I got out of work late on Friday night, but that’s nothing new. Late nights and early mornings have been the hallmark of my career. Always being available to my guests was a way to keep busy and make sure I met everyone’s needs always. It was a habit formed of necessity when I started out doing hair during the peak, or slump depending on how you see it, of the recession.
Things are different now. A 8am start time means a 5:45 departure time from my house. Bags of salon supplies, endless baby gear, pump odds and ends, and outfits for all involved parties all start getting staged by the door days in advance. Milk ounces have to be accounted for, car entertainment has to be lined up, and snacks, our latest addition, should be bagged and ready to rumble. It’s the only way we are getting out of the door on time and without a meltdown.
It’s a lot of work for one day a week of work but it is still such a privilege. I often get asked why I would maintain a work schedule 90 miles from where I live and with a car screaming baby to boot. It seems unfathomable that the stress or money would be worth the hassle but it still is, I still love what I do and who I do it with.
There is so much happiness in seeing the people I love so consistently. There is joy in knowing that my Lucie gets to see my family on a regular basis, I am forever thankful for the time they get to spend together. There is comfort in maintaining my skills, in staying at least marginally relevant. It is the day out of the week that I catch up with my friends, that I maintain contact with the outside world, that I hustle around until my legs fall off. Busy as they are, they are still good days.
It is strange when I lock the salon doors late at night. I walk out into the same streets I have worked on for nearly a decade now, a downtown that I know and love dearly. These days I have traded my after work dinners for nursing my Lu and making long drives home but it is worth every minute of it. The salon is no longer the place that stretches who I am the most, it is no longer where I measure my successes and failures. It is still my job but it is less of my heart, less of my identity. Staying home to care for Lucie has it’s own skill set to master. I am working on becoming a better wife and mom every day that we spend together. I I am trying to find balance between the mom that works, the mom that plays, and the mom that makes sure her daughter knows how deeply loved she is by God and her family.
The chaos is worth the tradeoff for now, late nights and long drives included.