I have a new round respect for working mothers. I didn't realize how crazy life is being a working mom. It is a totally different experience than what I ever imagined. I have learned so much about myself and realized what I am/am not couple of over these last 5 months of being a mother.
Things I have learned, as a working mother ...
- You can survived on little sleep. In fact, you can do better than survive you can go into work, do your job for 8hrs, come home, do tasks around the house and you can accomplish all of this while waking up 4 times during the night.
- You can multi-task and do at least 12 things at once. It is amazing how my multi-tasking skills have improved over the last 5 months. I can think of at least 3 things I need to do while completely another task and then start in on working on those 3 things I was just thinking of.
- Must plan ahead. So the next day to do smoothly, everything has to be ready and put together the night before. That is only way this entire operation functions smoothly. So each night there is whole routine that must get accomplished - the lunches get packed, bottles get labeled, diapers get rinsed, and the bags get all packed for the next day.
- If it outside of the normal routine ... it won't happen. The things that I have forgot/messed up have been changes to my routine. If there is something that I have to do outside my normal rhythm of things, then chances are that I am going to goof it up and something is going to get over looked.
- My personal time has decreased quite a bit. That means that my time end up being at the when I drive to work, when I have time to take a shower and when I finally lay down in bed for the night. The entire rest of my day is filled with taking care of things at work and coming home and taking care of my family.
- I do laundry ALL the time. I have a love/hate relationship with my washer/dryer. I love putting all the dirty clothes and diapers into the washer and and getting them out of the dirty clothes hamper. It is such a great feeling, but then when the laundry is done in the dryer I have to fold it and put it away and that is part that I don't enjoy.
- My exercise time has to happen during the day or in the evening with William. My time to exercise isn't have flexible has it use to be. This means in the evenings that if I work it, it is normally with William and we go running. If I want to go to the gym or do yoga I have to take time during my lunch break to fit that in.
- Cooking dinner can be tough. Have the time/energy to prepare dinner is challenging. Learning how to balance grocery shopping and then food prep with a baby is tough. I think that I have a nice rhythm down .... finally. I go to the grocery on the weekend and get items for the upcoming week. Then I make sure that whatever I am cooking can be done in about 30 minutes. That is the only way we end up with a warm, nutritious dinner is if I have something already in the refrigerator I can prepare and it takes no longer than 30 minutes.
- I love my job. I really do love what I do every day. I enjoy the challenging and using my brain in a different way than I use it the rest of the time. Some times I wish that I could be hanging out with William or puppy, but I also work to really value my time away from work. In the evenings, I try to be present and spend as much time with William before bed time. I really value that time with him.
- Some times I need to step away. It is so easy to get caught up in the all the things with work, extra activities and then hectic-ness of running a house. Sometimes I have to disengage with all the extra things and just relax. This weekend I had that chance. I took a nap with William on Saturday and on Sunday ... gasp! I know! I can't remember the last time I actually took a nap. It had been too long and let me tell you it was glorious.
Life is crazy and being a working mom is even harder, but I love it. I am so thankful for my amazing job, great co-workers, and my wonderful family. I am glad to have a flexible job and the chance to do what I enjoy. I am still working hard to keep all of this in balance and some days go better than others. To all my working mothers out there ... keep it up. If you work outside or inside the home ... it all counts and it is all a challenge.