How Do You Balance Motherhood and Work?
I’m fried. Recently, I’ve been downing Bach Rescue Remedy drops like they were candy because my heart is racing and I’m so anxious all the time.
Juggling motherhood and work is getting the better of me.
It’s nobody’s fault, although I’d love to blame someone else for these feelings. It’s not my husband’s fault I took on so much work as a blogger and social media consultant, but he certainly encouraged and was in favor of me bringing home more money.
Here in Westchester you basically need two incomes to make ends meet, and so far we’ve only gotten by with mainly his income because I’m so frugal and Don’s only indulgence is buying books.
Don immediately thinks I’m blaming him when I’m expressing how overwhelmed I feel lately, which makes everything even worse.
I want a sympathetic husband, not one who resents me for thinking I don’t appreciate him taking our little son all the time so I can work. Sigh. Deep breath. And another one. That’s supposed to make me better, right?
This is not about what my husband isn’t doing, this is about what I can’t do: be a good mom, friend, wife, keeper of the household, office organizer, my husband’s secretary, AND breadwinner at the same time. Something gotta give.
I’ve been working a lot more lately than I usually do, and I’m getting really stressed out. I took on a huge editing project before I went to Germany with Landon a couple months ago (which Don thinks of as a vacation – ha!). Then BlogHer 2010 happened, which required hours of preparation, and I’m juggling other clients and my blogging for Dagmar’s momsense, which I take as seriously as my other jobs.
I truly love my work as a proofreader, editor and social media consultant and want to contribute to our family’s income. I’m blessed that I have this many wonderful clients at the moment.
But I’m sick of feeling like I have to ask for permission to work.
Asking for permission to work — that sounds so odd, but that’s what it feels like. I don’t know how to better express what I mean. Men don’t have to do that. Whereas Don just up and leaves in the morning to go to work (he is a finish carpenter and project manager), I have to somehow fit my work into my busy schedule, which ends up with me working until 3 a.m. — a lot.
I don’t remember the last time I’ve had six hours of sleep in a row.
I resent that Don, and most men in general, get to go to work and don’t have to wonder about how all the other stuff is going to get done and who is going to watch and take care of the kids.
Must be nice. When I go to a blogging events, which is fun but also necessary for networking reasons and to make connections with future clients, I have to make sure that it’s okay to go and make arrangements because then Don or someone from our family has to take care of Landon.
Besides not having a budget for a babysitter because we are already paying oodles to have him in preschool for 10 hours a week, I also wouldn’t trust a stranger with our son.
Don takes L often after he comes home from work, and I appreciate that so much, but he wants brownie points for taking him to his sister’s or mother’s house where L runs around and plays with his cousins while Don gets to hang out with the adults.
I would love that gig — but I’m at home working or cleaning the house or tweeting or blogging (fun, but also part of my job).
Where are my brownie points for having L most of the week? It’s hard to be a WHAM — a work at home mom — because something or somebody always needs attending.
I realize that much of this is my own doing — I take pride in having a neat house, I take pride in meeting my deadlines, I like a full fridge, and it’s my decision to do as much as I do.
After finishing this never-ending editing project I’m going to rethink if working this much is really worth it — I’m done feeling bad for having to carve out the time to get my work done and taking that time away from being a good mom, friend, and wife.
“Me” time, what’s that? I have a cavity that should have been filled months ago and I haven’t had a physical in two years, so it doesn’t look too promising that I’ll get a massage any time soon.
I tried to explain that I feel like I have to ask for permission to work to Don and he didn’t get what I meant — at all. He thought that sounded ridiculous and it ended up in an argument.
I tried to explain my point in a different way but couldn’t find the words. He thought I was blaming him, which isn’t what I was trying to express. I feel pulled in so many directions, I want to do a great job at everything, meanwhile my son is sitting in front of the TV way too much lately so I can get my work done, and I feel terrible about that.
When I asked one of my sister-in-laws, a mother of five who works when she can, if she gets what I mean with “having to ask for permission to work,” she just knowingly rolled her eyes — she totally understood where I was coming from.
I was so relieved that I’m not going crazy here.
Okay, enough venting — back to work.
Your thoughts? Do you fell like you have to ask for permission to work? How do you balance motherhood and work?
Will this ever change for women, the struggle to balance motherhood and work?