I worked M-W of this week at Christian’s photo studio. I planned over the weekend, did laundry, set out 3 outfits for myself for those days, and 3 outfits for Beckett, and put them in neat little piles. Then I planned out Fen’s lunches, and made sure her laundry was all put away so she had easy access to put together her ensembles. Lately she’s been wearing a cat ears headband every day to school. One must have lots of outfits at one’s disposal when rocking cat ear headbands.
I set Beckett up with a new daycare place, and made sure we had visited first so he was familiar with it. Then I packed up his bags full of extra clothes and diapers and pull ups and wipes. Everything was set for my 3 days of being a career girl, and it only took hours upon hours to plan.
How do working moms do this every day?
I had to go from organized mom, to defensive driver in Chicago traffic, (Hour commute each way. Should be 20 minutes.) to somewhat-professional photo stylist, completely focused on setting up Halloween candles and plates.
It was fun- something different, making cash money, a break from the kids. I got to be with Christian for 3 days. I got to talk to adults! They never once asked me to make them food or read them a book, and they went potty all by themselves when they needed to.
Being at home today, snapping back into mom-mode is confusing. I was so geared up, flying on adrenaline for 3 days straight that today was an emotional let down. I sort of want to sit and stare at a nail hole for the rest of the day. But then there’s dinner to think about. And getting Fen to violin lesson. And playing Power Rangers with Beckett (I have mad Ranger skills.)
I like my routine at home with my kids and working on my blogs every spare second. I can’t wait to get back to the gym tomorrow- the combination of eating takeout lunches and not going to the gym has me feeling explosive. I guess I got a little shot at stepping away from that routine for a few days, so I could truly appreciate the balance and familiarity of what I have at home.
My kids rely on me so absolutely, and I hate leaving early and coming home late. It sucks to pick Fen up at her friend’s house at 6, and then blast through the rest of her homework, slam food down her throat, toss her into the shower and then scoot her into bed. It sucked to get a little piece of paper that told me (sort of) what Beckett had done that day. As much as I’d love to score some more time for myself, this much of it away from them was shocking to me.
I guess working moms figure out their routines as well, and make things work. It just takes a while to establish those routines- to get everyone on board and used to the way the days flow. Their kids are probably far more independent than mine. Their houses are probably not as lived-in (wrecked) as mine. If I had a full-time job I loved, I would be willing to figure this out, too.
I feel major guilt sometimes at not bringing home a salary- both because I know I could be constantly booked as a freelancer, and I’d make fabulous money. People are desperate for jobs out there, and I could be working tomorrow if I wanted to (just writing this makes me twitchy.) I also know that within a week, I would feel my soul leaking out of my body and I would be a shitty wife and mom, because I hate the work. You can’t hate one aspect of your life and have it not affect the rest of your life.
Since we hit monetary rock bottom a few years ago, we’re trying something new. Christian’s focusing on building his business and I’m focusing on writing and blogging. We’re doing these things for ourselves and we have only ourselves to blame if it doesn’t work. We’re working harder than we’ve ever worked before, and it feels- right.