Sunday, September 7, 2014

Working Mom Struggles

I never thought it would be easy, not once.  I always knew and appreciated the time I was able to spend home with my babies - even when it meant that we were searching the couches for spare change!  We had our ups and downs these past four years since becoming parents and since Will's injury.  But Will can't go back to work - not in the state he's in now so we knew it was my turn to step up.  Yes, I have been working since February but that job was mostly at night and I got to spend the best part of my day with my family - but that was the only good thing about that job.

These days I out of bed at 5:30-6:00 depending on if I am going to run.  My girls should not be out of their room until their clock light lights up at 6:30 but that almost never works.  So I am showering and getting ready while changing a diaper, fixing breakfast, and dealing with whatever toddler crisis comes up.  Will is usually still in bed.  If he's not downstairs by 7 I wake him up and try to remember to east some breakfast and brush my teeth before heading out the door no later than 7:21.

I spend the day at work trying to stay busy - which is not always easy - and fighting the physical pains of missing my children.  Some days are better than others but at least once a day my abdomen feels like I am being stabbed and the desire to put my arms around them is overwhelming.  I want to know what they are doing, if they know that I love them...pathetic, I know.  I do my best to take control of these feelings but some days the anxiety takes over and I have to deal with a mini panic attack prying that no one notices.

I call home on my lunch break, checking on everyone.  I make sure Will is feeling well enough and the girls are behaving.  At 5:00 on the dot I am out the door and speeding down the road to beat the commuter rail traffic to get home by 5:30.  When I get home Will is stressing over dinner and the kids are running around in their disaster of a playroom.

The house is a mess, we eat dinner as the girls start to wind down and become unraveled.  Bedtime is at 7 but the tantrum start well before.  I am home for their worst part of the day.  We put them to bed and it takes over an hour of screaming and crying and potty trips and whatever else they can thinks of before they are finally asleep.  Now I try to clean up, without Will seeing me clean because he feels bad that while he has all these grand plans to keep the place clean nothing gets done.  I try to not hold it against him, because of his injury he has a tunnel vision issue where if he's doing one thing nothing else in the world exists.  I would rather have toilet bowl ring than a toddler who wonders out of the house alone.  But damn it sucks.  Somehow he does find a way to clean his fish tanks twice a week though...  His social anxiety wont allow for us to hire a cleaning lady.  Then I finally get to try to relax and Will is all over me about why I'm so anxious.  But what can I do?  I know his limitations - complaining to him about things he wishes he could fix is just going to leave us both miserable.

I really hope starts to get better, I don't know what will change but hopefully something.  But I can't really think about that now, I have to meal plan for the week and get my shopping list together because guess what - I still have to do that too.


  1. You know, because my husband ultimately had the career with the things attached a family needs (insurance! dental! decent pay!) I ended up being the person who stayed at home. It could have gone either way if the criteria fit differently. But I can say, you guys, even without all of Will's injuries, are in the thick of the intense time -- toddler/preschool/primary -- and from your description, Will gets about as much done as I ever did. When my husband came home from work, there were days when I could barely move, never mind get them to bed and clean the house. Chaos reigned supreme.

    This eases up. As sweet as the young years are, they are also holy hell intense and I am glad I had them but I'm also glad to be out. (My youngest is 7, girls are 10 and 11. It is busy in other ways, but nothing equals the neediness of the little ones.

    I continue to have grand plans to clean my place up, and it is starting to come together, but I've become convinced that having a stay at home parent with the kids does not facilitate a tidy place and my stay-at-home mom and dad friends concur. When you don't have kids at home pulling things out the second you put them away, things seem to stay tidier for some magical reason. Those who both have careers and a cleaner seem to really win in the organised/clean domestic front. But take heart: I've noticed that my friends' places are comparatively tidier as their youngest kids have started school. I was homeschooling till this year (and was a terrible housekeeper long before kids), and after the teacher's strike ends, I'm feeling optimistic that I will be better able to pull our place together.

    Okeydokey, I've said a lot here. #InspirationStruck

  2. I'm sorry you had to struggle balancing your work and your personal life. Motherhood is hard, and it gets even harder when you have to take on more responsibilities. Although I'm sure you'll be able to adjust perfectly well into the new schedule soon. After all, you are a great mom, Amber. Thanks for sharing that! Wishing you and your family all the best! :)

    Waylon Grimm @ All Force Labour Solutions