Hit snooze about 5 times. Make that 6.
Oh God. I'm exhausted. Where did the night go? Didn't I just go to bed? I dreamt about work. That should count as a full day's work. I think I'll ask the boss about getting time and a half for REM Sleep work. I really should get up. I've got a long day ahead of me. I need to let the dog out, feed the dog, take a shower... did I put the laundry in the dryer last night? Damn it. Okay. There goes my charcoal gray cardigan option. I think my black sweater is clean. I'll wear that. Did I set the coffee maker to auto brew last night? YES. Thank you me from last night. You're the best.
Roll out of bed. Start the morning routine. Walk around the house in the dark to avoid waking the kids. Step on the dog's chew toy that squeaks. Might as well been an air horn. Youngest daughter, B, wakes up and starts crying very loudly like she does every morning since the second day of work. I DON'T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL MAMA!
Rush, rush, dress, dress, brush, brush, search, search, pack, pack, nag, nag... Where the hell are my keys?!
Drive to work.
Seriously, people! What happened to Atlanta radio over the last three years? There are five stations and they all play the same bubble gum Taylor Swift song at the same time. I'm only in the car for 15 minutes so I can't hear the results of the morning show DJs' riveting debate on the pros and cons of breaking up with someone via text message.
Type, type, answer call, answer call, double check the numbers, type, type, staple, copy, type, type, call, call, ask question, delete, type, report, repeat.
Drive home from work.
Damn you, Taylor Swift!
Meet older daughter, S, at the bus stop. Get a big hug and "guess what happened today, Mama!!" Try to follow the latest First Grade drama. Attempt to steer the conversation to focus on what she learned that day. Climb back into the car to pick up B from daycare. Get the warmest welcome from B. "MAMA!!! I MISSED YOU!!!" Try to follow the latest daycare drama. Attempt to steer the conversation to focus on what she did that day. Arrive home and get mauled (lovingly) by lonely dog. Check the house for carnage the dog left behind after 8 hours of being home alone with only the sound of Animal Planet on the TV.
Snack, homework, reading, play time for the kids, play time with dog. Bill pay, answer personal emails, light housework, and start dinner for me. Wait for The Hub to walk through the door. Sneak off with The Hub to chat about our day while the kids are playing. Have to cut conversation short because one kid did something to make the other kid mad.
Eat, clean, baths, books, kisses, feed fish, good night.
Go to sleep girls!
I mean it!
If I hear one more peep come from that room, you're grounded forever.
GO TO SLEEP!
"You better go to sleep or I'll send mommy in there!!" - The Hub
Make lunches, lay out clothes for tomorrow, pack school bags, set coffee machine. Crash on couch and flip through the channels and doze off in the middle of The Big Bang Theory. Where did the day go?!
I really should be writing...
That's pretty much my day during the week now. I know employed parents out there are nodding their heads in agreement. Maybe even shaking their heads and saying, "Girlfriend, you have no idea what I have to do everyday." Some of you crazy people can add sports practice, music lessons, Girl or Boy Scouts, gym workouts, baking homemade bread, reading Tolstoy, working a second job, belly dancing, tweezing your eyebrows, and breathing. (How the hell do you manage it?) I know what it's like to be a stay at home mom. This is also my second round of being an employed mom. Both lives are challenging. Both lives have perks. Both lives are good and hard in their own way. I just didn't expect the transition from one stage of life to another to be so... well... exhausting.
I'm struggling to find my balance. I still want to do all the things I did when I was home all the time, but I also want to do well with my new job outside of the home. I'm not used to being "ON" all day. I have to be pleasant and professional even when all I want to do is lay on the floor with my daughter and watch Dora the Explorer. I can't believe I just wrote that. I can't stand Dora the Explorer. I have to be focused when I want to zone out. I want to do housework during the weekday, rather than on the weekends. Okay, let's be honest... I don't want to housework anytime. Oh, and the laundry piles up in record time now, not because I haven't done it, but because I am wearing different clothes everyday. I seriously considered wearing my PJ's to work. I miss wearing PJ's all day.
The simple fact is, we need the second income. I am so ridiculously grateful for the job and I like it 95% of the time. I think I'm pretty good at what I do. I have my "kick ass" moments at work. I still have my "kick ass" moments at home... they just rarely happen on the same day. I feel that in order to get everything done, I have to rob Peter to pay Paul. To get more time with my family, I let the house go. When the house gets messy, I get antsy and we have to play "find the kids' shoes" when the bus is coming up the street. To get my house in order, The Hub and I do housework on the weekends. I even try to do a little bit of housework each night to lessen the weekend chores. By Friday, you can't even tell I cleaned on Monday. I feel like I have to schedule every minute of my week. I'm not good with schedules. I'm motivated by mood. I do things when I feel like it. I don't have a internal clock and it takes so much self discipline to do what I have to do. It also takes self discipline to slow down and do things I want to do without guilt. Like read extra bedtime stories. Snuggle with The Hub. Play with the dog. Lay on the couch and do absolutely nothing. Write.
I know it's only been a month. I know I'll pull a Stella and get my groove back. It took a while for me to get used to being a stay at home mom. It'll take some time to get used to being employed. Tonight, I will set up the coffee maker, pack some lunches, lay out clothes, and set my alarm for 5:00 AM. I might wake up and attack the day with gusto. I might wake up and join B in a good cry and yell, " I DON'T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL MAMA! Either way, it'll be fine.