Do you ever let something fester so long you feel like you'll snap the next time it's brought to light? That's kind of the way I have been feeling lately. I'll begin my blog with a disclaimer: I mean no personal injury to anyone reading this blog, or anyone those anyones know.
I shall begin.
Lately it seems I have been the listening ear to conversations about being a stay-home mom. I listen/read sympathetically as my friends, whom I care deeply about, express their frustrations, concerns, and exhaustion. Their husbands don't help out enough, or their husbands work too much. The babies aren't sleeping all night yet. Their kids demand their attention all day, they can't get everything done, and they NEVER get a break.
I sympathize with the stay at home wife and mother. While I do envy them, I have to say I enjoy my job and I'm not sure I'd be cut out for the stay-home gig. Although, it's possible I convince myself of that to thwart my jealousy.
Anyway, lately I have found many of these conversations alluding to the "luxury" we working mothers have. After all, we have adult interaction, we have a break from our ever-needy children. We have "more" income. We get vacations and holidays and weekends.
Wait a minute. Do these stay at home-ers realize that we working moms are STILL moms? Let me try to put this in perspective without sounding too melodramatic or whiny.
5:45: Alarm. Snooze. I have wrinkle-free pants clean (I think).
6:10: Finally roll out of bed. Shower, brush teeth, express hate for the morning.
6:20: Blow dry. Are my eyes open? "Chloe. It's time to start getting up."
6:30: Dress. Straighten hair. Flip Chloe's light on. "Chloe! Mommy monster is going to get you!"
6:45: Shoes. Pick out Chloe's clothes. I can do my make up in the car. "CHLOE!"
6:50: I'm dragging her out of bed in her PJs. She refuses to open her eyes. Kindra won't mind to dress her.
6:55: Grab something from the fridge for lunch. All I have is a Milky Way mini? I'll eat in the lunch room.
7:00: Out the door, drive to Kindra's. I get a grumpy goodbye and a cross look for waking her up.
DRIVE/Apply minimal make-up.
7:38: Arrive. Quick chat with a co-worker on the walk in. Write on the board. Check school e-mail and answer. Line-out the folders, worksheets, etc for my day.
8:04: 8th graders arrive. "You guys have eleven minutes until class starts," I say EVERY day with an encouraging tone. AKA I'm not in kid mode yet.
8:15 eight graders learn reading.
9:05 They leave. It's my "free hour." Do all my running. Copies for tomorrow, blah blah the life of a teacher.
10:01 eighth graders learn English.
10:51 I'm working in the library. Only 250 books to get in the system. I should eat lunch in here. Wait. I had no food. Run to the lunch room. Fifteen minutes of adult conversation with constant hum of teenagers.
12:07 7th graders learn English. I enjoy observing them.
1:00 elementary students have library time. Checking in/out books.
1:53 Send little ones back. Work on those 250 books again. Or should I put in grades so I don't have to take them home?
2:55 Walker bell. Finish up my stuff. Quick social interaction in BELC.
3:52 Pick up Chloe. We have to go to Wal Mart. We have no food.
4:43 "Thanks, you too." Push the cart to the car. Load groceries. Load Chlo. Drive home.
4:51 Unload Chlo, unload groceries. Put away. Start dinner.
5:14 "Hi Mom. . . Oh just cooking dinner..."
5:40 Sit down with Chloe. Is this really the first time we've talked all day? She is telling me all about her day at Kindra's. I'm wishing I had been home to play with her.
6:15 dishes. I should sweep and mop the kitchen, but I am tired. And Chloe wants to play Polly Pockets.
7:00 "You need to get in the bath now. I'll make it deep with Princess bubbles." Start laundry (after the water runs), there is a mound of towels. Polly Pockes everywhere, but I haven't checked my Facebook farm all day... :)
7:45 "Baby you have to get out. The water is cold." Jammies, comb, lotion. I love this part of the day.
8:00 She HAS to watch Wubbzy. Laundry goes in the dryer. I clear a path in the living room and call it good.
8:30 She needs a drink. She needs a bedtime story. She needs to say a prayer. She needs my attention. She needs to potty. She NEEDS to go to bed. Because 6:45 comes too early for her. She settles for juice, potty, ONE book, and a long snuggle. And five kisses and one squeezy hug.
9:00 I'm exhausted. My house is a mess. I haven't balanced my check book. I want to take a bubble bath and watch tv. I fold clothes in front of the tv and then head to bed. Do I have wrinkle-free pants for tomorrow?
Working isn't a luxury. It's not a social hour. It is WORK! I still struggle to make ends meet, and I'm always behind on my "second" job as a Mom. Is it a job I LOVE? Yes. Do I have a better schedule than most working parents? For sure. But
would I rather have all those hours to spend with my daughter so I don't have to divide my attention between her and the world in the six free hours I have in a day? Definitely.
The only real words of wisdom I can come up with for this she-said/she-said dilemma is a quote from my friend Sebastian, "The sea weed is always greener in somebody else's lake..."