Working Mommy Blues

Sweet Pea and me during our last swim session

Sweet Pea and me during our last swim session

Working full-time is the suck. I’m not going to sugar coat it for you. Some women, of course, manage admirably–they work a full day, do tons of Pinterest activities with their kids, and keep their gorgeous homes spotless with homemade organic cleaning products. In their free time, they exercise, scrapbook, and volunteer out in the community.

I am so clearly NOT that woman.

It’s not the working that’s so awful. It’s coming home without any energy, already drained before I get to see my daughter for the first time all day. It’s wanting to play with her, but knowing that I have to make dinner. It’s constantly watching the deterioration of our relationship in a hundred little ways and feeling like I can’t do anything about it, because (a) I’m exhausted and (b) I’m not doing this job for giggles and personal satisfaction. We actually need the money.  Oh, and (c) I’ve got papers to grade as soon as she goes to bed so I can’t afford to “waste” my energy on, you know, emotions.

In an attempt to be proactive, I decided to sign us up for parent-child swim classes. We did this last year, too, and Sweet Pea had a blast. So of course the first swim lesson (this Tuesday) coincides with parent-teacher Open House, a mandatory work event. And it’s my husband’s first night of classes, so he can’t go either.

In the grand scheme, I know it’s a small thing. Come on. One missed swim lesson? Stiffen your upper lip, Kate! But right now it just feels symbolic of everything else that’s getting to me.

I’d like to tell you that I’m taking this little hiccup stoically, or even pleasantly, with a spirit of gratitude that we have a local set of grandparents willing to pitch in whenever necessary. And don’t get me wrong. My mom is an absolute rock star grandma and Sweet Pea will have a blast swimming with her.

But.

The majority of me just feels bitter and angry that I can’t be there for my kid.

Any advice? Inspiring words of wisdom? I could do with an attitude adjustment and/or a swift kick in the head.

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One thought on “Working Mommy Blues

  1. Advice: Start doing a whole bunch of peer editing in class so you can cut down on the grading a bit. (Still lots of practice, still lots of learning, less for you to do.)

    Inspiring words of wisdom: You can do this! If there’s anyone on this planet that can do all of this and remain somewhat sane, it’s you. Truly.

    Not the kind of advice that you’ll listen to, but should: Be easy on yourself. You are doing A LOT this year. Teaching is an emotional, tiring job. Parenting is an emotional, tiring job. You are trying to do two full time jobs simultaneously and you’re expecting full time excellence out of yourself in both. It’s impossible. Some things will slide (like the 1st swim lesson and grading), and it’s okay. You may not be able to be the 110% teacher that you’ve always been, but you’ll still be the 97% teacher, and that’s better than most. Sweet Pea loves you. And she knows you love her. It’s okay to be tired. All she really needs is to read a book and snuggle a bit with mama. Your relationship is just fine- I promise.
    Let some things go and know that you’re doing your very best, and that it’s awesome.
    Much love to you, lady. xoxo

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