In Awe of Working Moms
By Karen T. Smith on October 05, 2010
I am once again in awe of my working mom friends.Not that I don’t count myself among the “working moms” these days, but the on-again/off-again nature of my kind of work (technology and specifically eLearning consulting) means I’ve come and gone from the workforce on a number of occasions. I’ve recently come back to the working fold with a new and important-to-not-screw-up project.
Holy crap. The house has clearly been hit by a cyclone. The well pump may have just gone out. I had to make three runs to the vet and pet food stores because I first couldn’t get the fancy and expensive prescription diet food for the ailing cat, then bought dog food. For the ailing cat. The driveway ain’t gonna seal itself (though, to be fair, I ain’t gonna be sealing the driveway, but I am the key to getting the driveway sealed.) 
But honestly, my hat (and pumps) are off to my working mom friends. I honestly have no idea how any of us do any of it. I suppose for some, the house just isn’t getting lived in enough to look as disastrous as mine does today. I think my children are particularly efficient at inflicting maximum mess in minimal time intervals. There should be a children’s messy Olympics or something, they’d both be medalists.
But more than just the mess, is the general feeling that I’m not getting enough done...for anyone. For myself, for my kids, for my work, for the house, for the guy I share the house with.
Yes, yes, I know I don’t live in a 1950s fantasy world. Trust me, I have semi-reasonable expectations. Anyone who has ever been to my house can attest to the fact that I have no compunctions about being a house that obviously has children living in it.  But yet I’m haunted by the idea that while working I’m not doing anything at 100%, which is of course ridiculous because I’m totally an 80% girl.
Does the mere act of working, doing work that someone else pays me for, equate to a layer of pressure over everything? Why on earth? It strikes me as crazy, but I’m having trouble shaking the feeling. Perhaps I need a few more months back at work under my belt before I can properly analyze this. Tell me, working moms (or on-again/off-again ones like me) – is this normal? Am I losing what little shred of sanity I thought I had left?
What does it say about me that the things that are most on my mind are all money-related things? Perhaps it’s good that I’m working and bringing in a paycheck again. 
 Though, funny story about my first paycheck for this project. My husband brought it home. Going to have to have a talk with someone at work...
 Tangent: I never did understand what compels some people to live as though there are no children in the house – have all that “kid stuff” hidden upstairs or in a basement. We had kids not just because it was that time in our relationship, or to carry on our names...but because we wanted some company on this journey through life. In all its messy, untidy, if-I-have-to-tell-you-one-more-time-to-put-your-dirty-socks-in-the-laundry-room-I-might-scream loving glory.
I write on Suburban (In)sanity. I have two kids, two cats, a dog, a husband and a minivan. I live in the suburbs now and try to stay sane. Some days, I succeed.
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