My butt is officially whipped. I started my internships in September and have come crashing into the middle of that work/life balancing act. How do working moms do this? How do you work full time while raising children, not to mention keep up with laundry, dishes, groceries, bills, housework and still maintain some kind of relationship with your husband? I'm not working yet, but I might as well be. My crazy life has been forced to conform into another person's schedule and I am losing my mind!
I've worked in the past while raising my daughter, but all of those jobs were flexible. Even when I was a program manager at a non-profit, I pretty much made my own hours and if I had to work from home due to a sick child, I could. But now that I'm working in the field of O and M, I'm dealing with a whole new set of expectations and deadlines. School districts and the Department of Rehabilitation have strict regulations and both are working on shoe-string budgets. Everyone needs it done NOW, and heaven forbid if I miss a day due to illness or child care problems. I feel stretched to my limits, physically and mentally. And when I go home after working all day, I have a needy, still dependent Queen Teen to feed, bathe, spend time with and then send to bed.
That's the heart of the problem. Queen Teen is 15 but is developmentally about 11. Physically she requires a lot of help and still relies on me to provide the majority of her security and emotional needs. I rarely have down time; when I'm not working, I'm caring for a severely disabled child who requires 24 hour care. Rick is fabulous and does his best, but I am the center of Queen Teen's world, and will probably be for many more years.
It's frustrating because I want to learn more and work more and expand my horizons and perhaps even get my PHD (someone can kick me now and remind me how stressed out I am and NO I do not need any more years of school!). I want a steady income, health insurance, a 401K and retirement, all things I have never had (I'm 43! I should have some kind of savings for when I'm 70!). To get those things I need to work full time.
I can not work full time. Not now, anyway. Instead of looking for full time jobs, I'm considering being an independent contractor so I can go back to making my own schedule and having more control over my time. I need the flexibility to give my daughter the care she still needs from me. I have to be full time mommy a little while longer.
But I'd still like to know, how the hell do you moms with full time jobs do it!?