I haven't been around here much lately because I'm working. I am covering a reception gig while someone is on vacation. Its half days and everyone in the office is great. I'm really enjoying myself.
When I accepted the job I thought, 'Halfdays, no big deal. I can work in the mornings and do all my regular stuff in the afternoons. Easy!' Wrong! Its not easy and I must applaud you working moms.
I am only a week into working and already we are starving, have no clean clothes and live in a house that's a step away from being a hoarder's paradise. I can't remember the last time I did a load of laundry, went grocery shopping or cleaned a bathroom. Our front entrance has become a graveyard of school papers, broken jackets and lunchtime leftovers and don't even get me started on the condition of my kitchen!
I know that the world is full of working parents who balance home life and work life but I've never had to do it, I have no system and frankly my family is less than helpful with picking up the slack. I have the stay-at-home mom thing down pretty well. I have a routine, a schedule and I'm pretty good at juggling the things that go along with being a SAH but this working thing is a totally different monster!
There is a pay off with both and a definite downside to both as well. As a SAH I have a few hours to myself everyday. True, I have to fill those solitary hours with glamorous tasks like grocery shopping, laundry and bathroom cleaning but at least its quiet and I can get things done. the downside is that domestic chores don't give me that much fulfillment, I get lonely for adult contact and my days can stretch out before me like a desert wasteland of sameness if I don't actively pursue opportunities to volunteer and participate in things I enjoy.
As a working girl I get to be with adults, have real meaningful conversations and have a real sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. I get to wear nice clothes, use my brain on something more than Lego assembly and I have something interesting to talk about at the end of the day. The negative to this duel track working mom life is that after a day of working I still have all the regular mom stuff to do but with less time and more interruptions.
My mom was a working mom for most of my growing up years and more than that she also was a part time student for many years. I remember her spending her evenings and weekends juggling studying with being a mom and although I was too young to think of it then as an adult I have often wondered how she did it. How did she do everything?
In the edges of my memories I can see the secret to her success ... my dad. He cooked, cleaned, took us to the park, made sure the school notes were signed and lunches made when my mom couldn't. He tucked us in at night and woke us up in the morning. He did so much of the day to day stuff so that when mom had a few minutes where she wasn't working or studying she was able to spend it with us ... just being our mom. He was the first Mr. Awesome.
My Mr. Awesome has been unbelievable these last couple of weeks. Not only has he been doing all of his regular Awesomeness but he has also gone above and beyond. He has helped me to plan and execute a major fundraiser and a huge school event. He has BBQed for a couple of hundred people, ran a zillion errands, picked kids up, dropped them off, made lunches, cooked dinner and a thousand other little things. he has made me look good these last few weeks ... well, these last 14 years, to tell the truth.
He's my pal, my partner and the reason I can do all I do ... thanks, Mr. Awesome!
So here's to the Working Girls and all the Mr. Awesomes who pitch in, pick up the slack and are man enough to be a domestic goddess! Here's to us!