From Plants to Ramps by Robin Gorman Newman

What does a day in the life of a “later” mom look like? Depends on the day of the week, but of late in particular, it’s jam-packed and not altogether fun.

I feel like a chicken without a head. (A fitting expression.…but where did it come from?!) Jumping from one task to the next, many of which are unrelated, it’s a wonder I can track everything. Thankfully, I excel at preparing copious TO DO lists…though in my effort to be organized, sometimes it feels overwhelming. My notes are handwritten. Not in my Blackberry. For me, there is something to be said for the tangibility of paper, even if it involves sporting around a clunky hard covered date book. No way I can be confused with a techie, but it works for me.

That said, one of my fellow “later” mom friends called me last week to touch base. She asked how my day was going.

I told her I was involved with plants and ramps. What? she asked.

It was a true representation of my sandwich generation life.

Though I’m not much of a PTA baby, I decided to join the Plant Sale committee. It is the biggest fundraiser for my son’s elementary school (who knew?!), and despite my not having a particularly green thumb, somehow it called out to me. An email was sent by the committee head to those who expressed interest in serving. There were about 15 names on the list. An initial meeting was planned, and it wound up being just three of us. I was surprised by the lack of present bodies. I was looking forward to a meeting where ideas would be shared. This turned out to be a session reviewing the plant catalog and deciding upon which planters to order. (Are you yawning yet?!) The committee head had already made the decisions for the most part, and was looking for confirmation re: her choices. The next meeting (don’t get too excited) will be when the actual plant selection is done. And, I’ll be volunteering at the sale itself in May.

Re: the ramp portion of my day. My father recently suffered a stroke and has been in rehab. Anticipating his return home in a couple of weeks, I’ve been conducting meetings with ramp companies to explore the preparation of his ranch house for wheelchair accessibility. In in a short period of time, I’ve learned more about ramps, lifts, etc. that I’ve ever thought necessary. Fortunately in the mix of meetings, a friend recommended a reasonably-priced contractor who proposed the most economical and what seems like the most feasible approach, so I’m grateful to have a direction that feels right.

It’s no surprise that there are nights I don’t sleep well…with visions of plants and ramps swirling through my mind. And, that was just for that particular week.

On any given day, I’m tackling a multitude of projects, not to mention professional pursuits. Can’t say the life of a work at home mom is boring, though choosing planters is a far cry from the career I once had in what feels like a lifetime ago….working as a public relations professional in NYC….the Vice President of a mid sized firm. (I later went on to open my own PR practice.)

I know that on the professional front there are exciting things ahead, but personally, a midlife mom’s gotta do what she’s gotta do, even if it means deliberating about wood vs. metal and hibiscus vs. herbs.

What do you have on your personal plate that isn’t as exciting as you wish? Do share…..