Monday, December 8, 2008

Why Working is Like a Vacation...

The following is an excerpt from a post I wrote for momlogic. Now, before anyone gets all worked up and worries that I'm not 100% in love with my daughter and I'm a devil mom (some blog readers get very sensitive when I try to be funny), this all should be taken with a grain of salt and a sense of humor.

That being said...

I've spent the last four and a half years as a mom sometimes staying at home, sometimes working part time, other times working from home, and once in a while, working full time... I've done it all. But here's a glimpse into life as a working mom -- which I did for four months before Lucy arrived -- vs. my newer life as a work at home, never seem to get outside mom... (to read the whole article, click here).

Pre-little one, my life looked like this:

6:00 AM Get up, make breakfast for two kids, supervise -- aka force -- them to get dressed, tossing pajamas in laundry room.

6:30 AM Clean up dishes -- aka throw them on the counter -- and grab a quick shower.

7:00 AM Pack lunch boxes -- why didn't I do this last night? -- and run out the door, dropping the boys off at preschool before driving 45 glorious minutes alone to the office -- drinking coffee, singing and catching up on current events via satellite radio.

8:00 AM Arrive at my office with the big beautiful view -- OK, it's the freeway -- and tiny birds land on the window sill to wish me a good morning -- hey, I'm in a good mood.

8:30 AM I get myself another cup of coffee and head to the morning social, uh... I mean, meeting.

We laugh and brainstorm for 30-45 minutes before heading back to our respective offices to churn out mom-related creative content for the day.

10:30 AM Oooh, the lunch menu is dropped on my desk. What to order... what to order...

12:00 PM Lunch arrives. I eat at my desk while shoving food in my face -- food that I did not make, don't have to share and which did not come on dishes that have to be washed.

2:30 PM Quick coffee run with fabulous co-workers (see a trend here?) -- jamming as much conversation we can in ten minutes.

4:00 PM Out the door to pick up boys. Grab them at school, get home and make dinner -- during which I finish up those breakfast dishes, throw in a load of laundry and try to catch up with everything that happened during their day. I can't get enough of their laughs and their stories. I just love being a mom.

7:00 PM Baths, pajamas and books, followed by a little more talking, and lights out.

8:30 PM The night is mine.

During leave, days look a little more like this:

6:00 AM Little one cries. I secretly wish she'll wake up just one morning with some coos and not sobbing demands ... I pick her up immediately.

6:10 AM Little one demands breakfast. Even as I gently persuade her to wait for brothers so we can eat together.

6:30 AM Brothers wake up and eat breakfast. Little one demands second breakfast.

7:00 AM Assist -- aka physically make it happen -- getting three dressed, tossing pajamas in laundry room.

7:30 AM Clean up dishes -- aka throw them on the counter -- and consider, 'do I have time for a shower today?' Followed by either an actual shower or a hat being tossed on my head.

8:00 AM Pack lunch boxes -- why didn't I do this last night? -- and run out the door, dropping the boys off at preschool.

8:45 AM Sit in car wondering which day it is ... do I need to be at mommy and me, parent/tot class, gymnastics or parent volunteer club at the preschool today? Oh crap, I forgot to go to the pharmacy! Quickly grab prescription on the way to the morning's event.

9-11:00 AM One of the above activities.

11:30 AM Put little one down for nap....

Finish dishes... (hmm, should get some Jet Dry... do I have time to get to Target today?)

OUCH! Step on tiny plastic toy with bare feet. That freakin' hurts!

Do laundry... (Ugh, that's the end of the detergent. Let me look in the cabinet. Wow, this cabinet is cluttered.)

Re-organize cabinet... (while reorganizing, think 'I should do the kitchen ones too.')

Re-organize kitchen cabinets... (look at all the crumbs and dust)

Wash floor...

Pull out vacuum... (not a great idea, little one wakes up)

12:30 PM Give little one some lunch and head to Target. (in addition to Jet Dry, I grab snacks for kid lunches, soup and cereal -- because it's much cheaper there than at a grocery store -- grab more laundry detergent, look at cute clothes for little one -- get boys new underwear... force myself to head to check out.)

1:45 PM Pay $332.14 for my Jet Dry run.

2:00 PM Back home. Notice the stroller on the front porch is covered in juice and Goldfish crackers. Put little one down on lawn while I pull off all complicated snappy, velcro parts and toss in wash -- during which I call doctor, credit card company, parent volunteer coordinator and anyone else on my list to get back to.

3:15 PM Stroller put back together. (I should do highchair too.) More laundry tossed in, consider dinner (what do we have thawed?), and put little one in front of Baby Einstein.

3:30 PM Grab little one and head to grocery store. (How did we have nothing thawed?)

4:00 PM Pick up boys and head back home. Make dinner, trying to keep eyes open while boys talk about day ... (could they just. stop. talking?) looking at clock to see how much time I have left before bed.

5:30 PM Turn on movie for 'family bonding' time. No games, no running around outside -- this mom is spent.

7:00 PM Kids are bathed and in pajamas -- earlier and earlier each night. Little one gets rocked and cuddled and dropped into crib. Boys listen to book on CD. I drop to the floor in their room, snoring before CD even gets going.

8:15 PM Wake up on floor with throbbing neck. Think of all the "me time" I can have now but instead, go downstairs and do dinner dishes, pick up toys -- where have all the missing pieces gone? -- throw in yet another load of laundry, brush teeth and settle in front of laptop while lying on bed. Think about calling to check in with fabulous girlfriends -- I miss them so much -- but instead, fall asleep forwarding chain email.

I can't wait to get back to vacation, uh I mean, work.


The Family K. said...

Heh heh, you've just reminded me of how jealous I am of my husband's 30 minute commute to work. 30 minutes of time to himself when he doesn't have to listen to children's music, run intervention on spilled goldfish crackers, deal with tantrums, and wipe up boogery noses. Bliss!

Lynn said...

So that is what I have been missing the last 12 yrs! Work sounds like heaven!

Tisra said...

Ahhh, yes, I know all too well about those "quick trips to Target". I never get out of there under $100!

I've never worked full time while being a Mommy, but there are days I dream about not being tugged on, or interrupted during my meal and think that it would "be so easy" to go to work!

It all has its pros and cons and we each have seasons and callings and missions in life... I rest in knowing I'm right where I should be even if it pounds me to a pulp on some days! :-)

Nicole said...

Wow-i loved that post. I volunteer at my daughters school as a "greeter." Basically my job is . . sit at a desk at the front door of the school and sign people in and out, etc. I get to sit and read my book peacefully as the kids walk by going to and from classes-i LOVE it! A great little job.
I always feel so alive after i leave that volunteering job for those few hours. . . I would love to work again.

one day . . . one day! :) LOL

Anonymous said... seem to paint the working days a little prettier then when you were actually working. What about those early meetings and missing your boys when you were at work? Though, the staying at home is right on track to every detail, especially Target.

Expecting Good Things said...

Great post! :0) My favorite part was... "Make dinner, trying to keep eyes open while boys talk about day ... (could they just. stop. talking?)" B talks a lot. Can't imagine 2. You're doing a great job Jackie. I don't think I could do it.

JackieMacD said...

You are SO right, Suzi! That's what is supposed to be funny... working is definitely NOT all it's cracked up to be. That's why I am so happy to work PT in January -- with a flexible schedule. I'm working on making it the best of both worlds. :)

It wasn't long ago that I would drive home like a maniac, just wanting to be a minute closer to my kids.