Ballad of a Working Mama

I’m tired. Drained. It’s all I can do to push my fingers forward on my topic of choice and churn out enough words to constitute a blog entry. I’m not even convinced I should be doing it right now. It’s 7:43 in the evening and kiddo won’t be in bed until 8:00…I’m still on my mama clock. But here I am, listening to him put on a production of toys from his bathtub stage…as I write.

I’ve felt since I became a mother like I’m managing split personalities. Daughter, woman, friend, worker, wife, mother. I wake up around 5:00am and have some “me” time for my first half hour or so. Ah, “me” time…tidy the kitchen, feed the dogs, make some coffee, start the dryer…what the hell? Since when is this “me” time? At least I have my shower. Time to scald myself with luxury, bathe in the silence. Mama? You in the shower? I wanna take a shower, too! Damn. So much for that plan. But I’m on the mama clock now, and at least I’ll have the smiles that come from listening to his exaggerated ahhh, that’s nice!

{It’s now 8:32. I bathed and dressed Kiddo, read every other page of the Jungle Book, put him to bed and hung a load of work clothes before they wrinkled. I guess I’m back to “me” time now.}

I’m in the car by quarter past 6:00am, on my way to work. I listen to NPR or an audio book on my 40 minute drive. Happy commute, as commutes go.

I get to work and am now on that clock. I make decisions, measure my words, and am as productive as possible. I enjoy my work and I’m good at it. I learn there.

At 4:10 my hubby starts calling to tell me it’s time for me to leave. I just need to wrap up one last thing and then I’ll shut down my computer…

I spend my commute listening to music or making phone calls. I know, I know – but it’s my best chance!

I pick up Kiddo and head home to get supper ready, get some laundry done, clean the house. Sometimes kiddo and I play, sometimes not. I try to give him full attention but there are just so many things to do…

Sometimes I leave my laptop in my work bag but more often it finds its way out. I promised a customer a presentation. I need to prepare for a meeting in the morning. I wonder how many people visited my blogs today? Did I send Lisa the dates for our SA visit?

Bite, bath, book, bed. Lekker slaapies, kiddo…I love you.

Hello Sonskyn, I’ve missed you. Yes, I know I fell asleep but I don’t want to go to bed yet. I just want to cuddle with you a little longer; won’t you please just wake me when you go to bed?

The good news is I’m a morning person. That means when Kiddo wakes me up at 5:30 on Saturday morning we have hours together alone. And, when he wakes me up at 6:30 on Sunday morning, I’m lucky enough to have gotten an hour and a half more sleep than usual…unless, of course, I stayed up and played late on Saturday night:)

Does anyone else feel drained? When did we start pushing ourselves so hard? Have we always?

I know, I know…this post is more scattered than they usually are. But then, I’m more scattered than I usually am. Goodnight mush, goodnight moon, goodnight friends in the virtual lagoon.

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8 responses to “Ballad of a Working Mama

  1. Hi, I have been following you stories about what you been up to and really have enjoyed it. This particular article had to make me smile it is always nice to know that you are not the only one out there feeling the same way you are. My mornings of “me time” whats that? Starts pretty much the same way, tea, lunch for Rochelle, feed the dogs, try put in a bundle of washing …… ect, and I have to make sure I leave home at 6:30 because of traffic. I wish there was just sometimes a little bit of help from our better halves or as I feel sometimes my other halve. Take care, keep writing. I’m loving it.

    • Dawn,
      What a relief to see your comment this morning. I had consigned myself to the fact that I’d posted jibberish this week instead of doing the research and planning I usually do for my posts. I was so focused on the other blog that I just didn’t give PLM the same TLC. But lo and behold – comments! You’re right: there’s something to knowing that you’re not the only person in the world facing these challenges. A band of imperfect humans:) In fact, I think my step is lighter just thinking about you making lunch and feeding the dogs in the wee hours of a South African morning…;)

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Love to the family, please!

  2. Yes! We have always pushed ourselves so hard! For sure! In the “early days” there wasn’t so much choice like “should I?” or “isn’t there another way of life?” But in the early days of mankind we had been busy surviving! We were either starving and hunting, or resting and thinking about where and what to hunt next.

    The question, I think, is: how can we find pleasure in the way our lives run? Sometimes the answer is “change”, sometimes the answer is “just let it go and roll with the punch.”

    Honestly I am completely convinced that what we are after is some kind of religious experience, an experience about what we are and why we are here on earth. We are looking for some kind of proof that god has put us here with a mission – what ever this mission may be.

