Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Diary of a Working Mom

So here I am, almost 15 months into motherhood, and I still haven't won the lottery.

It's not that I don't occasionally try, although to be honest, I really don't. Even if I bought a ticket, I'd probably forget to check the numbers. Because I forget basically everything that isn't essential to my or my offspring's survival these days.

It's not that I particularly want to be rich, but I do, as a working mom, often daydream about time. I have this idea in my head that if I just had more time, then everything would be so much smoother in our life.

I'm not sure where this time might come from if I was home all day, because I haven't noticed that I have all that much free time chasing my 14.5 month old around the house when I am home. But I have this epic delusion that if I had just a bit more time at home, financed by a lottery win (more on that later, no I'm not serious), I would catch up on things.

But since I haven't become wealthy yet, downshifted yet, or figured out how to make my toddler stay still for more than 2 nanoseconds, I guess getting caught up is a pipe dream.

Which leads me to my topic du jour - the unpleasant things about working motherhood that no one likes to talk about because it gives ammunition to the other side of the stay at home vs. working mother debate. Which is actually more like one of those wars where no one wins because eventually both sides have been completely gunned down, sorta like a lactating version of the fight scene in 'Grease'.

But really, there are some downsides of working motherhood, and the absolute lack of time is one of them. Like this weekend.

Saturday mornings I typically go to yoga when I get up. Right now, it's really the only exercise I get. Once I get home and get showered, we start our weekend for real. This past weekend it went something like this:

Once showered and ready to go, Sander and I feed the munchkin, and we headed over to my Mom's, where there was a Chicken Open House in full swing. Once a year they open their yard to all comers to meet the chickens, learn about chickens, etc.

After an hour there, we headed home because the munchkin was in dire need of a nap.
I went grocery shopping, Sander stayed home with her. 2 stores and nearly $250 later, I'd stocked us up.

When I got home, I unloaded the car (munchkin was still asleep on Daddy's lap) and started dinner prep. At this point, on Tuesday, I don't remember what I made, but I've mentioned my lack of memory before. Actually, I don't remember Saturday evening at all, I just remember that I went to bed really tired. So apparently I was busy.

Then Sunday. My husband got out the door 8 to do yardwork. When the munchkin went down for a nap, I did food prep, laundry, cleaning and organizing for about 90 minutes. Then lunch. Then some more food prep and running around, since we had to be somewhere at 3.

Then we went to a family barbeque until about 7. Then home, put munchkin to bed, start on Monday prep. You get the idea by now - let's just say I think I spent the entire weekend at a dead run.

And then it was Monday again.

I do like working, and I do like our life. But working motherhood is tiring, and frequently nonstop, especially with small children. And if admitting that gives ammunition to the stay-at-home warriors, so be it.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your "diary" today! I have been enjoying your posts about motherhood and money-savvy living. Currently, I stay at home with our 11-month old son. He just went to sleep for the night, so I get to have a few minutes at the computer before tidying up and getting ready for tomorrow. Free time is a luxury in this household too. I do get to do some of the chores you listed as weekend tasks during the week...but many things have to be scheduled during naps or in the evenings when my husband is home to share baby care. And my exercise...chasing and lifting the not-so-little one!

m said...

I know. It is hard and I am always trying to find more time. My daughter is almost 17 months and it's just nonstop. One of the things I do, and I'm not sure how this would work for you, but I make my grocery list on Thursday nights and then I do the shopping on my way home from work on Friday before getting the girl. It keeps me moving through the grocery store quickly since I still have to pick up the peanut, it's not as crowded as Saturday, and it is such a relief to have it done ahead of the weekend. Sometimes I still have to run to another grocery store for things that my regular discount place doesn't have, but that is always a quick stop. And then I can do some prep on Saturday during her nap! And, I do a load of laundry or two almost every night - just to keep it moving so I don't get stuck with a ton on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are sooo right! I have stayed home full-time and worked full-time and worked part-time. Working full-time with small kids is very tough because you have to plan ahead and be on top of EVERYthing ALL THE TIME. Staying home works out best for me, even with the strain it puts on the finances. I didn't have a real career, just a job, so it was extremely difficult for me to find the merit in being at work when I could have been making dinner and helping with homework. You seem to have a very solid understanding of what you are doing now and what would (and would not!) be different if you had more time at home. Sounds like you are doing pretty well with everything you have going on! Best of luck to you!

Ms.Moneypenny said...

Thanks to all of you for your comments. It's nice to know there are other time-pressed moms out there too!
M, I do manage to do some shopping during the week, but the big stock ups are just too time intensive to manage that. Thankfully though, I only do them once a month or so. But if a 'stock up shopping fairy' existed, I would love that. Also a 'clean out the clutter fairy', a 'Paint my hallway fairy' and so on...