Are you tired? Frazzled? Out-of-sorts? You must be a working mom! Working moms really have a rough life and I don’t mean that facetiously. I consider myself a SAHM for the most part, but I do volunteer heavily for my local Safe Kids coalition. I’m their volunteer and membership coordinator, web master, newsletter editor, and I’m an instructor on top of all that. There usually isn’t a week that goes by where I’m not emailed at least daily about something SK related or called upon to attend an event (I feel obligated to attend as many events as possible, not only to keep my skills up-to-date, but also to set a good example as volunteer coordinator and instructor). Some weeks, like this week, all of those duties assert themselves and make me wonder why I ever got involved in the first place. When I have to help teach a class, it typically takes the better part of 3-4 full days. Fortunately, we only teach 2-3 classes per year. Ah really, I shouldn’t complain; I like the people I work with at my coalition.
Every year or so, I have a contract editing position related to CPS that comes around. It’s something I can do from home, so I become a WAHM during this time. Depending on our goals for this project, it can take anywhere from 3 months to 9 months to complete the work. I just have to carve time out to do the work.
Then I blog for CarseatBlog.com. I like this gig. Darren and Kecia are great people and fun to be around. The only problem is that they are so demanding, constantly bugging me about deadlines. Like slave masters, they are. j/k!
So when I lay it all out on fake paper with fake ink, it seems like I’m not terribly busy, but when I live my life I feel like I’m running at 110%. When I pick up my kids at the end of the school day, I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing, yet I’ve been busy all day. My house hasn’t been cleaned in, oh, I don’t know how long. My vacuum? Oh, yeah, the downstairs vacuum saw light for the first time in a couple of weeks last night because the kitchen floor was so crunchy. The only thing I can barely keep up with is laundry and that’s because we need clean underwear! To give you an idea of how much this bothers me, I *am* a clean freak.
Why does it have to be this way? I know I’m not the only one feeling completely overwhelmed. Moms (and dads too!) who work full-time still have to clean their homes, feed and bathe their children, play with the pets, clean up the kitchen, clean the house, pay the bills, etc., etc., etc. Where does the time for enjoying life come in? Where does the time for taking care of oneself come in? I don’t know. I think it gets left behind and that’s why we have such an angry society today.
I was talking to a friend on the playground yesterday after school while the kids burned off some energy and she was lamenting how even though she works from her home, she still doesn’t bring in enough money and she needs to get out and find another part-time job. “Where am I supposed to find the time?” asked the mom of three, one of whom is a special needs kid. She still has to maintain the work she does from home. We both chuckled uncomfortably about how cluttered our houses have become and changed the subject to a much more jovial one of how plastic surgeons are now doing tattoos.
I think my friend and I are pretty typical: feeling like hamsters running on a running wheel, running and running, yet going nowhere. My online communities, like car-seat.org and the BabyCenter car seat boards, at least give me an outlet where I can help others and let my mind wander a bit. I don’t know if I’ve saved any lives, but I do know that my work through Safe Kids has resulted in some tightly installed car seats . And my friend and I are lucky to have flexible schedules to be able to catch our kids’ singing programs at school during the day. I think since we all get frazzled at one time or another, we should stop and enjoy a chocolate or two before jumping back into the fray.