From Monday to Friday I am working, going to meetings, stressing, meeting deadlines, socializing with coworkers to keep my sanity, working, stressing, and so on. I usually don't make it home until an hour before our bedtime routine begins. I get one hour to feed Little Bean, play with the baby, do a little tidying, and whatever else demands immediate attention. Then its time to bathe the baby and get her ready for bed. After which, it is time to get everyone else ready for bed, including getting Little Bean bathed, into pajamas, spending some snuggle time with her, then putting her to bed; feeding the dogs, the fish, and the gerbils; getting myself showered and ready for bed; and then hopefully spending an hour or so snuggling with Hubs before its time to go to bed.
Do I make choices with my time? Absolutely. Do I feel like I always make those choices wisely? No, not always.
As a working mom, there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done that needs to be. My house constantly look like a tornado named after Little Bean tore through it. Most days I choose to spend time with my hard-won babies instead of cleaning, putting the latter off until the weekend. My kitchen always has dishes in the sink. I constantly have dog fur tumble weeds hiding near baseboards and under furniture. There is a layer of dust on almost all surfaces. My carpets could stand to be vacuumed twice a week, instead of one. But I try to make my kids a priority. It doesn't always work that way because sometimes the mess stresses me out so much, I can't stand another minute looking at the chaos. So, some days I clean at the expense of being with my kids.
When my children need to go to the doctor, I have to take them during a workday. Same thing if I have to go to the doctor, or the dogs have to go to the vet. I have to schedule my home life around meetings and workloads. When my children are sick, I get to work from home.
On my weekends I get two days a week to play catchup. Two days to:
- Clean the house (no small task)
- Vacuum the entire house
- Really good and clean the kitchen
- Do 4+ loads of laundry, fold it, and put it away
- Wash the fountain dog water dish
- Clean the gerbil cage
- Clean the fish tank (yes, this needs to be done weekly)
- Grocery shop, which usually includes going to 3+ stores
- Put gas in the car
The problem is, by the time the weekend rolls around, I am so exhausted that when I wake up on Saturday mornings all I want to do is climb back into bed. I usually try to drag myself around the house to clean, or go out to the store to get some weekly shopping in. My thought process is usually wondering what I can push off to a night during the week, knowing full well that if I don't do it on the weekend, it won't get done. Most Saturdays I make the choice to take a much needed nap. My weeks are long, stressful, and draining. I just can't muster the energy to catch up around the house.
I was raised Christian, and as such, that Sundays were meant to be a day of rest. I try very hard to not go out on Sundays, but some weeks I am so behind I have to go out and do our weekly grocery shopping, or mow the lawn, or finish cleaning the house. As a working mom, I don't get much of a break. I have to do everything stay-at-moms do in a couple hours during the week, or on my weekends.
Is my working a choice? Yes and no. I enjoy working. I wish that I could work part time to find a better balance between work and family, but my job is full-time. I love what I do and where I work and the people I work with.
I do the best I can for my children. I try to give them everything I can to make sure they grow up well-adjusted, knowing they were loved, and that their mom did the best she could by them. We put them in the best schools and in the most loving, caring hands for daycare. They don't want for much.
All I ask for at the end of the day is to be appreciated and to have my efforts recognized. I am asking to be respected for what I do; everything that I do. I am not asking for a pity party, and I sure as hell am not asking to be judged. I always tell my family I am amazing, but I'm not so amazing that I can do everything all at once. Sometimes my house is a disaster. Sometimes I shop on Sunday. Sometimes I drink caffeine to keep me going. But dammit, I am doing the best I can.
I am a working mother.