This week (wait, this month) has been hard work. I feel like I say that a lot though. Sigh. Work is intense, exciting but intense…requiring so much of my energy and focus. I am aware that the balance right now is shifting in works favour, but it is only for a short time…isn’t it?
Someone asked me a work earlier in the week why I work part time. It was an innocent question but it sent my brain into an overdrive spiral and it keeps popping up in my mind. Why DO i work part time? I am fiercely protective of my part time work, but why do I do it? When I sit with this question for a while, the answer is that I want to also be a good mother. I don’t want to be the person picking up the kids at 6pm from afterschool care 5 days a week, just before they lock the doors. I want to have headspace to be there for my children, to remember all these years, not think back later that I should have spent more time with them. I want to be able to help them with homework and support them in their hobbies. I want to bake cookies and pick them up from school.
Which is why I am now so confused… because if I’m honest with myself, has part time work allowed me to do these things recently?
I am there to pick the kids up from school, but I’m often juggling work calls and answering last minute emails trying to close out my work day. I find time for us to sit and do homework but the kids just whine at me because they would rather be watching TV and we spend 30min arguing instead. I yell at the kids to move faster in the morning because I’m conscious of how much work that needs to get done in my short day and I’m anxious about getting my work day started. I’m sitting at BMX training, while my daughter plays on the ipad and I’m thinking about the work trip that I need to go on next week. On my “day off”, I usually spend the day trying to catch up on chores not baking cookies, feeling guilty because I should be on top of these things if I am working part time.
I’m confused, exhausted and now I’m unsure if I’m making the right choices. Is my balance all wrong?
The alarm went off at 6am this morning, but I shunned my usual exercise plans and stayed in bed with a blissful cup of tea and my book (please exercise gods, do not strike me down with big butt lightning). At 7.30, I woke my sleeping kids from their slumber (yes, they were still asleep…it’s a miracle day). “Cuddles Mummy” says my daughter. And so I sit on her bed as she snuggles into my shoulder. I smell her hair, I feel her warm little body wrapped around mine…and I feel myself fill up with all her warm sunshine. All the emptiness and worry that I was feeling was completely washed away. So I carry my little monkey out for breakfast. We get the music pumping for some breakfast pyjama dance party action (I mean, why not? dance party anthems really help the getting ready for school process I feel…). And as Taylor Swift pumps out “Shake it off”…we bounce around the room, and I really do shake it all off.
Things aren’t always perfectly balanced, sometimes it can be tough….but I think we’re gonna be alright.