Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Being a Working Mom

There are a thousand things I should be doing right now, but I'm choosing to write.

As I said in my New Years News, I started back to work in January. It's been pretty tough. I have a great support system, but I can totally see how people burn out, why they leave their families, go postal on their kids, etc. I don't think I'm in danger of those extremes, but I have WAY more understanding. My brain is still blown by the single mom. I just can't figure out how she does it.

My current schedule is working three, long days in the office and spending two days at home per work week. I also try to get in some work hours from home when I can.

Here's some scattered debrief of my first 2.5 months of working and mom-ing.

Pros and Cons

Working outside the home is hard because:
  • I wake up in the morning and feed Daisy first thing. Then I get ready while she gets into things. 
  • I get in the car at 5:30pm, and my first thought is, "What has to get done at home?" Groceries, dinner, cleaning, laundry, feeding baby, paying bills, and other home maintenance.  
  • I get in the door at 6:00pm and attend to Daisy until 6:30-8:00 (depending on her compliance). 
  • I'm exhausted by 9:00pm, but stay up until 11:00pm, because that's precious "me time" or time with Zane.  
  • The days that I'm home are often filled with chores. 
  • There is very little time for anything other than work and home. 

Working outside the home is great because:
  • When I'm with Daisy, it's extra special. I treasure the time I get with her. I love my days home with her when we can stay in pajamas until noon. 
  • Daisy is super excited to see me at the end of the day. 
  • We're fortunate to have two trustworthy, loving grandmas available for child care, so I'm never worried about Daisy during the day. She gets time with her grandmas, and they get time with her. 
  • Zane is proactive about meal preparation, help with chores, and giving me time to rest. 
  • I love my job. I get to spend long days with people I enjoy. I feel productive and accomplished. I get to provide for my family, while contributing to something bigger than myself. 

Something's Gotta Give

There are things that I just had to give up on: 
  • Socializing. I still see people, but it's much less frequent. My days at home are precious and few, and I usually need them for rest, appointments, or chores. I see friends at work and church, but rarely in between those times. 
  • Cleaning. It's all I can do to vacuum and keep the bathrooms clean. I'm always behind on cleaning. My house is a giant dust bunny, and my floors haven't been mopped since 2011. 
  • Extra Time. I used to spend time in deep thought, journaling, reading, and crafting. I have a few nap times a week when I can do one of those things for a limited amount of time. 
  • Acting is on the back burner until my kids are close to or out of the house completely. 
  • Sleep. I don't remember what it was like to sleep until 8:30am.  

That's Just The Way It Is

God is providing. Working is hard, but being a stay at home mom isn't paradise (although those first six months at home with Daisy were pretty awesome). My life looks a lot different than I thought it would, but I have a great job where I can actually enjoy bringing home the bacon for a little while. 

I'm also stretched thin. I'm edgy and anxious. Sometimes I feel like "nobody gets me." My friend recently shared this article with me that I found extremely encouraging.

Life comes in seasons. They're all good, and they're all tough. I definitely don't want this to sound like complaining as much as I want it to be a "this is me" post. This is our life right now. It's a busy and wonderful season.
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