By: Jenna Stewart
There is no doubt in my mind that being a stay at home mom is probably one of the hardest jobs out there. I could probably do it, but I don’t think I would do it well. To be honest, I’d most likely never make it out of yoga pants (while not doing any yoga), drink entirely too much coffee (wait, I already do that), and probably consume more wine than any person should.
I strongly believe that I am a better mother, because I work. That being said, working full-time, with two children, and a husband who also works full-time, and has a lot of other responsibilities, is tough. Ok, understatement of the century. It is like running a marathon with no training. I am constantly sucking wind, waiting for my legs to give out.
It is like being on a seesaw that I can’t get off of. My family is on one side and my job is on the other. And there I am in the middle, desperately trying to keep them balanced, but failing miserably at it.
Let me give you a little snapshot of my week thus far.
President’s Day holiday! I clean and unpack all day, while the kids are at school. It is glorious.
It has snowed all night and is now raining. The temperature is hovering around freezing and the roads are turning into ice skating rinks. Bummer. I check the news when I get up at 5:30 with Bode. The kid’s daycare is on a 2-hour delay. I remember being little and getting snow days. They were the best. Snow days as an adult, when you are not a teacher, is like dangling a lollipop in front of a child. It’s just mean. Don’t do it.
An hour later, the status of daycare has been moved to CLOSED. Pat and I both start spewing information about our days at each other in a fierce competition to see who is busier and who can stay home. We end up tag teaming it, Pat running out for meetings, while I play hula-hoop, get covered in stamps shaped like barnyard animals, and have a tea party with Riley and her bears.
Pat gets home and takes Riley outside to make a snowman, while I attempt to get work done (Bode is napping like an angel). It’s stressful, but hey, it is nice to be home as a family for the day. I’ll make it up tomorrow.
Wednesdays are always tough. Riley has swimming on Wednesdays, which makes her so happy and leaves me frantically running around trying to pack an additional bag. The possibility of forgetting something has multiplied and the odds are not in my favor.
On this particular Wednesday, I was so ahead of myself. I packed her swim bag the night before. Bottles were ready. Lunch was packed. It only took 15 minutes to get Riley to finally put her socks and boots on and by 8:15 we were in the car. I was so proud of myself. While sipping my coffee and thinking about how good I was, I found myself humming along to “I’m bringing home a baby bumble bee.” It was going to be a good day.
Cocky. Just plain cocky. God was probably laughing at me during these 5 minutes thinking this poor girl has no idea what is coming.
Out of paranoia, I scan the bags on the front seat to make sure I did not forget Riley’s swim bag. It is there, phew. What is not there is my laptop. I screech to a halt, and immediately turn around. Thankfully, we weren’t on the highway yet, but I was still going to be cutting it close.
8:50: We make it to school. I chase Riley around the classroom trying to get her into her swim diaper and suit and then back into her coat and boots because her class is ready to go by this time.
I drop Bode in his classroom, give him a kiss and run, ok walk really fast, to my car.
9:08 AM: I get to my office, take a very deep breath, make a cup of coffee and start catching up on emails.
10:15 AM. Daycare calls (which is never a good thing). Bode has a fever. I sigh and pack up my laptop and hurry over to pick him up. As a mom, there is nothing I’d rather be doing than taking care of my baby when he is sick. But, seeing how I already had to work from home the day before, this situation is not ideal.
Bode sleeps a lot during the day and I actually get a lot done. Winning.
3:15 PM. Daycare calls again, again, never good news. Riley has thrown up in her classroom and needs to be picked up.
I wake up Bode from his nap, strap him into his car seat, while he cries bloody murder because he can’t understand why he is no longer snuggled in his crib.
I get to daycare and Riley is on the couch with her teacher. “My belly hurts, momma,” she says.
I scoop her up and give her a kiss and we head home.
4:50 PM: Riley throws up all over herself and her car seat about a mile from our house. You don’t know “gross” until you’ve had to clean vomit out of car seat crevices.
Riley throws up every hour and Bode cries out every two.
No one sleeps.
Riley is feeling much better, but needs to be throw-up free for 24 hours before returning to school. Bode still has a fever and will need to be home again.
Pat has meetings he can’t miss and I just put the coffee pot in the fridge, so clearly I need some rest. So, I take a sick day.
The week is almost over and I have been in the office for less than 2 hours. Telecommuting is wonderful at times, and I have a boss who knows that I work hard and can be flexible, but I still feel like a total failure for the amount of time I have had to work at home this week.
I spend the day sleeping when the kids sleep, going outside for some fresh air, and disinfecting the entire house
It is now 8:45 PM and I am going to sleep. Wish us luck for tomorrow.
PS: When dealing with little germ buckets, use any kind of alcohol you can think of to kill off the germs. Stay away stomach virus, stay away.