I have been back at work for eight months now. Between Blake's schedule and my own, and an active nine month old, life can be hectic.
Some days I feel like I have adjusted and I have things under control. Some days I feel like I am treading water. That is the only way I can describe it and I can't keep my head above water. I just can't seem to get everything done. Most of my phone calls to friends are in the car to and from work. There just isn't time some days for anything else. I try to make time for friends and social occasions (hmmm..friends and babies that is a whole other post in itself) but that means other things have to be cut. Weekends fly by and we are all exhausted by the end of each day. I am always exhausted (guess it would help if this kid decided to actually sleep at night.)
In a perfect world, I would be a SAHM but that is not in the cards for us right now (but I am playing one big lottery sized card but that isn't working out so far.) I try to find perks besides the whole financial aspect but some days I am left without any and others I can muster up at least one. I know that by working I am providing for him by putting clothes on is back, a roof over his head and food in his belly but I often find myself wondering, is that enough? Then again, as long as he has love and feels it THAT should be enough, right?
Lately, I have been in a funk. Brady is so interactive, fun, and growing up before my eyes. He is going to be one in a few months (TWO!!!) I'm terrified I'm going to miss his first steps. Even though I have basically threatened both my MIL and a family friend who has been watching him (ok, well not really but I used a lot of big words) to tell me nothing but I know they are going to slip up.
I obviously miss a big chunk of his day. By the time I get home, sometimes I get 2 hours with him, sometimes 4..sometimes 1. That is obviously the hardest.
I also feel constantly guilty (there that damn G word is again) especially when he holds his hands up while in the sitter's arm reaching out for me. Talk about ripping my heart out. He is so attached to me (i mean literally attached, sometimes I wonder if the cord was cut) that I know separation is good for both of us but watching him watch me leave him is pretty much awful. (Did you follow that?)
Then, there is the whole social aspect (or the lack of.) MIL and our family friend watch him which is awesome but that means NO social interaction for him. I hold back tears as I write that because I watch him watch other kids and his eyes light up. Most playgroups and activities are during the week and that just sucks. The weekends are mad crazy for us half the time so where do I fit in time for that too?
I hate to sound so discouraging especially to those who just went back to work and while it is difficult, believe it or not, there are some perks! I won't say it gets easier; you just get used to it. He is developing so much from being away from me and our family friend has taught him so much already. (The little hand motion he makes when he 'rolls it out' is beyond adorable!) He loves being with other people and they are able to give him constant one-on-one attention he craves and desires. He is bonding with other people other than mommy and daddy. Working gives me adult interaction and a social outlet other than poop, milk and boo-boo's. Looking that it that way, it is win-win!
I sometimes wonder when or if I will find the right balance. Is there a secret I don't know about because if there is I want in on it. How can you make laundry disappear? or the dishes to wash themselves or dinner miraculously made when you get home? Now, THOSE are secrets I need to find out....
At the end of the day, my guilt is subsided when I get home. I walk in to see the biggest smile on his face and literally the loudest baby belly chuckle. He crawls to me and I pick him up and squeeze him so hard while he wraps his arms around me and I feel all is right. This is what makes it all worth it. This is what I rush home for. This is my reward for the sacrifice I make.
So, on my quest to achieve some sort of balance, I want to hear from other mommies.
How do you find balance between work, your child(ren), household stuff, and you social life?
Oh, and you have the secret to any of this.....please divulge. My dishes certainly do NOT wash themselves.