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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Something's Gotta Give

The road...I can see a little bit, but I don't know what's around the bend.

As part of returning to the world of the working, it has once again dawned on me that if you can't have a clean house, healthy marriage, happy children, toned thighs and a wonderful career all at the same time, what can you have?

I managed to more or less cobble together a non-working life that fit me.  It took a long time, some trial and error, and perseverance.  Now that I have added what is essentially at least 50 hours of work time a week (including commute) into that mix, some things have to go.

I am in week two of return to work life and each day gets a tiny bit easier.  Still, I am sitting in messy house.  I didn't take a picture today.  I watch my husband wash dishes and he is packing the lunches and getting the kids off to school and I don't really like it.  It's all weird.

The hard stuff...I forgot that when you pick up your child from care, be it daycare, preschool (full day) or afterschool care, they have that smell.  They have a weird, unfamiliar smell much like the office film you get after a day of work.  Picking the boys up is easily the very, very best part of my day.  At the same time, it is a little heartbreaking to hug them and smell on the tops of their heads that smell that says that they weren't with me today.  I think this is something moms get, but if my wonderful husband read this he would be scratching his head.  Big Red also usually has a little smudge of something on his shirt or his face that I would have wiped off, but nobody else has noticed. I have to leave the house before they get up.  If I see them, it's too hard.  Friday morning, Big Red called me at the office before he left for school.  His small voice on the phone was almost more than I could bear.  Today, he stumbled downstairs in his footy pajamas with his big red rooster hair just as I was leaving because he wanted to see me.  Saying goodnight to them and knowing that I won't see them again until 5 pm the next day.  I don't talk about them at work, and I haven't put up any pictures of them.  For now at least, I have to disengage and compartmentalize as much as possible.  Small things are little heartbreaks for me.

By the time the boys are in bed, I am totally exhausted.  Maybe this will ease up as I get used to this life again.  I don't have any energy to quilt or knit or blog or cook.  I barely have enough energy to go through my personal email, which piles up all day.  (If I owe you a response to something, I apologize.)  I managed two short runs over the weekend, but that's it.

I know I sound like a big melodramatic whiner, but there it is.  I think we both know that I could go on, but I'm going to cut it off here.  So, I am adjusting.  It's sort of fun to use my brain, which was getting dusty.  That's the good stuff, I guess.

Are you curious about any aspects of the sahm to watom (work at the office mom) transition?  If so, let me know and I'll try to speak to it.

One thing I do find I have time for is the occasional Twitter post.  I think I am starting to think in 140 characters or less.  My Twitter feed is on the right side of this page.  I'll also try to keep the photos updated, even if I'm not writing posts.  Maybe I'll go to a weekly format?

To those of you who are still reading this blog, thanks for staying with me and thanks for all your words of support.


  1. You will get adjusted Jen. Remember that it took you about six months to truly get into your SAHM groove. I think we all experience guilt no matter what we do and I think it is the sign of a good parent to always question our choices.

    The house will still be standing, your hubby prob loves sharing the responsibilities of lunches and get ready with you and your kids are probably in love with all of the cool activities they get to do at after school care.

    Hang in there and just bring a baby wipe and wipe their heads before you hug! :)

    Hugs and love to you.

  2. Brings back memories of my life as a working Mom. There were things I loved about it and things I truly hated about it. It is crazy to say but knowing at the end of the work day I could smile with satisfaction at the job I did which involved only me and not the family was somehow satisfying and necessary. As I walked out the door to my car I turned all my thoughts to home and all the wonderful if not taxing things that awaited me there. Somehow, all those years, there was a balance that made it all weigh on the positive side at the end of the day -- that wonderful balancing act of mother, wife and career girl -- worked out! I am a survivor, and you will be too! Mom

  3. Your heart is all over this post. Hugs from me to you. As we both know, the journey is never easy, it's what you learn about yourself along the way is what matters.

    You are great at being you, the wife you are to Bobby, the Mom you are to those adorable boys, and the career woman that you are.

    You rock, you will get into this groove and find yourself in it, along the way.

    Cheers, friend.