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working mother


Working Mama: Superhero In Disguise

     Dear sweet Jesus, help me.

     This week was the week. It was inevitable and I'd put it off as long as I could, but after 10 months, it was time to return to the "working" world. (Let the record show that the "working" world is the one in which I will get paid for my efforts, as opposed to the world I've been living in that has consisted of 24/7 labor-intensive and mind-numbing tasks for which I have yet to be compensated.... and no, hugs do not count as compensation when you've changed 5 sets of urine-soaked sheets in a week.)
     Pre-pregnancy job outlook: I have the skills needed to do my job, not only adequately, but remarkably. My documentation is near flawless, my people skills are superb, I spend countless hours outside of the workforce practicing new skills and researching updated theories and techniques, and I am organized to a fault. Working keeps me sane and sanity keeps me working.

     During pregnancy job outlook: I have some skills, but I sometimes puke in front of my clients and have to use toilets that I would otherwise slit my wrist before using. I can do my job pretty well, when I'm not cringing with Braxton-Hicks contractions or fumbling in my purse for a much-needed snack.... how old are those Tic Tac's, I wonder? I spend some time thinking about my clients before I crash for the night, but I usually fall asleep before I can get through the newest psychology articles. I sometimes can't tie my shoes and my socks don't have to match, but I'm managing to keep my cases organized.... I think. Working keeps me sanish and the need for money keeps me working.

     Post-pregnancy with a 9-month-old, a toddler, and two nutty big kids job outlook: I have the skills to.... Wait, where the crap is my briefcase?!?! I can't even tell is that's dog poop, baby poop, or spit up on my one and only pair of fitting dress pants.... it kind of smells like all three.... I don't have time to wash them so I guess I'll Febreeze them and move on. Anyways, what was I saying again? Skills. Yes! Ok. I have some skills.... somewhere. They're either in the diaper bag or the lunch box.... Skills, not Skittles.... shoot. Um, I think I still know how to talk to people, but I've been told I lose my train of thought, but who knows, I can't remember. I spend countless hours trying to get everyone ready and out of the house for me to complete a two hour training, some of which I even retained. (Pat on back.) I have no idea where anything is or how I could ever possibly help another human being.... Ever again. Working causes insanity and money is working for nothing and sanity crap.

     DO YOU SEE MY PROBLEM??? How in the world am I going to DO this, people? It took me longer to get me and munchkin ready to leave the house than it did to attend my first training, you guys. And then I had to go grocery shopping, pick the baby up, get the kids off the bus, help them with homework (another Dear sweet Jesus moment brought to you by the letter T and the word TAYLOR), get dinner made, lunches packed, the house kinda "cleaned", online paperwork completed for the new job, laundry put away, kids readied and put to bed, baby fed, dogs taken care of ,and finally, at 10:45 pm I was allowed to go to sleep. I was so busy I didn't even have time to cry over the panic I experienced leaving my little man for the first day! (Two hours... that's how long I worked... two. freaking. hours.)

     I remember a time when going to work was seriously my only obligation. And I loved it. Now it seems like work is that crappy errand I have to run that interrupts the real things I'm supposed to get done, like taking care of EVERYONE. Never did I feel that I encountered something in my career that was impossible to overcome.... I was certain that there was a solution and that my 100% effort would payoff.

     But as a mother, I rarely feel that kind of confidence, and that's with giving it 1,000,000% effort!! It seems that no matter how hard I try, I'll probably not succeed, but that it won't matter too much because there's not enough time in a day to focus on each little failure before the next one is there to present itself with a new way to screw up. Who knows, maybe going to work will reboost my confidence, reminding me that I.Can.Do.Some.Things! But in a schedule that already felt overwhelming between therapy sessions, swim lessons, gymnastics classes, and church or school obligations, where is a gal supposed to allow time to go to work? I suppose my luxurious 3-5 hours of sleep per night could be cut back.... but I don't know that I should drive under those circumstances.

     I, for one, am looking forward to seeing how all this unfolds. (Well, looking forward to it or not, it's gonna unfold, people... be sure to stand at least 6 feet from me at all times, just in case my brain explodes from all the "unfolding".) After all, there are all these other heroic women out there, earning the bacon and cooking it too, so why can't I? (Because my brain is mushy? Because I only have one pair of pants? Because I never did find that brief case? Because I found crusty boogers in my hair upon returning home from the first day of training.... and I don't know how long they had been there???)

     So, what do I need from you, Mamas? TIPS! Help me, please! Tell me what you have found that works for you. How do you manage time? Family? A changing schedule? Homework? How do you just not drop all the balls and sit on the floor and cry??? Okay.... Go!