Nov 022011

I never get to bed before midnight.

I’m on duty with Henry and Eleanor for twelve hours a day. Then they go to bed and I start what I call my “second shift.” I try to get caught up on emails or volunteer work with my multiples club and preschool or photo editing or blogging or running errands. Then I look at the clock and realize I’m going to see it hit 12:00 yet again.

This afternoon, after spending the morning at preschool and then coming home to start laundry and vacuum, I hit the couch to snuggle with the kids while they watched some TV. Except they decided they’d rather play, so off they scampered. I stayed put and parented from the couch for the next hour or two, and let me tell you, it was WONDERFUL.

It made me realize once again that since becoming a stay-at-home mom, I do a really shitty job at giving myself permission to put myself first. Now that my work is my family and my home, it’s like my to-do list is always right in front of me, making it hard to say “that laundry pile will be there tomorrow” and allow myself a night off. And with not much family in town, plus limited babysitting funds, any time I can sneak in for myself comes at the expense of Andy’s off-duty time, which adds a fun layer of guilt to my pity party.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still thankful every day that I have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom. It’s still the very best decision for my family, for right now. And I can’t imagine how working-outside-the-home parents do it, I mean, it’s not like family and household obligations magically disappear when you’re at the office. So spill it, fellow parents: do you also suck at cutting yourself some slack every now and then, or do you have some magical secret you can clue me in on?

While I’m waiting for you to enlighten me, I’m going to attempt to hit the hay early tonight. Granted, it’s still 11:30, but it’s a start, right?

  4 Responses to “Getting to sleep at 11:30 instead of midnight counts as a break, I guess?”

  1. I just found your blog recently, don’t remember where, this Internet thing is vast… Anyway, I quit my job in July to stay home with my twin boys who will be 2 tomorrow (squee! 2!) and I pretty much could have written this same thing. My hubby doesn’t understand sometimes why the dishes aren’t done or the Laundry not put away, perhaps it is because I was interrupted 2000 times by antics and bickering and head injuries.
    So all that to say nope, you’re not alone. This is the gig I guess. But when my kids interrupt me 7 times while I’m getting them dressed to give me hugs, well, the benefits rock..

  2. I could really write a novel on this so I will TRY to keep it brief.

    I’ve always worked since the boys were born. The boys just have to accept that part of being in our family is running errands with us and not getting attention so we can get stuff done. I also have NO issue doing things for myself bc I am a cranky biyatch when I don’t get time to work out and time to do things for me.

    It’s also complicated since Jon travels for work. A lot of the stuff falls onto me to get it done because he is not physically here to do it. After 4 years of trying so hard to find a magic solution, I finally realized that both of us working 5 days a week AND him being gone 50% of the time meant something had to give. Until then, it had been us. Or really, our weekends as we spent most of our weekends and evenings dragging the kids around.

    So last year I went part time. I work regular hours Mon through Thurs. Fridays off. Kids in school. EIGHT HOURS on my own. I am a machine on Fridays. Target, Trader Joe’s, emails, volunteering. I am exhausted at the end of Friday but we have our weekends back. We still have tons of crap to do in evenings.

    And we also have a house cleaning service. And we both work from home so we generally do laundry. Oh and clearly I read blogs while working at my job.

  3. Oh yes, I also forgot. Working parents sign up for a lot less volunteer stuff.

  4. Dont belittle the extra half hour in bed! I have 2 things to add here:

    1) My mum used to say a hour before 12 is worth 2 after

    (I actually used to find the above annoying)

    But here is the theory I like:

    Think of how you feel in a morning when you wake up and have to get up, think how much you would like an extra 1/2 hour in bed……. now tell me that 11.30 is not an improvement on 12!?

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