I’m not a typical working mom. My job is part-time, and I do it from home, only going into the office one morning a week. This arrangement has allowed me to be at home with my Boy, belong to two during-the-day moms groups, and save a bundle by not using much childcare. An incredible arrangement, one that has allowed me to witness most of my Boy’s milestones and day-to-day wonderfulness while pursuing a career that I love.
As with all things, there’s a flipside. I don’t sleep much, as I get most of my work done after the Boy goes to bed at night. Piecing together a work schedule has caused my work to suffer. My boss is too kind to really say it, but I’ve been operating in maintenance mode for too long. Husby and I don’t truly have quality time together, because one (if not both) of us has a computer on our lap each night. My health has taken a hit, as I’ve often chosen semi-homemade meals or takeout over fresh, totally-homemade meals to save some time. And since I stay up so late, often I get hungry so I have a snack before bed, around midnight. I’m chronically exhausted, as bedtime is around midnight and The Boy wakes at least once before getting up at 7:30am.
Please note that I am not complaining. I am so, so very grateful (mainly to my Husby for sacrificing sleep to change diapers in the middle of the night so I can have a few more minutes of sleep, and to my understanding and graceful boss for being just that). It is a strange thing, though, to be a working mom and also a stay-at-home mom. I love being both, but it is a lot to balance. And it feels like each day is shorter than the one before it.
Time has become my foe. It doesn’t seem to be on my side; rather, it seems to enjoy working against me. Flying by during naptime, dragging on with nighttime cries, moving quickly as a deadline looms. Time, it’s cunning – convincing me one minute that my baby will be just that forever, then the next day that baby is 16mos old and has self-weaned, no longer patient enough to wait for my letdown. Time has even affected his little toddler self!
So how do I beat it? How do I bend time to my will, my desires, my hopes?
Time marches on, sneering as it parades by, daring me to truly realize its fleetingness. Never again will I experience April 14, 2013. I get one shot. One chance. One single moment to decide, to choose, to grab.
And so I do. I choose to stay up late so I can play for a few more minutes in the afternoon. I decide to let my Boy play around me, sit in his highchair a few extra minutes, stay in his crib a little longer, so I can finish emails and phone calls within business hours. I choose to pay a caregiver so I can capture two hours on Thursdays alone, working and writing. I decide to close the laptop early tonight, and I pick quality time with Husby.
These choices, each one adds up to my time. The only way I control time is to choose to be intentional with how I spend it.
Were you to really realize your time, what would you do differently? How is time a struggle for you?
This post is part of an on-going series for the (in)couraging working new moms group that I co-lead via (in)courage.
Click here to read more about it! Sorry, but the group is currently full.
Watch for info on the summer session soon!
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I'd love to meet you over a picket fence in our backyards with a cup of coffee and a good story. We'd talk real life, real motherhood, and real encouragement.
Speak your truth. I love that as the economy has changed many women have more choices. My mom was a working mom in the 1990s with no support from her extended family and lots of judgment from our church community… she would of preferred to work part time but they didn’t offer it at her job. Thank God that’s available now for many mommas, including you. It’s okay to vent and still be thankful. Xo.
I <3 your new design, friend! I've been viewing it on my iphone, and it's even prettier in full-size. 🙂 Time is my enemy, too… it's such a hard balance between work and play and loving God and myself and everyone else! You're right, it's all about being intentional, about prioritizing and using the time wisely. I used to waste away evenings in front of the TV, but the hubby and I are making an effort to connect with each other during (some of) that time now — and I'm trying to go to bed earlier and have some time with God in the evenings. I'm learning that God uses the constraint of time to show us our humanness, our need for Him to order our days. It will be so good to have eternity to play and work and love all we want to! 🙂
I’m humbled. Thank you.