    And truly I think it is worth to give this quest for god some time … in our very personal way … 🙂

    greetings from germany 🙂

    ray

    • Ah, mein Deutsch Freund…words of wisdom once again:)

      How silly (and era-absorbed) I am to have forgotten the numerous survival stresses I am fortunate not to have! Sillier still those humans would have found me, stressing over how fully I’m able to embrace the many different roles I have the pleasure of playing. And to think, it was not so very long ago (and is present case in some lands and cultures) that women (in particular) have coveted the opportunities I take for granted – the opportunity to work, express beliefs, exercise personal judgment and decision-making. The opportunity to do all these things while still holding on to my femininity, experiencing motherhood, etc.

      Quite right, Ray. I must remember my quest. So long as I do that, wrong turns along the way aren’t likely to send me so far astray that I can’t find my way back:)

      Danke.

  3. I have to say THANK YOU for posting this! I’m not a mother yet, but I also work full time, am married, and am in school. I cracked up laughing at your comment about wanting to cuddle just a bit longer. That’s me on the couch most nights. By the time homework is done, school stuff is set out, dinner is done cooking and we are finally on the couch at 10pm, I just want to lay and be brainless for an hour or so, before starting over. Brainless for me usually just means being held by my husband, and napping until it’s bedtime. That 1 hour is typically only about 30 minutes, but it’s a priceless 30 minutes.

    Sorry this is so long, but this was my yesterday:

    Up at 6am, got ready for the day, and then practiced a speech until 7:15. I had stayed up until about 1am the night before..and the night before that.

    7:15 – drove 30 minutes to class.

    8:30 – out of class (early today). Grocery store.

    9:00am – Arrived at work, and worked until 6:00pm. At about 4:30 I experienced some kind of crash and could barely move. I was more tired than I remember being, possibly ever? I thought I was getting the flu, but that never happened.

    6:00pm – left work, went home to grab something, went to the grocery store for 1.5 hours.

    7:45pm – forgot something at the grocery store, and stopped at another one on the way home.

    8:15pm – Unpacked groceries and finally started dinner.

    9:30pm: Ate dinner, cleaned the kitchen up a little.

    10:00pm: crashed the couch, and pulled the typical, “one more minute. I just need to lay here a little longer. Wake me up when you get done brushing your teeth.”

    Sorry so long, I just needed to vent. Not that busy of a schedule at all, but with 10 hours of sleep in 2 days, I crashed.

  4. HOLY. COW. Sorry that was so long..too much coffee today for me!

    • Piper: You crack me up! Please don’t ever apologize for being you:)

      It’s funny, I saw my dad today and he asked me what was up with all the whining on PLM today. “I know, I know” I said, “but look at these comments! I went to bed grumpy and woke up to support…how cool is that?” I have felt so much better hearing from you and Ray and Dawn.

      We’ve gotta work on that grocery store time though, love…are they paying you to be there that often? 😉

      Take care, you crazy chick you!

  5. I once ran a successfull little company but grew tired of it. So I sold it away to have some time to recover from years of 16 hour-days. I thought it would be a great time to stay home some time to watch my son growing. I thought to grant me some three years to start up something totaly different, something way more myself.

    To make a long story short: it took not three years but twelve. However, this gave my spouse some time to find a career on her own. When the time came when the money I had made from selling the company vanished my wife was ready to bring the money in – and she was very glad this way cause she never felt like staying home and raising a kid.

    However, I thought to give you this little background information that even if one stays at home and starts running a company from there – as I do – it isn’t easier at all!

    I use to go to bed at 2 in the morning. The night time is a great time to work undisturbed. I get up at 6:30 in the morning to prepare breakfast for our son and have my newspaper time for some 30 minutes – just myself and the paper 🙂 Then it’s time to prepare breakfast for my sweety and to take her to the office. Then I run home, check my schedule, write articles, make phone calls, meet people to check out businesses. Shortly after 2pm my son comes home from school and needs lunch. This done I check mails and try my best to keep my eyes open 🙂 At four pm it’s time to run through the house to clean up and make the kitchen shining 🙂 and at five it’s time to pick up my spouse from office. Then, after having a little “hello” at the groceries it’s time to cook and prepare dinner – yes, it’s me who does the cooking. My wife manages the ironing and the washing I manage household and cooking. After dinner and a little conversation of us three, it’s time to get back to the computer to work or do some phone calls – and, I guess I already mentioned that I will get to bed around 2 am … And this is my day from monday to friday – and I enjoy most of the time! 🙂 The freedom I have, the time with my family I am granted, the business which I realy love and all those little things … I am happy! I have a full life! A great one! I KNOW I can say “stop” at every second, at every moment – and sometimes I do. But most of the time it’s great to live life 🙂

    And, honestly, don’t you all feel the very same?! Isn’t life great?! 🙂 I guess we crash (a little) when we try to be too perfect, so we better let go a little and allow things to flow a little more freely … 🙂

    Nice reading the posting and the comments … thank you all!

    ray

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