set up near him. I slide his carseat under his crib (as Brian typically picks him up) and get his bottles in the mini fridge. I check his cubby for his retired artwork, which usually winds up hanging above my desk. It's sort of hard to get down on the floor in heels, but I can't leave without kissing those chubby cheeks goodbye, so I manage this awkward, closed knee squat, hoping that I'm not flashing any other baby, or god forbid, his teachers.
Walking back down that hallway is one of the loneliest walks ever. I actually WANT my feet to hurt, because that would mean I was still in pack mule mode and Cam was close by. Sometimes, I think about snatching him up and bringing him with me. Or if I can possibly find some time in my day to sneak away and visit him, to make sure he's enjoying himself. But, I force myself to get in my car, and usually, by the time I get to my office, the renegade feelings have disappeared. My day is usually full and passes very quickly. Getting home after a satisfying day and slipping those shoes off feels better now than ever, because I have the best reward waiting for me! Usually, I arrive home to find Brian and Cameron playing catch with Mowgli in the yard.
Best. Feeling. EVER.
“Total commitment to family and total commitment to career is possible, but fatiguing.” ― Muriel Fox
"Being a mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love." ~Mildred B. Vermont