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Family Matters Blog: Blogger Describes ‘Mom Shift’

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2011 – I’d like to welcome guest blogger Navy Lt. Tiffani Walker. In this blog, Walker writes about the “Mom shift” she works after a full day on active day, and expresses her gratitude for the service members who put their lives on the line to keep families like hers safe.

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Navy Lt. Tiffani Walker and her daughter rush to embrace. Courtesy photo
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

By Navy Lt. Tiffani Walker

Defense Media Activity

I work the “Mom shift” after I finish my day job as a Navy lieutenant on active duty.

It is that time of night when I have heard that other people watch their favorite show and catch up with their spouse. Some people may even read or even get to bed early. But I pull another shift at the factory where I make school lunches, wash bottles, sign homework and ensure the house is picked up enough to not cause injury or infection to my beautiful kids.

The Mom shift is that time of night when single and sometimes-single-due-to-orders moms like me take care of all of the things that need to be done just to make it to the next day.

I find that this time of night is the most reflective for me. I put the kids to bed and do menial tasks that don’t take much brainpower to do. It opens up my mind for a million other things that I don’t have time for throughout the day.

I make my lists of groceries, chores, to-do’s and wishes. I think about how much I miss my handsome husband and wonder when the day will come that we live in the same house again -- not just for a visit, but for good. I wonder if I can clone myself so I can find time to take naps and work to get rid of the “baby weight.”

And to be completely honest, I also internally whine about a number of things, such as why, when I am here alone with two kids, the sewage pipe had to back up in the basement and I had clean it up. And about why I have to go it alone as the plumber, mover, financial advisor, housekeeper and pediatrician … Why? Why? Why?

And then I remember. My kids are safe in their beds, warm and happy and it wasn’t entirely my doing. I didn’t go it alone tonight or any other night. I had help from strangers -- people who don’t know those two sleeping kids or me.

There are men and women around the world from our country and so many others who are flying, fighting, patrolling, diving, standing a watch, manning a rail and holding the line. It’s a line in the sand drawn in dirt, the air and the ocean that keeps children like mine safe in their beds.

I am grateful for the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that stand afar while I tuck my sweet children in at night.

Thank you all from one grateful mom.

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