August 8, 2013
Thank you for those of you who continued to read on after those opening remarks.
I have come to the conclusion that it simply can't all be done.
After many months of struggling to find that perfect balance, I have realized that it's okay that I have some back fat and that my lawn is more of an expansive weed than actual grass.
Exhale a big freaking sigh of relief ladies. You're off the hook. You can't do EVERYTHING - and while you are mulling over that statement, you can also ditch the guilt of it all.
I was in a good groove with my little girl when I was on my maternity leave. We had our routine down.
And yes, while many days blurred together with the sleeplessness and the "learning phases/teachable moments", I was confident in my role as mom. Everything else was secondary. All I was really expected to do was to get her needs met through the day - meals/diapers/naps/fresh air/play time/peeling my tired body off the floor.
It wasn't until I returned to work, that I really began to struggle with the balance of it all. I was very fortunate in that my work accommodated my request to return three days a week. (I hadn't found childcare that gave me peace of mind - and our moms offered to help us out with childcare if I worked part time). But being part time, I felt like I couldn't contribute as much as I would like to - I couldn't take on the duties with higher responsibility because they needed daily dedication that my new schedule didn't allow. It really got me down - I felt unnecessary to my team. I didn't want to quit (and can't afford to) but I wasn't ready to be away from her full time -so the dance continues.
During a typical day, I'm up at 5:30 and after work, with dinner(and I use the term dinner really loosely), playing, bathing her, reading books, and miracle of all miracles successfully getting her to sleep, it's 8:30 before I have time to tidy up, and often 9:30 before I'm sitting down for a tea or exercising. And I don't at all want this to sound whiny, (I know, too late!) - because I know people are rolling their eyes, probably a few times, and thinking, "so what you're describing is this thing called parenting". Being a mom is the greatest gift of my life - it's time management that I'm struggling with. Every night I glance out with guilt at my desert/wasteland that used to be a flourishing garden, because it serves to remind me (and my neighbours) - that I can't juggle it all. But watering plants at night is really freaking low on my priority list right now.
I can't juggle it all, but I sure can jiggle it all! I keep trying to do this 30 day shred with Jillian Michaels - a great half hour workout that you're supposed to do for 30 days straight to see results. Well, I'll do it two days straight, then visit friends, then try it again - let's just say after so many false starts - it's turning into my year of shredding instead of the original 30 day timeframe. But I know I have to make exercise one of my top priorities because exercising keeps me mentally strong and gives me that boost of energy I need to keep up with her.
I keep trying to solve this time issue - I think, well, if we lived closer to work, we'd save ourselves a good 1.5 hours a day wasted commuting - but then we'd lose out on free daycare, with the most quality care providers I know, which means I'd have to go back to work full time and be away from her more. I know when she's a little older, this decision will get easier, but right now, while she's so little, I want to be as much a part of her days as I can.
I have been fortunate enough to squeeze in visits once or twice a week with friends because my circle of friends mean the world to me - but I even feel a tug of war in that regard - the gaps are a lot longer between visits, and I miss the little day to day funny details of their lives. Phone calls are replaced with text messages due to time constraints, and I try to pack more quality into our visits - like fun getaways, events, photo worthy bonding moments to make up for lost time.
Speaking of photo worthy moments, I definitely have longer gaps between updates on this blog - it isn't because I don't love snapping photos and sharing, it's because I'm trying to pack a little bit of me time in the last hour of my day.
People often ask me if I want to have a second child. And while I always pictured myself having two children - right now I don't know where I'd find the time - that's my honest response. That statement really scares me because I wanted to have another - but I feel so wiped at the end of my day that I can't imagine having what it takes to successfully care for a second child right now. I am constantly asking people I know with two children how they do it, and their typical response is, "you just do". They are my heros because I don't know how they "just do". Seriously, amazing.
So if you see me and notice I'm wearing something I wore two days ago, that my hair is completely askew and that it took me five days to return your call - please have patience and know that I'm busy trying to be an awesome mom who is a bit lost in the balance of it all.