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!