Thursday, February 27, 2014

Balancing. Work & Motherhood.

As strange as it sounds, working has brought me a lot of joy. The busy mornings, grabbing coffee on my way out the door, the presentations, meetings and mounds of paperwork.  Deadlines, projects and going out on business calls. I know a lot of you are reading this and thinking, that doesn't sound very appealing. After 2 1/2 years of staying home with Scarlett, devoting my entire being to another human, I was ready for this. There are all types of mothers. Mothers who love staying home and raising their babies. Career mothers who need to work in order to be the best mother that they can be. Mothers who cannot afford to stay home, who cry when they miss their little one's firsts. And mothers who spend 7 days a week with their kids-who are desperate for more. There is no mother greater than the other. All of these mothers, do what is in the best interest for their families. There is no right or wrong way to raise your children. For me, I needed the first two years with Scarlett. I enjoyed it and I was lucky enough to be able to do that. But at about 2 1/2 years, the urge to go back to work hit me. AND I did just that.  Am I selfish for going back to work when I can afford to stay home? No.

I loathe when people say to me, "You can afford to stay home with your children. Why would you give that up? They are only little once."

Do they not think that I haven't thought about that a million times? Do they not realize that parts of this still guilts me? Do they not realize that it was an extremely difficult choice and I decided to do what I felt was right in my heart? I cannot dwell on the choices that I made. No one knows what's best for your family better than you.

 I found that being a stay at home mother could be very isolating. Especially if you move to a new location, which is what we did when Scarlett was less than a year old. Working with other adults and interacting is extremely satisfying to me.  That doesn't mean everyday is a walk in the park but I never expected that. Some days I get overwhelmed and sometimes I even wish I had an extra day off. It is definitely a balancing act. Most days I am glad to be knee deep in work, plugging away. One thing that stands true whether I am happily working or a little frazzled, I always miss my little Scarlett. I think about her throughout the day and imagine what she is doing. The child care's app is really helpful in posting her routine throughout the day. It makes my day when I turn my phone on and see a photo of Scarlett painting or playing with others. Or when I read that she had 2 helpings of mac and cheese with pears.

Time. When I have too much of it, it is my enemy. When I don't have enough of it, it is my enemy. I am not complaining by any means. But it is definitely an adjustment. Going from having time to do the things that I need to accomplish, doing things that I enjoy,  to not having a spare second….it's going to take some time to get used to. When I'm feeling exhausted and defeated, I always remember that this too, is just a stage in life. It won't last forever.

As you have probably noticed, I haven't blogged in awhile…….

Again, time is the reasoning there.  I am trying to find balance between being a mother, a wife and working full-time. I love work and of course I love being a mother, but it leaves little time for anything else.

The one thing that I can't seem to find time for happens to be extremely important to me.
Writing.It's been there for me longer than anyone else has. I start to lose myself when I don't write. I feel as though pieces of me start to fade. I don't like that feeling.

By the end of the day, after working 8 hours, bathing a child, cooking dinner, doing laundry, putting a little girl, who doesn't like to go to sleep to bed and taking a shower myself (if I'm lucky), I have two choices: write or go to bed. As midnight stares me in the face, I think about how quickly 6 am will come. Before I can decide what I want to do, my body reminds me that I am exhausted and I start to wonder how other working mothers do it. So…how do you all do it?

I am a perfectionist in many things that I do. I dread failure. I feel as though I am failing. I am told at work that I am a great asset and that I'm doing a wonderful job. Scarlett seems happy to go to school. Ty doesn't complain that we don't have much time together, he takes what he can get and tries to help me as much as he can. But at the end of the day, even after everything has gone according to plan, I still feel like I'm failing. I feel like I am failing myself. 

I think that when you are a mother working full time, you have to prioritize and give up/let go of some of the things that you can't do. You also have to ask for help. The other night, after working a very busy day,  I sat on the floor of the living room doing bills. I had thrown in a load of laundry and tried to pick up the house. Scarlett was laughing as she threw my papers and pushed buttons on my laptop. I kept telling her, no Scarlett, stop. She kept laughing. I thought about how much I still had to do and that it was a slim chance I would get to write before the night ended.  I thought about the fact that my hair was greasy and I hadn't gotten to shower. That I hadn't gotten to read any books with Scarlett or watch a movie with her like I used to. In that moment as I watched my bills all over the living room and a house in shambles, I had a bit of a melt down. My eyes went dewy and I yelled at Scarlett, STOP! JUST GO AWAY and leave me alone! 
I sat there looking at a little girl who was confused.  I exhaled a breath of exhaustion and regret. Ty stood over me with a look of concern. I felt defeated. He asked me what was wrong. I didn't even have an answer. I was just….overwhelmed. I started to vent, "I haven't had a minute to relax! I haven't wrote anything in days, I smell and don't have time to shower because I have to do these stupid bills that I don't even want to look at because I still have a hundred other things to do!" Ty looked at me and said, "Babe, if you need help, you have to ask. "
He's right. He's usually always right.  I need to ask for help and I have to let go of the things that I cannot accomplish in the day. It will still be there tomorrow. Despite a breakdown or two, and the moments of frustration, I know that I made the right decision and I am certain that it will all work out. I just need to keep looking forward and do the best that I can. Taking "Scarlett Days" helps. This past Saturday, Scarlett and I spent the whole day together, just her and I. We went out for breakfast, took a walk, stopped at the library and watched movies over snacks. Days like that are needed. She gets some undivided attention and I get to exhale and unwind from the busy work week. I recommend having one-on-one days to do something that you normally wouldn't do. They do wonders.

It's been a week since my melt-down and I'm feeling much better about prioritizing and letting go.


  1. Ya'll are a precious little family. Is that weird? I don't know you, but I can see the love you all have for each other. You are a great mother, and although I KNOW you don't need the reassurance, sometimes it feels nice to hear it. We all get in to deep, we all throw fits (duh, just look at our children), and we all need some one on one time! Keep up the good work!

  2. I just cried when I read this...
    I've had days like that and they just...break my heart.
    Even though it makes us feel like crap, we're still only human.
    Your an absolute WONDERFUL mama. Never forget that.


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