Jack of all trades, but master of none.


I hear the term “jack of all trades” used a lot. But people always leave off the “master of none” part which, at least when I’m applying it to myself, is the most accurate part. You’ve probably heard the term applied to the Alpha Omega car seat, or any of it’s clones. Tries to be a lot of things, and pretty much sucks at all of them. I’m like the Alpha Omega of the mom world.

Most days it feels next to impossible to have two jobs: mom and work out of home mom. Heck, being mom in general is next to impossible some days. Or most days. Or all of them. Really.

You literally spend your whole day giving yourself to someone else. Not just your care but your soul and emotions. Then on top of that, you attempt to maintain some sort of living environment while they ransack and destroy every futile attempt you put forth. It’s something you never really feel adequate at, even though you’re doing your best.

I work weekends as a nurse, and it’s basically déjà vu but with adults. I go to work and spend my whole day putting others’ needs before my own. I don’t eat, I don’t pee. I get yelled at, hit, things thrown at me, and spend lots of time teaching and bargaining. “Please stop smoking. If you stop smoking, maybe you won’t die!” sounds a lot like “Please stop jumping off the top of the playset. If you stop jumping off the playset, maybe you won’t break both your ankles!” There’s lots of poop and bodily fluids and tears involved. And hugs. The hugs that make you mind the other stuff a little less.

The problem is, I always feel like I can’t put my whole effort into both. At home, I’m constantly on the phone about work stuff, or counting down the days till I have to drag myself back there. I snap at my kids when I’m going through work emails (I work in management as well as bedside nursing so work often does come home with me) because I’m frustrated. I don’t see much of my older son as he’s in school all day and by the time we get home from school pick up at 4pm, we don’t have time to go do anything because I have to make dinner and my kids go to bed at 7pm. I miss their weekend ball games, all the fun family events, festivals, and time with my husband.

When I’m at work, I don’t put 100% because I just want to get home to my family. I think about my kids, wonder how their games are going, wish I could give my husband a hand in the yard. I snap at my coworkers because I’m frustrated at what I’m not doing. I don’t always finish the things I should finish because I just want to get home and relieve the guilt of ignoring the kids during the week because I was thinking about work.

It’s a catch 22 really, and I feel like I don’t do anything well. Sometimes I feel like I can’t make anyone happy, including myself. The guilt is overwhelming, especially when you see other moms holding down full time jobs and seemingly rocking it. Unfortunately in this day and age, it’s hard to get by on one income. We’ve done it for years but we felt like we weren’t giving our kids enough and with both of us working, we have opportunities to go do fun things instead of not being able to because we are living paycheck to paycheck. However, working opposite schedules, we don’t really have time to do those fun things. And then apparently on top of all that, I’m supposed to eat healthy, exercise, be involved in my kid’s school, have friends, and make time for myself.

So what’s the answer? I don’t know. It’s probably family specific, and what works for us won’t work for everyone and vice versa. But how do you make it work emotionally? How do you feel satisfied with what you’re doing? How do you not feel stretched thin and still not successful? If anyone has the answers, please let me know. Otherwise, I’ll chalk it up as one of those eternally unanswered mom questions. How do we do it all, and do it well?