One Head, Many Hats!
Have you ever wondered how many hats one person can wear in a day? 500 to be exact, or so says Dr Seuss in ‘The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins’. It’s about a peasant boy who has a simple hat on his head, and when the King passes, he’s expected to remove his hat, but no matter how he tries, there’s always another one in its place. The taking on and off of hats never seems to end. Sound familiar?
Most days I look in the mirror and see Bartholomew Cubbins staring right back at me, hats and all. Ok, maybe not 500 hats, but it certainly feels like a dozen all-consuming ones with their brims way down over my eyes. Peeking out from underneath, I can see my day flash before me...
7am: I roll out of bed and don my Chef’s Hat to make my daughter Milo and eggs.
7.30am: I exchange my Chef’s Hat for my Personal Assistant Hat which fires questions like” Have you got your homework, lunch box, sports clothes, permission notes?”
8.30am: My mobile rings. It’s a client. I rip PA Hat off and throw on my Consultant’s Hat. It sits high and proud until it’s knocked off at 12pm when my “it’ll only take 4 days” roofer turns up at my door.
12pm: Grab ‘Ms Fix-it All’ Hard Hat. Roofer justifying why he’s now my ‘4 months, not 4 days’ roofer.
12.05pm: Reach for my Negotiation Hat (otherwise known as my ‘Pissed Off ‘Hat).Throw down the gauntlet and also my Negotiation Hat as I hear my mobile ring.
12.06pm: Client again. Shut door in 4-month -roofer’s face and lunge for my Consultant’s Hat. Hat high back on my head, albeit a little crooked from the dent the roofer made.
3.05pm: My mobile beeps. Daughter on the way home from school. Put Consultant Hat to the side and put my Fitness Queen cap on while I walk up the street. Meet daughter at bus stop but as I hug her, my Fitness Queen cap melts away into the softest , fluffiest “I’m a Mother’ Hat that now sits on my head .This, however, is short lived.
3.20pm: Home again and my hat seems to change with every moment. My Counsellor’s Hat pops on as soon as I ask “how was your day?’. It’s instantly replaced with my Chef’s Hat while I chop the veggies, but my Counsellor’s Hat comes back intermittently as my daughter talks and I cook.
3.35pm: My mother calls. My Child Hat appears and fights for space between the Chef Hat and my Counsellor Hat. I realise I can’t wear three hats at once and decide to call my mother back tomorrow.
4pm: Client yet again. Consultant Hat back in place like a familiar friend. In the corner of my eyes, I can see my soft, fluffy ‘I’m a Mother’ Hat waiting, but there is still so much to do before I can wear it again.
6pm: My Cleaner’s Hat flies in, knocking everything else off my head. There’s diner to be served, the laundry to be done, the dishes packed away, the clothes put in the cupboards...
8pm: Bedtime for my daughter. For the first time today, I slowly and deliberately chose a hat. I remove the Cleaner’s hat and put it in the corner where I’ll know it will be waiting tomorrow. And ever so tenderly, I reach for my much loved ‘I’m a Mother’ Hat, the one that also deeply warms my heart. I proudly place it on my head. It sits securely. Hand in hand I walk my daughter to her bedroom where, with the hat sitting higher than any, more beautiful than all, I tuck her into bed and kiss her goodnight. While all the other hats fit and I know I have to wear them, none feels so right as this one. It’s the hat I love the most. I wear it to bed. It helps me sleep. This hat is my crowning glory.
I wear all the other hats because I have to. I wear this last one because I love to.