Every household is different. Some moms work full time outside of the home. Some work partime. Some stay at home all day and that is hard work too. Each scenerio includes enormous amounts of energy.
I remember when Charley was ages 4 months until almost three I would have to juggle my full time job as a teacher plus my full time job as a mom. I had to turn off one job and concentrate on the other at different times of the day...even though my job as a mom was near impossible to turn off. I had to fit in making meals, laundry, keeping house, enjoying my child, running errands, taking care of myself, my husband, my marriage, etc. And I did it. I didn't know any different. I had the energy. The drive. I felt balanced...most of the time. And I was proud to be a woman doing it all...
I have friends that work part-time and I give them a ton of credit. Often times working part-time means doing a full time job in the hours of a part time employee. During their time off they try and squeeze everything in that a stay at home mom does and when working they put in the effort that a full time working mom does. It almost seems like the hardest of the three scenerios that I am describing.
Now, I experience the stay at home mom lifestyle. And though I am not prepping and getting out the door each morning to work, I find different challenges during my day. Finding motivation to get up and showered...because if you are going to "just be home" why do I need to wear anything but comfy pants. Managing to stay sane and happy for these two little boys that are at times so full of energy or are so crabby that it is hard to find patience. Days where I don't leave the house - or talk to another adult. There is no promotions, raises, customers that say "good job". Although, if you are a stay at home mom you know there are tons of little things daily that can give you the boost...you just have to slow down and notice them.
Anyways, each of these types of mommy lifestyles is hard in it's own way. And there are even more mommy lifestyles that add more challenges... being a single parent, relatives living with you, travelling spouses, illness, and loss of jobs. All of these things draw different energy from a mother's soul.
So this morning it was 7:00 and my boys were miraculously still sleeping. So I grabbed my laptop to browse some blogs and emails. I got lost in reading and was pulled out of my online trance to Henry calling "MAMA! Downstairs!" So I typed an email to my sister in a panic. It was now 7:30 and we had to be out the door at 8:20 and I needed to be showered today because I had a doc appointment at 9:45. She emailed me and said:
got eli's food ready.
got my lunch ready.
checkedy your blog
loaded the dishwasher
drove to work
did inpatient organization.
walked to outpatient clinic.
put my lunch away.
ate toast for breakfast.
talked to husband on the phone.
checked email at work.
opened a diet coke.
look how much i've got accomplished.
My sister is still considered a "new mom" in my eyes .. her little miracle is turning one in June. She works full time and wears the white coat in the hospital that means she is important. I am in awe of her when I see her in her work place. Walking through the waiting room I have seen the many beautiful patients with gorgeous scarves wrapped around their heads. She is important. She should know that her job matters, both at home and at the hospital.
I know many days when she feels so torn to be working. But looking into her patient's eyes I hope she sees the importance in her insight. And while she is doing her job as a working mom she has a little bean napping and getting into trouble and waiting for mama to walk in the door so he can reach out and smile big!
I think that is one of the moments that stay at home moms miss out on. The reunion on a day to day basis that is such a natural high that it keeps you going day in day out.
I did bounce out of bed. The boys had pancakes and apples with peanut butter on. I showered, did my hair, got dressed, and we were ALL out the door in plenty of time. Raina you inspired me to get my day started with vigor.
To each mom out there - Your day to day story varies but when it all comes down to it, we are all women, making choices for what works best for our families, our personalities, and our happiness. We are doing what we have to do and trying to find the balance that will give us a full life.
What did you get done by 7:30 am?
And to my sister, you better be sleeping by 7:30 pm! So that you can have some fun with me this weekend!