Balancing It All

I quit my full-time job when Brady was 2-weeks old. I had always intended to go back after a year off. I was a teacher in the local public school. (And I loved my job.) But as soon as I met Brady, I knew that I was supposed to stay home. I wasn’t sure WHY I was supposed to stay home, I just knew.

At that time, financially, we couldn’t afford for me not to work, so I had to think fast and come up with options. Initially I started my own teaching company. I was away from Brady for 10-20 hours per week, but was making as much as I was working full time, if not more. So I dealt with the time away. Throughout the past four years, my job has evolved into more of a managerial position with my company and I have greatly increased my hours with my editorial, content manager position with an online company dedicated to helping teachers – – for free. So now most weeks I am away from Brady about 3-5 hours (for work purposes). I still work 20-30 hours each week, but rarely away from home.

I get in a good 10 hours each week while Brady attends preschool. And a gracious neighbor takes him swimming once each week to give me another 2 hours. So that has helped. The rest of the time, I tend to feel like I am balancing spinning plates on my hands, feet, and even my head at times! I think if our living situation were more traditional, life would be easier. But I am blessed to have mamaw and papa nearby, in case I get in a pinch.

It seems as a parent, no matter what, you have some guilt. If I am working on my laptop I look at Brady and think, “I should be playing with him.” So there starts the guilt. On the other hand, if I am playing with him and know that I have a project for work to do for the following day, I feel guilty that I am not holding up my end of the deal with my work contract.

Sometimes it feels as though I am half mom and half worker. I guess this is how all-working moms feel (and this is before you add in the house cleaning, grocery shopping, chauffer running, and other daily duties). How do we do it? I have come to realize, there is only one thing we can do – – our best. I make sure that I devote about an hour 1-1 time to Brady, sometimes playing outside, swimming at the local indoor pool, playing trains (the usual 1st choice), or whatever he chooses.

While I think all children should feel cherished by their parents, they also need to realize that the world doesn’t revolve around them and sometimes mama or daddy need to work and can’t play (be it housework or working for an income). This may be especially hard for my “only” child to understand, but he has gotten much better.

My to do list (for home or work) will never be completely caught up. But in the grand scheme of things, I don’t think it will matter if the dishes sit in the sink one night so that I have more time for a logic game with Brady. Thankfully I haven’t broken any of my spinning plates yet (well, not figuratively anyway).

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