Mind Vomit: Working Mom Edition

{This post was started in May and never published, so we are long back from vacation.  But most of it still applies.}

I find myself in a rut.  I’m still kind of spinning my wheels.  I’m clawing my way out of a hole at work, trying desperately to get caught back up.  I think I’ll be there by the end of the week.  I hope.

The post-vacation doldrums are really setting in this week.  I know in another week or so we will be adjusted back to normal life, but it’s so strange coming back from a wonderful week at Disney World and jumping right into the routine.  It’s hard to go from being with my kids and my husband all day for 10 days straight to seeing them awake for only four hours a day.  I miss them.  I’m not saying I want to be a stay-at-home mom or anything, but I don’t get to see my boys that much during the day because I have an hour-long commute on top of my 9-hour work day, and we all need to sleep, so I really try to soak up the time I do get to spend with them.

Though I do remember getting really frustrated last week with my 3-year old’s sassy mouth after about 3 days, and the endless whining that comes with that age, and having to carry around 22 pounds of baby because OMG HOLD ME MOMMY!  And being a human pacifier to said teething baby.  That I can do without.  I think at one point I told my husband that I was ready to go back to work so I could get some peace and quiet.

Honestly, I don’t really think I would be a great stay-at-home mom.  I don’t have the temperament for it.  And I’m glad I don’t have the temperament for it, because that would make having to work hard on me.  Once upon a time, I chose to continue to work instead of staying at home.  I enjoyed my job, I enjoyed the adult interaction, and I enjoyed the extra money.  Then life happened, and I am doubly glad I didn’t decide to stay at home because now we need my income and outrageously good benefits for our family to thrive.

But at the same time, while I love my job, I struggle with finding time for me.  I feel like I don’t have time to exercise because it takes away from the little amount of time I have with my children.  Cooking more elaborate dinners is out except for the weekends when I actually have time to do so.  I feel like I have to cut corners in other areas of my life to spend as much time with my children as I can, since I spend most of the week at work with people who are NOT my children.

What would be perfect, I think, is a better work-life balance.  I know that’s the buzzword for working moms these days, but it’s true.  I do love my job.  I enjoy my work, I get along with my coworkers extremely well, I feel like I am a respected and valuable member of this team.  But I long for the day I can drop my kids off at school, work until 2:30 or 3pm, and then go pick my kids up from school and spend the rest of the day with them.  That is my ideal scenario and one that we are theoretically working toward as a family.  Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that this is a goal for the long term and that hopefully we will get there one day.

In the here and now, I’m happy to have an employer who is understanding and flexible about family issues.  If I need to be out to take care of a sick kid or because the school is closed, it’s okay.  I can bring my kids to the office if we have an unusual situation, and I have done that a few times with no issues whatsoever. I do realize how lucky I am to work in a place that is family-oriented and realizes that I want to spend as much time with mine as possible.

Maybe it’s because my kids go to bed early right now.  Maybe as they get older and bedtime gets pushed back little by little I’ll feel more okay with it.  But then this time will be over.  This wonderful time with a 3-year old and an 11-month old.  My babies will soon be kids.  I just feel like I get so little time with them each day.  I’m off to work as they head out to daycare, and the rest of the family is usually home before me.  I get roughly two hours a day with my boys before it’s time for bath and bed, to start the whole process again the next day.  And it’s just not enough.

It’s just not enough.

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