While I was never a Minolo Blahnik wearing stylista in the city, back in the days of freedom, I used to love to throw on some heels and a chic (or so I’d thought) ensemble. My friends and I would get together, at a local bar. We’d drink cocktails and dance the night away, in a circle, like a ring of shoe and purse worshipers.

On lazy summer days, the girls and I would just chill out up on rooftops, drinking beer. We’d talk about guys, sex, and the meaning of life. We’d confide in each other about the trials and tribulations of our own, self-absorbed, twenty-something lives.

We had some serious time on our hands….

I do love reminiscing about those days when we were trying to figure it all out, dreaming about what the future might hold, laughing at the unexpected. Those were the philosophical days of freedom. The world was our oyster, as they say, and our futures were like blank canvases waiting to be filled.

I am grateful for my memories of the freedom days.

These days, in the future, there isn’t much time to chill out or to analyze the meaning of life. With one ever so industrious husband and three little ladies (one dreamer, one future engineer and one precocious rebel) I’m pretty much absorbed in a boisterous blur of life. I guess you could say that I’m busy filling up that blank canvas. And, the fact is, I am by no means, the sole artist of this current piece.  I’m more like the dedicated Personal Assistant to the feature artists. I’m there, behind the scenes, in the guise of a calm, organized person, whose role is to make sure everyone has what they need.

Yes, I’m a PA and a fulfiller of needs. I’m also a teacher, a therapist, a song-maker and, occasionally, a cocktail-shaker. I’m a mom: a provider of hugs, a maker of many meals and the keeper of all things material and non.  I am both a tyrant and a safe haven, and within these roles I am in constant pursuit of balance.

Less wonder, more substance, this is how I contrast my thirties with my twenties. I am fully immersed in all things relating to the kids and my husband, our home, and our life. These are not the freedom years. They’re more like the whirlwind years, and I’m an uncertain juggler in the middle of it all.

And now, even more than ever, I’m grateful for my girlfriends– my fellow jugglers.

Together, when we get the chance, we sip coffee, tea, wine or cocktails (in our comfy clothes often and occasionally our heels).  We share in the trials and tribulations of our child-absorbed lives. We talk about our men, current and past. We discuss our roles in this great big world and within the little bubbles that we create. We confess to each other. We make each other feel normal and then (after a deep cleansing breath) we head back, exonerated, into the whirlwind.

Originally published at Martinis and Motherhood.

Shannon Day is a suburban mom with three fab little ladies: one creative dreamer, one future engineer, and one precocious rebel. She lives in the Toronto area of Ontario, Canada with her littles and her, slightly overbearing and totally gorgeous, British husband. You can find her over at Martinis and Motherhood.