The Big Bang Theory filming season starts this week and I am thrilled to be starting my second full season with this fantastically quirky and immensely beloved show. This is my first season as a “regular” and although I don’t work every week, this will be an interesting and somewhat challenging time for our family. My husband stays home with our homeschooled almost 6- and almost 3-year-old sons and Mama going back to work is big news in this house.
Here’s the range of thoughts I am currently experiencing:
1. Starting work again after a hiatus is always exciting. We have no clue what our writers have in store for us, two of our lead actors (Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki) are nominated for Best Actor Emmys , our show is nominated for the first time as Outstanding Comedy, and I love working with my castmates, especially my buddy on set, Melissa Rauch.
2. Leaving my boys after a full summer makes me wonder what rhythms will emerge without me by their side. As they get older, I thought leaving to go to work would be easier. After all, they are more cognitive, more reasonable, and more practical, I reasoned. They understand that Mama works to make money for the things we need and the things we want and they are happy and content with their father and our wonderful homeschool community. However, older also means more expressive: “Mama, don’t go to work.” Older means more explicit: “Mama, I miss you when you are gone.” And older means more passionate: “Mama, I am angry when you leave.”
3. Being at work means “alone” time sitting in a small dressing room with a phone, a laptop, and my thoughts. I will likely get a lot of writing done–my book is done, so maybe I should start a new one with all of my spare time!?–meaning a lot more blogs being written, I will have time to study with my chevrusa (study partner) at a time other than in the wee hours of night since I will have flexibility to talk to her from work, I will have the ability to take advantage of all of the amazing fresh fruit on set and thus can do a raw cleanse (yay!), and I will also have a lot of time on the internet to research homeschool stuff for our boys.
4. My time is not my own anymore. The time I get home is determined by people I respect and admire, who don’t know how well I can cut a potato into french fry-like strips. My schedule revolves around the show business machine of comedy, which knows not the machine of a household. And my life is one of a shift that working parents everywhere know well.
5. I know my job may not look anything like yours, but the tension I feel is the same as yours, I promise you: to be pulled in these different directions is a mighty pull, and to love not only your children, but also your choices is a love I am grateful and working hard to navigate.