Some people talk about wearing many hats when it comes to juggling various duties. I've always seen it as wearing different types of glasses.

Some people talk about wearing many hats when it comes to juggling various duties. I've always seen it as wearing different types of glasses.

As a working mother and wife with a first-grader, I have to be able to see the world according to the role I'm in at any given moment. At this particular time (one in the morning), and for the past 10 months, I have been trying to see through your eyes. I'm making an educated guess as to what you might need or want from me; from my writing. These are my trifocal journalist glasses, perched on the tip of my nose. I occasionally peer over them because I'm allowed to have opinions.

Earlier this evening, I wore my housewife glasses, whilst doing laundry and making pork chops for my six-year-old son, Ethan, and my husband, Will. These are thick coke-bottle glasses, making house-keeping like walking through a fog.

After dinner, I put my Mom glasses on overtop of the coke bottle pair, for Ethan's bath, book, bedtime routine. The Mom glasses are large, pink plastic, 1970s frames, which hold rose-colored lenses. They tinge my view with optimism, and a soft fuzziness caused by the coke bottle glasses.

Nearly three years ago, my John-Lennon-style wife glasses broke beyond repair, as my first marriage fell apart. I have since found a new pair of wife glasses, which I wear when I am with Will. These are comfortable and clear, cat eye frames, customized to fit. When worn with other glasses, they can feel a little too tight.

For 12 years, I wore high-school-art-teacher, aviator-style sunglasses. They cut down the glare, allowing me to navigate through the days, even though there was usually too much coming at me. This pair is intact, resting in a drawer for now. I haven't decided yet if I will teach again. If I wore other glasses with this pair, I could barely see to function.

Things get especially tough as a working mom, when I have too many pairs of glasses on at once. This makes it hard to focus on anything at all. I might have somewhere I need to be for work, but my son is home from school with a fever. Meanwhile, I'm also packing two-weeks-worth of food for my husband, a Soldier, preparing to go into the field. The dog needs a vet visit and there's a mountain of laundry. The dust bunnies, alone, can give me nightmares, but they are last on my list of priorities. Sleeping, eating, and showering somehow happen in between everything else.

I have tried the stay-at-home-mom thing. It lasted for three months. I gradually became a sluggish lump on the couch, wearing glasses which were taped together at both hinges and in the middle. I sat on them one day, and was too listless to go out for a new pair, hence the tape. I usually wore these on top of Mom, wife, and housekeeping glasses.

I know now that I need forced routine and intellectual stimulation constantly. I don't feel satisfied or fulfilled unless I have a strong sense of purpose in many different realms of my life.

Being a working mom is not an act of martyrdom. I don't want pity. I may forget what I was saying in the middle of a sentence, because I'm like a computer with too many windows open, but I can live with this because I am happy to accomplish as much as I can, while maintaining sanity.

I am a mom-Army wife-journalist-daughter-colleague-friend-acquaintence-cook-housekeeper-laundress-dog whisperer, also known as a working mom. There are days when I can barely see, as the glasses pile up, but I've gotten better at wearing just one or two pairs at a time. The juggling of roles efficiently and with intention, is what it takes for me to be a working mother.