Mothering, Professional Development, and Self Care: Today’s Multitasking Adventure

Things were a bit chaotic at my house this morning. Our wonderful nanny brought a gift for my older son, a sort of congratulations-on-[almost]-completing-preK3 present: a very involved, very anticipated Spider Man costume. Which of course had to be tested out immediately. In a valiant act of brotherly generosity, my older son then gifted his current Spider Man costume (well, pajamas) – the ones he insists on leaving on the dining room table each morning so that he can put them back on the moment he returns from school – to my younger son. These, also, had to be put on immediately. Today was also the four-year anniversary of our nanny being with us, which I wanted to celebrate with flowers and a card and hugs and thanks, none of which can come close to doing justice to the amazing support and love that she adds to our family. In the background, I was also running around making sure I had everything I needed for work as well as for my flight this afternoon to the major conference for my medical specialty, including – especially – the poster I will present there. Huge thanks go to my husband for making sure my suitcase and poster made it into my car.

I also realized, as I hurried around the house collecting various items (which at one point included my keys, cell phone, school permission slip, rounding sheet with my patients’ morning labs scribbled across it, bobby pins that had yet to make it into my wet hair, and deodorant), that I had forgotten to sew an errant button back onto my new coat.

A word about the coat: I am quite taken with it. I love – love – fashion, and I do most of my shopping secondhand both because of the amazing potential finds and because, at secondhand prices, I can afford to take risks. The coat is one of my newest finds, and the pattern (a gold damask on a spring green backdrop) makes me as happy as the price ($10). Missing buttons were part of the reason for the price, but the coat was initially double-breasted, so enough buttons remained to rearrange into a single-breasted design. Only I missed one, and for the past few days, the tab on the right sleeve has been flapping, buttonless, everywhere I go.

It was perhaps great planning, perhaps just brash optimism that led me to tuck a needle docked into a spool of thread and a tiny pair of scissors into my pocket along with the extra button as I flew around the house this morning. But after extra-tight, see-you-in-a-few-days hugs, dropping my older son off at school, rounding with my team all morning, and then driving to the airport, I sat in the parking lot and sewed that button into place. I even remembered to leave the scissors in the car so they wouldn’t be confiscated by airport security.

It doesn’t always flow smoothly and fit together, but sometimes it does. Now to return a few patient calls as I wait for my flight.

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