Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Switchboard Operator

Today, I'm going to do better than I did yesterday.

Yesterday, I was preoccupied. My kids didn't get what they needed from me, because I was focused on moving, renting and what seems like a zillion other things.

But it all could have waited until after bedtime.

I wasn't yelling, or screaming or scary mom ranting. I was just preoccupied.  I didn't make myself available to them the way I usually do, and I know it.  Homework took more time for them because I wasn't over their shoulders when they needed help.  They spent more time watching cartoons, and we spent less time reading books.  I was more frustrated than I usually am because my mind was in too many places at once.

I remember when I answered the switchboard at my dad's office.  I was the "switchboard operator."  I had this job after school for two years, and sometimes during the summer.  I used to bring magazines to read when the phones were slow.  Trouble was, I would get really into some juicy article about Jen Aniston and Brad Pitt, and then a call would come in.

I would answer it.

Then I would start reading again. And three sentences later, another call would come in. And another one.

Pretty soon, I wanted to punch the switchboard in the face.

There were too many interruptions, and it frustrated me and annoyed me and made me a very curt telephone operator.  Except, it was my job to answer the switchboard.  It may not have been the most glorious job in the universe, but it was mine.  And one afternoon, after an Oprah "ah ha moment" I decided to just sit, and focus on answering the phones.

And I did.

The job was so much less frustrating. I was 100% available to the switchboard, and I was the most pleasant operator in the millwork business.  Other than my mother, of course.

She really took the cake when it came to directing calls.

Yesterday, it was the switchboard all over again.  My kids, even though they may get quiet, are still my job.  And it's not fair for me to get preoccupied with things that can wait until they are at school or happily dreaming of Disney World. 

Sometimes there are issues that can't wait wait, and that's okay.  That's life.  But sometimes the issues can wait.  My babies are only young once, but the chaos of everyday life will be around forever.

Today, I'm putting down the magazine and I'm making myself 100% available to the switchboard.  I'm going to be the most pleasant mommy in the mommy-ing business.

I promise.


1 comment:

  1. I've been struggling with this as well. I've been mentally listing the things I'm grateful for when I start to gripe about something (I.E. when I'm driving the 25 miles to school - AGAIN - I'll say, "I'm so grateful to have a vehicle to take my kids to school").

    True story: My mom worked the switchboard at JCPenney for YEARS. She would often answer the phone at home with, "Thank you for calling JCP. How may I direct your call?"


Throw in your two cents!