Work. The other 4-letter word. The thing that I am very clearly not cut out for.
In the past couple weeks, my little family has been struggling to adjust to my new role as a working mom. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing, and I’m still trying to figure out how to utilize my time effectively so that my writing doesn’t fall by the wayside and my house doesn’t constantly look like Toys R Us exploded in my living room.
We’re getting there, slowly but surely. The Princess is starting to have fewer meltdowns and is beginning to make some friends, which is awesome. We still need to work on some basics, like not taking toys from the other kids and keeping her clothes on, but she doesn’t seem to hate it as much so I’ll call it a win.
As I was making lunch for all the kiddos, I realized that I’ve already learned a few lessons from this experience and I thought I’d share them with you.
1.) I am not a morning person…and I’m not really a night person either. Since starting my job, I’ve tried out a few different bedtimes and wake-times in order to figure out what works best for me. It appears that no matter what I do, I don’t want to get up and get moving in the morning. It seems that I need a good 3 hours of being awake before I can bring myself to act like a functioning human. It also appears that by 8 o’clock my brain has completely shut down, so most of my “active” time is spent at work. Which is good for my employer and the kids I work with, but bad for my creative pursuits.
2.) Mondays are awful. I know, I know, it’s cliche as hell, but it’s a cliche for a reason. After 2 days of running on my own schedule, getting back into the groove is hard–for me and for The Princess. Forcing myself to deal with the real world is a pain in the butt. Especially when the day starts on a bad note, like it did this Monday. After I’d overslept, my behemoth of a dog broke free from his chain, forcing me to chase him down the street in my jammies, which led to me stepping in dog poop with my bare feet, before going inside to change a poopy pull-up, rush around, and get to work. Mondays just need to stop being a thing.
3.) Weekends are shorter than I remembered. Seriously, what happened? Before I had this job, the only difference between my weekdays and the weekends was that Almost-Husband spent more time at home. The days stretched before us and I felt like we had all sorts of time together. Now, it’s just a mad dash to squeeze in everything I can’t fit in during the workweek…not the 48 hours of downtime I was envisioning.
4.) My immune system sucks. This past Friday, I had to call out of work because I was sure I was dying. After 3 days with a slight tickle in my throat and a runny nose, I woke up feeling like I was on fire. The Princess and I were both running fevers, my throat hurt like a son-of-a-gun and my ears were killing me…on top of some other aches and pains. So, off to the doctor I went. It turns out it was just some viral thing and I’m sure this is just the first of many bugs the two of us are going to pick up at the daycare. It turns out, kids are little germ machines and my body wasn’t prepared for that reality.
5.) Dealing with 3 kids under 2 isn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. This just blows my mind. The two bigger ones play well together and it’s surprisingly simple to deal with one while holding the other. This may be because they aren’t mine and at the end of the day I’m going home with just my little goofball, but it does give me hope for the future.
6.) My daughter is the jealous type. Yeah, that hope I mentioned a second ago? That goes out the window when I see her getting upset that I’m snuggling another kid. She seems okay with the tiny baby, but she’s not so cool with kids closer to her own age getting affection. One of these days she’ll understand that there’s enough love to go around, right?
7.) Meal planning is a pain in the butt (and boxed meals are still terrible). I’ve always been the kind of girl who makes homemade meals every night. Usually, it’s something pan-fried and smothered with gravy, but every now and then I get a little more elaborate. However, I’ve recently started making more prepackaged meals. They’re quick and easy, and after a long day of work, the last thing I want to do is cook. I keep telling myself I’ll cook on the weekends, but by then I’m exhausted and just want to enjoy my days off. I never thought I’d say this, but I miss cooking. I also have to plan around the daycare menu so we’re not have the same thing for dinner that we had for lunch. My month long meal plans are now week to week, which seems obnoxious to me.
8.) Housework is the devil. I really thought it would be easier to keep up on the house if no one was messing it up all day long. I severely underestimated my daughter’s mess-making abilities.
9.) There’s about a million dollars worth of things I want to purchase with my first check. Like, for real. I keep finding things that I want to purchase and for some reason I keep forgetting that we still have to do things like pay bills and buy food. Still, I’m looking forward to treating myself a little bit.
10) Attitude really is everything. Yes, time is short and there are a lot of new challenges to work through as we adjust, but it goes much more smoothly if I keep a sense of humor about it and focus on the positives.