Pick two: from SAHM to working mom

pick two quote
I laugh bitterly at this Pinterest pin. Two months into the school year, I am STILL barely keeping my head above water as a working mom. I’m a little discouraged—will the chaos ever stop?

Ten years ago, I worked full-time for one year before taking a work-from-home, seasonal job as an event coordinator. I raised my babies and enjoyed a flexible schedule: time to read, visit friends, cook from scratch, and nap if necessary. As eight years passed, I enjoyed the job less and less, but the benefit of working from home outweighed the challenges. When my contract expired, I was a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) for a year-and-a-half, dabbling in a network marketing program with little success. The financial strain was tough, but I enjoyed the relaxed SAHM pace and the ability to be available for my children.

This January I started working at a school 20 hours per week. Every day I had about two hours each afternoon to shop, run errands, make phone calls, start dinner or throw in a load of laundry, or write. A major job perk is summers off with my children—a blissful 10 weeks of SAHM wonder.

In August, the school extended my hours to nearly 30 per week. I love my job, my colleagues, and the much-needed extra pay, since our children attend private school. But I despise the weeknight fatigue, my cluttered countertops, laundry on-the-fly, weekends crammed with errands, lack of reading time, spotty friend connection, no energy to exercise, and more-frequent prepackaged dinners. Oh, and my husband and I barely have time to connect at night before we crash from exhaustion. I am frantically dog-paddling in the deep end of the pool with ankle weights, struggling to keep my head above water.

And I’m trying to start a writing career on top of everything else. I feel torn between my daily life, my writing life, and my old SAHM life. I know I can’t have it all, and I want to move forward. I thirst for balance, but I’m not sure which choices on my board should stay and which should go, since they all seem worthy.

If any of you have been here before, please comment. How did you survive your transition from SAHM to working mom? Thank you in advance.

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Melange: my daily mix

Meissen-teacup_pinkrose01

Getting-out-the-door-as-fast-as-possible

collided with Aaron Shust’s song of hope

through the last morning stoplights.

Five solid hours of filing, yet unfinished

slammed into belly laughs with coworkers.

Lost pens, dropped calls, software crashes

melted away with the first bite

of peach pie, nuanced with nutmeg:

my caring sister’s sweet surprise.

A forgotten payment, still on the counter

rear-ended my stolen reading minutes

but didn’t sour the apple cider tea party

I promised my daughter two days ago.

Our teacups’ tiny clinks whispered calm.

Bluegill fried crisp from our own pond

compensated for charred rice and soggy broccoli.

One spread of hand-washed dishes

shushed the pervasive chaos.

Disrespectful words before bed

dissipated as I breathed practice notes

in my flute to old praise hymns.

Isaiah’s vision in my daily verses

rerouted my thoughts

to this morning’s song:

My hope is in You, Lord.