March 17, 2016

The Failing Schedule of a Working Mom


It's been a hot minute since we've dropped in here. I guess it is a lot harder to balance this whole "working mom" thing than I thought. 

I went back to work in January. Holland has been staying during the day with her great-grandparents. Adam's grandparents picked up their lives and moved to Little Rock for three months to keep her so that she would not have to go to daycare until April. Well, April is quickly approaching and our sweet Holland is already five months old and I'm over here still struggling to adapt to life as a full-time working mom. 
Here's what a typical day in my life looks life now:

6:00 am - Wake up
6:15-6:30 am - Feed Holland
6:45 am- Dress Holland and pack her stuff
7:00 am- Great-grandparents pick up Holland
7:00-8:00 am- Eat breakfast; get ready for work
8:00-8:30 am- Commute to work
8:30-4:30 pm - Work
4:30-5:30 pm- Drive to pick up Holland
5:30-5:45 pm - Drive home with Holland
5:45-6:45 pm - Eat dinner/play with Holland
6:45-7:00 pm - Holland's bedtime
7:00-7:30 pm- Feed Holland/Rock her to sleep
7:30-9:30 pm- Fold cloth diapers/drink wine/spend time with Adam/shower/relax (HA!)
9:30-12:30 am - Sleep
12:30-1:00 am - Feed Holland
1:00-6:00 am - Sleep

Repeat 5x until the weekend.

On a generous day, I have 3.5 hours with my daughter and that includes time spent in the car with her and time feeding her in the middle of the night. THREE AND A HALF HOURS! Excuse my French. but....are you fucking kidding me!?

It's so frustrating being a working mom in America. I am the breadwinner of my household and so my job is very, very necessary to pay our basic bills. Yet, I am also necessary for other reasons these days -- after all, I am Holland's only food source at the moment. (Don't even get me started on having to hook up to my pump three times a day while I work!) And believe it or not, I really like spending time with that human being I helped create.  

So, I spend Monday-Friday in a constant fog of inadequacy. I feel inadequate at work because I'm constantly thinking about Holland and wishing I was with her. I feel inadequate with Holland because I feel like I'm a part-time mom. I feel inadequate as a wife because by the time the baby is in bed, my brain is spent and I want to just rest and relax instead of fostering a relationship with my husband. I feel inadequate as a daughter/daughter-in-law because there are never enough hours in the day to call with Holland updates or send enough pictures. I feel inadequate as a friend because who actually has time to go out with friends and catch up? Not me!

Basically, I don't have answers. I have guilt. Major guilt. Mom guilt. Wife guilt. Friend guilt. Professional guilt. Guilt might as well be my middle name at this point. 

Most days, I'm treading water... praying for the weekend so I can catch my breath and not feel like a complete failure at life. I'm told this gig gets easier. I pray it does. I love my daughter and my husband so very much. But I don't love the guilt and the full-time working schedule. Those... I could do without. 

15 comments :

  1. Life does get easier (especially when other people can start feeding her). The guilt is there to stay. When you feel like you are the only parent not at the class party....yeah that's not great. You know what you do? You make something elaborate and send it so people will know that you are there, that you are mothering, but you work. It sucks! Sorry, and I understand.

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  2. I feel ya! One of the reasons we have our kids bed time at 8:30-9pm. Although they don't have to wake up until 9am, so it's a bit different for you, but I feel ya! Not every feeling like you are with them enough! But when they get older, they still want only you and it gets better. Especially when you actually start sleeping through the night!

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  3. This is just a season of life and you'll get through it! Props to you!

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  4. That's exactly why I would want to be a SAHM. However, it most definitely would not have been an option for us if we had kids and it's also one big reason I'm okay that we didn't have any. There simply are not enough hours in the day!! Hang in there. I don't know first hand, but I hear it does get better.

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  5. Nothing about motherhood is easy, right?! WHY CAN'T IT BE EASIER? Being a SAHM definitely has its own sets of challenges. I hope you're able to get rid of the guilt and know that you're doing the best that you can and that's good enough!

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  6. Ah hang in there! I'm not a mom yet, but I know all about guilt too. It's tough for all of us and the best thing we can do it give ourselves a break. There are only so many hours in the day and we're all doing the best we can. Things will get easier I'm sure! Good luck!

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  7. I remember it well - those first few months of going back to work SUCKED. There's no other word for it, really. I promise you it will get better. Reach out if you need an ear, I'm 3 years into the working mom thing so I get it. Hugs, friend.

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  9. It's so hard to go to work some days.... yesterday Bensen was being particularly funny in the morning and I was half tempted to call in and say, "Sorry, my baby is too cute, I can't come today." Add to that my night classes and I feel like I rarely see the kid sometimes....

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  10. I'm six months pregnant and already wondering about the guilt I will feel. I mean I ALREADY dread going back to work after maternity leave and my maternity leave is months away. I worry I'll miss his first word, steps, etc. I could cry as I type this. I wish the U.S. had better paid maternity leave policies but since it doesn't I'm going to have to deal with the reality just as you are. Just know you're not alone in your feelings and that you're a rockstar momma for doing all that you do!

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  11. I wish that I could help you. Sometimes things are just so unfair. But it's great that you can open up and be honest about how you are feeling about it all.

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  12. The working mom guilt is so, so real. I think the thing I struggle with most is my need for "me time." I'm a hardcore introvert, so having time for myself in solitude is imperative for my sanity. But it's so hard to choose that time over time spent with my little one whom I rarely see, or my husband, who I'm usually too exhausted to spend any quality time with. The balancing act is so hard!

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  13. I have been back at work full time since January too. Your schedule sounds similar to mine. It's hard and I have basically all of these same feelings. I read your next post about your new work schedule and I'm glad you are able to do that! I think that would help me a lot if I were able to do something similar.

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  14. Just now reading this and I just want to hug you. I have been there and now I have read your other posts and I am so glad you are going on reduced hours. For me it was leaving the firm I loved with wonderful supportive woman bosses to a firm that is fine and work that is fine, but 10 minutes from home and E instead of over an hour. And I still do not get much time with her, but we make the most of it. I am out the door by 7 to get her to daycare so I am in the office by 7:30 and out by 5/530 and then she is in bed by 7, so I feel your pain. Know you are not alone and no matter how many times someone says it gets easier it does not make you feel better.

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  15. I'm about to enter that world again for the 2nd time. My husband was to graduate 6 months after this 2nd baby but 5 months into the pregnancy school got delayed.
    So I have 3 semesters instead of 1 left to work full time and cart my 2 kids to babysitters.
    You are so blessed to have great-grandparents to watch her!
    I grow increasingly frustrated that my sister, who is a single mom , has had my parents watch her daughter full time for 8 years, are complaining about watching my son 2 days a week. it hurts. It's already hard enough knowing I'm not home- but then to lose family support hurts.

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