Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Soap-Boxing Continued

Hey there, good lookin'

I've been feeling like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde lately; the change from my work persona to my "real" persona is startling.  At work I struggle to stay on point, to focus on my e-mails and spreadsheets and task lists and processes when all my mind wants to think about is 'Rad, Z, and being home with my family.  Forcing myself to think about one thing when I rather think about something else, well, it feels like trying to push car that has it's breaks on, and I'm doing both the pushing and the breaking.  Once I make the transition from "work me" to "regular me" though, it's like throwing off an un-glamorous, not-magical cape and roaming the world with a freer mind. That's all I want - a free mind and time to indulge it.

But that seems like a really difficult thing to get these days.  I continue to be appalled by the travesty that is being a working mother (I say all this with my ideal situation allowing me to work part-time).  I call it a travesty not because I have anything against working and being a mother, but because our lives are structured to not allow working parents to spend many waking hours with their kids.  We work hard so we can have families, take care of those families, and raise those families, but working hard means that we have very little time to do any of those things that we work hard for.  It's a catch-22 and it's a complete load.  Is this really how it is?  I know for sure that it's not the way it should be.  How can we make this better?  There has to be some way...

Off of my soap box and back home, I'm trying to find that peace of mind that I'm working towards.  I catch glimpses of it when I see Z fawn over Connor, feeding him dinner and not wanting to put him to bed because he just wants to play with him. Bits of it float to the surface when Z, Blue, Connor, and I get to walk around the neighborhood after work, catching up, breathing in the fresh air, and taking in the open spaces.  I feel it every time we are together as a family (let's be honest here, I also feel it for a split second when I buy something).  Where and when do you find your daily peace of mind?  Maybe I should open my eyes a little more for those opportunities to feel free.


Emilie & Eric said...

So so so so true. When I was younger, I wanted to be something great, to have some kind of profession that didn't feel like work. But in college, I found that the profession I thought I wanted, came with odd hours and little pay. So my ideal became something that allowed me to leave the work at work and have the same free hours as my family so we could have that time together. And now thinking about bringing a child into our family...well, it's still an issue but probably a bigger one because you want to spend all of that time with your new family member before the time is gone. So no soap box necessary. It just plain sucks.

KristinG said...

I can understand your feelings and how torn you feel. When I went back to work full-time after Lola was born I cried every single day after I left her. After a few months and it not getting better I knew that something had to change. So now I work part-time (and my heart still breaks every time I leave because she cries and doesn't want me to go), am in school full-time (working towards a degree that will either put me in a school as a teacher or counselor) because it's the only profession that allows a mom to be on the same schedule as her child, and do my best to keep up everywhere else (i.e. haircuts, etc). Financially it is difficult, but when I crunched numbers I worked out what part-time hours + financial aid equaled out to the same as working full-time without having to pay all the added childcare expense. It was not in the original 'plan' and Marshall outright told me he didn't think I'd be able to make it it goes. You become a Mom and you are suddenly capable of awesome and amazing things that you never thought possible. ;)