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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Working is a lot of . . . work.

I returned to work this week, and by "returned" I mean I started a new job and had to go to meetings/orientations/trainings two weeks earlier than I had planned.  Somehow, over the past three months of staying home, I had forgot how exhausting it is to be a working mom.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that being a working mom is harder than being a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) or a WAHM (work-at-home-mom), it's just different.  My profession allows me to be a working mom most of the year, and a stay-at-home mom some of the year.  So, I get a glimpse into both worlds.  I would argue that they are equally difficult.  The difference lies in the difficulties.

I could probably talk for quite awhile on the difficulties of both, but for now let's just focus on working mommyhood.  Two words:  It's exhausting.  And by that I mean it is just physically tiring.  You see, I took this new job thinking it would give me a more flexible schedule, I would have more time with my son, and it would ultimately simplify my life.  Well, if by simplify I meant:  be a ton of work, force me to enroll in more graduate courses, added 30+ minutes to my daily commute, learn a new curriculum, learn an entire new educational system, attend multitudes of meetings and trainings, then this job is super simple.  In the long run, I know it will pay off, but right now, it's overwhelming and exhausting.

You see, here's the thing about me:  I need like to do a good job.  In fact, I don't understand the word mediocre.  It just doesn't register for me.  Add that to the fact that this is a job I want to keep, so I have to make a really good impression so they (hopefully) renew my contract, and well, let's just say I'm not sleeping all that well.  Did I mention the part where, about a month ago, I thought getting a puppy was a good idea?  Yeah.  I know.  You told me so.  I didn't listen.  You're right; I'm wrong.  Screw you.

So, when I'm in working mode, I feel like I'm treading water in the middle of the ocean, during a hurricane, with one leg chained to a concrete block.  And there's a shark gnawing at my arm.  I have to make a list just to remember to do things like return a phone call.  I get up early (4:45 a.m.), hoping to have fifteen minutes in the shower without the dog jumping in or Gavin interrupting.  I quickly feed myself and the dogs before I begin drying my hair, getting dressed, and fighting the "wake up, go potty, get dressed, and eat your breakfast" battle with Gavin.  Sometimes it goes well; sometimes we're late; sometimes I make a lot of threats; occasionally there are time-outs.  Okay, often there are time-outs. 

I'm in a rush to get to work.  I'm in a rush to drop off at daycare.  I teach my classes.  I eat.  I rush to pick up at daycare.  I drive home.  And guess what?  The weirdest thing .  . . dinner didn't magically appear when I walked in the door.  Strange, I know.  Also, I noticed that the clothes didn't wash and fold themselves, Arnie didn't clean the bathtub, the vacuum (which is clearly not enchanted with a spell) didn't vacuum the carpets for me.  And, the damn lawn keeps growing despite my numerous efforts to kill it.  (So, as you can see, I'm totally prioritizing by choosing blogging instead of attending to my house.  Take that, responsibility!)  To add to that, the puppy has a ridiculous amount of energy that I have to exhaust or he takes it out on my shoes. 

So, after dinner has been made, eaten, and cleaned up, there's time for 30 minutes of playing outside.  Then it's bath, books, bed (for Gavin, not me).  Time to relax?  No.  time to sit on the couch, drink a cold beer, and watch the ball game?  Ha!  Time for laundry, cleaning, bill-paying, dishes, making lunches?  Ding, ding, ding!   I'm not saying that these things don't happen when I'm a temporary SAHM (and truthfully, I'm more of a WAHM because I teach online classes during the summer); it's just that they happen every night when I'm a working mom.  Every.  Single.  Night.  It's 8:36 p.m. right now, and if I didn't have stuff to do (once I'm done writing this) I would totally consider going to bed.  (Which means that I would wake up at 2:30 a.m., and that's just silly). 

Wait?  What's that?  You're done listening to my whining now?  Okay, I'll stop.  Why isn't this super incredibly funny?  I'm too freaking tired.  But, I'm off to spray a bees' nest.  So, I'll let you know how it goes when I get stung to near-death!


3 comments:

  1. I'm exhausted just reading this! I have done it all--worked full time, stayed at home full time, and worked part-time. I'd say working part-time is the way to go. No brainer, I know. You make some money but you also have time for all your responsibilities at home. But we don't all have this choice. I am facing going back to full-time work and the thought just makes me sick to my stomach. I do not handle being OVER busy, very well. Your blog post scared me!

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  2. Good luck with the new gig. It is a HUGE amount of work to change what you are teaching/school districts, and also a never-ending quest for improving/doing it well. I have done it four times so I feel your pain! When I got engaged I actually ended up quitting one teaching job - without another secured - because I knew I wouldn't be able to just get by at the job I was currently in - and needed to do something to reduce the after hours workload. So kudos to you for doing it all - while being a mom!

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  3. Gosh I just read another blog post about a working mom (she's in marketing) and your day sounds so similar! I admire you ladies, I don't know how you do it!!! Kudos to you for doing it all!

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