I’ve just had two weeks of faculty orientation activities and I am so tired I can’t see straight. Between the introductions and receptions and workshops on balancing scholarship and pedagogy, I have had little time to chip away at these little things known as syllabi. Classes start next week. I had a plan to get everything done. It has not been altogether successful. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love all the orienting I have had the luxury of enjoying lately – it’s just the balancing thing already seems to be getting the best of me. The only quiet time I find to work are these late nights after my son is asleep and all the day’s activities are at an end. But by this time I am so spent I don’t know how to muster the energy to work. Or at least work effectively (the opposite of checking email and then staring at words on a computer screen blankly for half and hour.) How have these working mothers of the past managed? Did they hire nannies through out their children’s toddler/preschool years? Did they just let some things go, like say…tenure? Did they do speed? Luckily I don’t think my colleagues have caught on to my exhausted state. “I don’t know how you manage to look so fresh with all these workshops and a little 3 year old running around at home” say these new co-workers. I look at them and smile, under a veneer of cleverly applied concealer hiding my circles. Little do they know how haphazard and chaotic my life is right now. Little do they know that my phone isn’t turned off – it’s missing in my child’s room somewhere. Little do they know that the only way I found the reception was to stalk unsuspecting faculty looking people to watch where they were headed. Little do they know that the very skirt they are complimenting me on is the same one my son peed on this morning as we fought over how big boys can pee in the potty if they just try hard enough. Oh if they could only see me debating the finer points of today’s daycare adventure with my disagreeable toddler as I stood in my underwear blow drying my just-washed-with-dish-detergent-skirt. No. Luckily they can’t see behind the curtain and thank goodness. That would wreck the whole glamour of the single mom/professor magic act. I am hoping with enough practice, I might be able to conjure a little more time during the day to get things done. Till then, what do they always say? Fake it till you make it. Everything is under control. Everything that can be controlled at any rate….