This parenting thing, this working full time thing, this trying to have a house that I want to come home to, this attempt at improving my health through regular exercise and good eating, this doing all of those things and more, every day, it is hard. It is hard in ways that I could have never imagined. It is hard in ways I never expected. It is hard in ways that slap me upside the head in the middle of the night and make it so I can't fall back asleep.
I grew up with a parent, or two, at home most of the time. When they weren't around, there were grandparents just two miles down a country highway. There was north woods and fields of vegetables to run free in. There were people around all of the time to answer my questions and teach me new things. The concept of a working mom was foreign to me until I was at least 9. Even then, my mom worked in her massage studio in what had been the bottom duplex in our house.
This thing I do now, this doing everything every day, is a thing that I don't know how to do. There is no manual for how to do it. All of the moms who work outside the home are too busy doing it. They are too busy just getting by themselves to share their secrets. Maybe they are like me, unsure that they are getting it right at all.
Monday, after a weekend of not enough sleep and lots of stimulation, M had a bad day at school. I was the one who got talked to after class. She was full of no's. She was not listening to her teachers. She was having a hard time accepting the consequences to her actions.
Work has been unbelievably stressful lately. I have been drowning my stress in chocolate, and chips and sugar. My fuse has shortened. My ability to keep it calm and cool and not let it show at work has come bursting out at home. I yell, I holler, I boss. I escape. I run (quite literally occasionally) away out of shame and a hope that it will make it all better. It hasn't. My fuse is still short, the stress is still there, and I keep giving myself more to do.
M got in trouble at school, but I did to. We're both going to have some new rules.
There will be no yelling, no hollering, no bossing. There will be pleases and thank you's, and listening the first time. There will be time for playing and snuggling and the things that are not important will just have to wait. I cannot do it all. I will bring something from the store to Easter, because I will never be the mom that can work the full time job, make the gourmet dishes, and still be the kind of mom that she wants to be. The one that her daughter deserves.
I will still make time for exercise, but I will do it in the dark if I have to. If that is what it takes to give time to the small person that matters the most. Everyone in the house will start cleaning up more. We will make the basement craft room/play area work because we have to. Because it is something that our family needs for its survival. We will clean the kitchen for the birthday party, and keep it clean.
We will do it. (because there is no try) We will make adjustments as we need to. We may get talked to again, by school, by work, by each other, but we will do it.