THE BLOG

Pause to Find your Pause: A Tired Working Momma's Transition to Just Mom

10/22/2013 02:19 pm ET | Updated Dec 22, 2013

I told you about the little guy across the street who hasn't started school yet.

How in the afternoon, he comes outside to wait for the bus. Sometimes for an entire hour. How he sits and waits.

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How he waits patiently with wondrous anticipation for the big yellow school bus to bring some of his favorite people home. How he holds that space for them. Sitting on the hill. Playing in the grass. Watching the bugs. Soaking up the sun. How he doesn't miss a thing.

How when he hears the loud mufflers of that yellow bus come up over the hill and down around the corner, he jumps up and squeals for them and runs to meet and greet them. How he can't wait to hear about their day. How's he's been looking forward to their arrival all day.

How he held this space for them.

This space in his day. This space in his life. This space in his attention and excitement.

Remember?

Well, this is what happens next:

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These two...

These two pause to talk to each other from the safety of their yards, yelling across the neighborhood street.

In the cutest 4-year-old voice, he always asks, "How was your day?" And unlike many of us, I think he really, really listens to the answer.

X sits down in his driveway and, one by one, pulls out artifacts from his day at school.

X holds up papers of numbers he added, letters he wrote, books he authored and pictures he drew and colored.

While his friend jumps up and down and paces back and forth, genuinely excited to hear about his buddy X's school day.

Life is busy. Even when you are 4 and 5. They are always off to the next adventure. Ready for the next game. On to the next toy.

But in their own way, this is how they catch up with each other.

They've been apart all day and inevitably this scene is followed quickly by, "Can he come over to play? Can I go over to his house to play?"

But until that happens, they pause. They take the time to reconnect and catch up.

They hit the pause button. Before they hit play.

Y, on the hand, and as per usual, is completely different.

When she comes home, she turns into a pause button. An exhausted, slightly grumpy, very hungry pause button on the couch.

She needs -- no, craves -- some downtime.

She needs a snack. She needs some quiet. She needs some zone-out time on the couch or in her room.

She has to pause to reconnect with herself. She needs to just catch up with her own thoughts.

She pours so much into her day, her friends, her work, pleasing her teachers, keeping up with everyone and everything.

She needs... pause.

Before she can reconnect and catch up with others. Before she comes asking to call this friend or ride her bike to that friend's house.

She has to pause to find her pause button. Before she hits play.

Dear Tired Working Mommas: Transitions are hard sometimes. Coming home from school or work.

Really trying to leave work when we leave work.

Taking off our work costumes, like Superman, to reveal the true superhero Momma on the inside.

Even Superman had to pause to find a phone booth to change in.

Dear Tired Working Mommas: What if we all did that?

What if we all stopped, paused, for a few minutes and took some time to reconnect?

Hit the pause button on life as we come through the door.

Whatever our pause button looks like. If we just pause and take what we need, before we hit play again.

It might look like X's pause button: Talk. Share. Show. Vent. Connect. Reconnect. Catch up. Ask. Listen.

Or maybe it looks like Y's pause button: Hide. Sit. Still. Quiet. Change. Recharge. Be.

Either way, if we pause to find our pause in our transitions home, I think we might find it refreshing.

Hit the pause button on dinner and clutter. Hit the pause button on practice and homework. Hit the pause button on all that is... next.

And really focus on reconnecting. Really focus on catching up.

If we pause to find our pause in our transitions home, I think we might find it invigorating.

Hit the pause button on the venting. Hit the pause button on the rushing. Hit the pause button on the nagging or reminding.

If we pause to find our pause in our transitions home, I think we might find it more peaceful.

Dear Tired Working Mommas:

Transitioning from work or school to home can be hard sometimes. Taking off one hat, one suit, one job to swap with another hat, or suit, or job seems easy.

But it is hard sometimes.

Maybe we need to hit the pause button more.

Whatever our pause button looks like, let's find it. Take it. Use it.

If it is a few minutes in the car in the driveway, finishing listening to that song, before anyone notices that you are home.

If it is a quick trip up the stairs to take off the skirt and heels to trade for the sweats and sneakers.

If it is a hug and a kiss with our partner or a minute to sit on the couch with the grumpy-ish Y.

Whatever it is.

Dear Tired Working Mommas: Pause to find your pause.

Transitions are hard sometimes. Leaving work when we leave work is easier said than done some days.

So, look for your phone booth. Make the change.

Pause to find your pause button.

Before you hit play again.

Let's all go do that.

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Today's Challenge: Pause to find your pause button.

What do you need when you need to transition?

Do you need quiet? Do you need interaction?

Do you need music or a time to sit with a book?

What does your pause button look like?

What's in your phone booth that helps you change from one activity to another?

Draw your own pause button. Create a description of what you need to recharge, refresh, reprogram.

Get out your colored pencils and crayons and visualize what pause means to you.

Then use it. Hit the pause button. Create that space for yourself in real life.

Hit the pause button. Before you hit play again.