Every morning, I get up and get ready for work. I iron my clothes, put on make-up and take a few minutes to style my hair. And, every morning, a scene plays out in my living room.

 It starts simply enough, “Kisses! Mama’s got to go to work!”


My children run to me, arms outstretched. They pull on my clothes to get closer to my face where they cover me with jam kisses. They nuzzle their little heads onto my clean shirt, wiping their noses across my stomach. I bend down so they can wrap their arms around my neck, pulling my hair free.


I pry myself away and try to straighten my clothing, “Have great days!”


“Huzz! Huzz!” My youngest races back for more.


“Okay. But just one.” I lean down and hug her little body, kissing the sweet smelling curls bouncing on top her head.


“Me too!” My oldest jumps on me. I stagger in my heels and fall to one knee. I hug him and kiss him and then stand up again.


“Okay! I really got to go!”


“Huzz! Huzz!”


“One more, baby. But mommy has to go to work.” Second verse, same as the first.


Finally, I pull myself free from their clinging hands and race out the door fifteen minutes late. My hair is straggling around my shoulders. My face is sticky with jam. My clothes are wrinkled, hanging awkwardly and covered with dog hair, smears of snot and peanut butter. I say a little prayer of thanks that my boss understands when I arrive late and that I don’t wear lipstick. Who knows where that would have ended up.


I sigh and resign myself to the fact that I’ll never go to work looking like a professional. Not as long as I have two little ones yelling for “huzz” and kisses.


I think it’s a fair trade.