Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Working Mom Struggles, and How Not To Relate

So, at the risk of sounding like one of those "It's so hard for a working mom" whiners, I have to say that being a working mom can sometimes suck.  After I went back to work I had a really hard time the first few weeks because I felt like I had just started to get good at being a mom and then I had to give it up to go back to a job that I felt like I sucked at, working for people I didn't think gave a crap whether I was there or not.  It was not an ideal situation.  But, I'm the breadwinner in our family and I knew I wouldn't be happy being a stay-at-home mom for the long term anyway.  So I ripped off the band-aid and went back.  That was hard.  It was hard because I dropped my daughter off at my mother's house at 6:30 in the morning and often didn't get back to pick her up until 6:00 at night so I wasn't even home until 6:30, and when she goes to sleep at 7:30, that makes life rough.  I felt like I never saw her or spent time with her or did anything she needed me to do as her mom.  I started feeling like my mom was stepping into that role instead of me, and that hurt.  A lot.  I tried to make the most of my time, but it wasn't a lot of time and I had other responsibilities too.  I had dinner to cook, and dishes to wash, and dogs to walk, and a house to tidy and it wasn't always enough time was never enough time.  Never.

A friend was talking about how she just doesn't get enough time with her daughter and she really needs to capitalize on the time she has.  Then she told me she's working a total of 20 hours a week.  So.....that's at least 20 hours more than I get with my kid.  Forgive me for not sympathizing too much with your struggle.

Another is a teacher whose work day ends at 4:00 every day, and who gets summers off entirely to spend with her daughter.  So, again, not really relating to your situation.

The bottom line is, it's difficult for someone who gets 5 hours total with their child during the week to hear anyone who gets the luxury of significantly more time complain about their lack of time with their kid, or to be able to be sympathetic and act like I relate.  Because I don't relate.  I think those people are terribly lucky.  I envy them.  They don't know how good they have it.

The small bright spot is that with my husband's "career change", I'm no longer tethered to his work schedule so I'm able to come into the office earlier and leave a bit earlier during the day.  Now instead of leaving at 5:00, picking him up, getting stuck in traffic and not getting to my daughter until 6:00, I get to leave at 4:30 and go straight home.  Most days I'm home by 5:00, and he picks my daughter up after work because he gets out earlier, so by 5:00 we are home as a family most nights.  That gives me 2 and a half hours with her.  Sure, I still have to fit dishes and dinner into that time frame, but it gives me a little more flexibility and I get to see and spend time with her a little more each day.  I'd love for it to be more time, and I definitely wish it had been this way earlier on so that I didn't miss so much of her tiny baby months, but I'll take what I can get.

But people who get significantly more time with their kids probably shouldn't commiserate with me over how crappy it is.  You don't really get it.  And you're probably going to piss me off.


Post a Comment