They Say It Takes A Village, But What If You Don’t Have One?

Being a mommy is hard work.Being a working mommy is even worse. There’s a whole load of guilt that goes along with leaving the house for hours at time five days a week. And being at work means I have less time to get done all the things a mommy and wifey has to do. But being a working mommy with no help is an absolute mess. If it weren’t for husband I don’t know where I would be…

We expected our parenting journey to look much different than it is, and never dreamed that we would be doing such a juggling act.

Each morning the beep beep of the alarm goes off at 6:30. I begrudgingly drag my exhausted body out of bed, having no sleep from the night before due to the fact that my 2 year old STILL doesn’t sleep though the night. Kill Me.

I get ready for work sometimes alone, and sometimes while I juggle said 2 year old. Side note: If I show up somewhere and my makeup is lookin a hot mess; just assume I did it with my toddler sitting on my lap while she digs her tiny fingers into every eyeshadow, blush, and bronzer within reach of her little arms and then proceeds to wipe it all over her face and mine….See? Insane.

With all the strength I can muster I smile when I say bye bye. Too often than I would like, I have to walk away while she cries and reaches for me while asking me to stay. Rip your heart out.

BUT she is in good hands. Her daddy’s. My husband works from home so while I’m at work, it’s his turn to juggle. Now this is a good time to say I only work part time as Assistant Behavior Analyst, but I am still gone about 34 hours a week. So I go to work and my man juggles for a few hours.I get home from the first case at lunch time. Hubby makes his own lunch and goes straight up to his office. (thank the lord for self-sufficient men) Then it’s go time. Make lunch, change the diaper, play, read a book, nurse, and nap time. Now, I’m sure this is true for most families, but nap time is sacred in my house. This is my chance to get my “chores” done. I rush through the house doing whatever chores are on the list for day, and 3 out 5 days, I have to then get back in the car and go back to work.

On the days I have to work twice, I don’t get home until 6:30pm. As soon as I walk in the door…yup, go time. Hubby has to work late to make up for his morning juggling act so I make dinner (if he or the crock pot hasn’t already), help mini eat while I’m trying to eat my own food quickly enough that it’s still hot, clean up dinner, play, bath, pjs (my incredible husband does this so I can clean up from bath and get my pjs on), nurse, and bed. By this point it’s usually 9pm.

IF I’m not so tired that I want to cry, I will stay awake long enough to watch one episode of whatever show my husband and I are attempting to get though. But more often than not I just fall into bed….and get up the next day to do it all over again.

But this is not to cry and moan. No no. That’s my style. This is to share with other working mommies out there some of my tips and tricks I’ve learned along the journey of working and raising a child without a village.

My first little piece of advice, is to utilize every second of every day. This takes major amounts of discipline but it is SOO worth it.

  • While I cook lunch I catch up with and check emails, text messages, and pay some bills. Multi-tasking is key here.
  • I do one load of laundry each day. Seriously guys, this changed my life. My laundry would pile up and pile up and it’s impossible to catch up once it’s gone too far. Then you feel as though you need to spend a WHOLE day doing nothing but laundry and I have yet to meet someone who has that kind of time. Especially with kids. So now one load goes in before playtime each after noon. I set the timer on my smart watch and when it goes off the clothes go in the dryer. One load of laundry to fold and put away is much less daunting than an entire bed full of clean clothes.
  • I made myself a chore chat. Another game changer! My house is huge and before we had our daughter it was nothing to just take one full day and clean it top to bottom. Well that’s not even realistic anymore. It took me a long time to figure out how to make this work. I’m someone who loathes having to stop something after I started. I was trying to spend all of nap time cleaning the whole house and then getting so frustrated when she woke up before I was finshed. It was utterly exhausting.
  • I take my make-up of and wash my face for bed while I’m sitting in the bathroom with daughter for bath time. She gets a bath almost every night. It’s been part of our bedtime routine since day one. I can’t leave her in there alone so I make that time useful. We talk or sing songs while she plays and I get cleaned up.
  • I use potty time to clean the bathroom. When my daughter has to poop she sits on the potty for forever and a day. Most of the time with my phone but sometimes with a book. So rather than sit there and watch her watch videos, I clean the whole bathroom.

It’s not easy taking care of a family and a house all while working. But I know I can’t be alone in this. So hopefully this gives other working mommies out there some hope and maybe even a new plan to feel a little more in control of the chaos that is life. And as important as all of this is, remember to take some time to yourself and have fun...I know easier said than done, but as much as I love a clean house, I’ll be the first one to step over a million toys and pass a sink full of dishes on my way out the door to the children’s museum. Because at the end of the day, we’re all she’s got, and her health and happiness will always be my first priority.

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