Thursday, February 16, 2012

Juggling Act

I had a few hours of downtime today so I chose to rent myself a movie and relax on the couch while Sweet Pea napped upstairs.
This may be the last time for awhile that I have a few solid hours of nothing-ness so I wanted to take full advantage of the time.
I rented "I Don't Know How She Does It"  and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I know it wasn't critically acclaimed and all that but to me, a working mom, it made total sense.
There were so many moments in the movie that I could personally relate to and it brought a lot of unspoken feelings to light.
There is always that sense of letting someone down when you work full time and have a family.
Men just simply don't have the same kind of guilt that women do.
I was trying to explain it to my husband when he got home and I think he understood, to a certain extent.
It's all a juggling act.
One that I can honestly say I've struggled with over the years.
I've made some very tough decisions since becoming a mother 10 years ago.
Not working for 2 years , then coming back to the work force and playing catch up.
Letting my baby live with her father during the week while we were broken up so that I could focus solely on her on the weekends.
Feeling like I missed milestones because I wasn't home to put her to bed every night.
Then making the random decision to quit working, go to school full time and be a SAHM (sort of)
Being able to be a "room mom" and struggling to make ends meet financially.
Loving being home with her but wrestling with my identity as a "woman of the world" at the same time.
Wanting her to see me as more than 'just her mom who stays at home' but still wanting her to understand how important that is as well.
I've spent the last 7+ years in a state of conflict.
So yes, I could totally identify with Kate.
She LOVED her job and was quite good at it.
She also was completely devoted to her family and that was just as important.
Juggling the two became a full time job in and of itself and somehow someway, a few things fell through the cracks.
I think we've all been there. 
Grabbing treats at the last minute because we forgot about the class party/ bake sale, running out of work as soon as possible because we promised we'd make it home in time for baths and stories.
There are so many ways we feel like we are failing in some area that it's a wonder we can maintain any level of sanity at all.
That's one of the reasons I was put on early maternity leave - I was failing at all things miserably and panicking about it all.
It was no bueno.
But I guess I was putting up a good front because I would often hear "I don't know how you do it" from co-workers and friends after sharing about the dinner I made, the craft Sweet Pea and I worked on or the crazy work day I'd had.
I would simply shake my head and say "me either. We just make it work"
And we did. Somehow.
It wasn't perfect and there were days when I realized I had no plan for dinner and had to pull a rabbit out of my hat, or that I'd forgotten to take care of birthday gift for one of Sweet Pea's friends.
Or even days when I didn't have the energy to sit with my husband at the end of the night and ask about his day. 
Catch up on his life and see how WE were doing.
But we muddled through.
I'm not sure what will do once my maternity leave is up and I am scheduled to go back to work.
I know we could use the added income.
Babe hasn't conquered the whole of Business Banking just yet.
How will we manage with a newborn and a 10 year-old?
I don't have a clue
I do know that I'm going to savor the moments that I am at home and enjoy the days when my Sweet Pea wants to spend time with me.
For all too soon she will be an ornery teenager with much better things to do than craft with her mom.
She had to do a free writing exercise at school and hers was simply titled My Mom
****
The reason I am writing about my mom is because she is amazing.
My mom is very nice and when I need help with something she'll help me.
Whenever she bakes she lets me taste the batter.
Also, when she makes a craft she asks me to help her.
This is why my mom is my hero and the best mom ever.
******
She got an A.
Of course I cried when I read it.
It really hit me right then, she sees what I'm doing and she appreciates it.
And that makes it all worthwhile.

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