Friday, February 21, 2014

Life as a Working Mom

Well, I've officially been a working mom for 6 weeks, and as you can tell by the complete lack of posting on my blog, it's been BUSY! Busy, but good. We've managed to find a new routine and it seems to be working out well. I'm so fortunate and thankful that I'm only working part-time (2 days/week), so I still get to be at home with Tessa the other three weekdays and on weekends. It's really the perfect balance for right now.

The first few weeks were definitely a challenge with trying to figure out how to get all of us out the door by 7:30am, having to leave Tessa at the dayhome crying, and trying to keep up with all the other errands and chores that still need to be done with two fewer days a week to do them.

Our morning routine is working out nicely. I get up first, around 6am, get myself completely ready to go, then get Tessa up just before 7 and get her ready. For the most part it's worked perfectly, except for the odd morning when she wakes up too early and I'm not quite ready yet. It also helps immensely to have everything laid out and ready to go the night before. This is what our hallway and kitchen counter look like the night before a work day:

Tessa had a few rough days at her dayhome in the beginning, including one day when she cried almost all day. It was the day after a rough night, so she was really tired. For her to be tired at home is one thing, but to be tired in a new, unfamiliar environment is a whole different ball game. The mom guilt hit me hard that day. I felt so bad for both her and the caregiver, and felt like I was making a huge mistake by being back at work. Thankfully, that turned out to be an isolated incident, and she's done very well since. She doesn't even cry anymore when I drop her off in the morning, which is bittersweet for me. I'm happy that she's happy there, but sad that she's growing up and becoming more independent.

Tessa got to sponge paint for the first time at the dayhome. First artwork for the fridge!
And as for keeping up around the house, well, it's going ok. I've never claimed to be the world's greatest housekeeper, so it doesn't bother me too much if things get left undone at times (for example, our kitchen & dining room floor is TERRIBLE right now - I should probably be doing that instead of writing this! Haha!). But I do know that I need to make myself some kind of schedule so I make sure the things that MUST get done are getting done. I also need to work on using my time at home as efficiently as possible and prioritizing to keep this place somewhat liveable.

Our living room often looks like a bomb went off
Tessa's room on laundry day (it doesn't stay like this!!)
Yes, life has been a little crazy these past 6 weeks as we've settled into our new normal. Life as a working mom is definitely hard, but I wouldn't say it's any harder or easier than being a full time stay at home mom (although I can't imagine how the full time working mamas do it! Hats off to you!). It's just different. They both have their own unique challenges. I came across this post on Facebook - it's written as two letters - one from a SAHM to a working mom, and vice versa. Having been on both sides, I think it perfectly sums up the challenges that each one faces. There's no need to argue over who has it harder. We're all moms, we just need to support each other at whatever place in life we're at.
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