Confessions of an Overwhelmed Working MomBeth Anne Ballance
I work at an amazing job that has no real set hours and it’s not uncommon for me to log 50+ hours per week.
I am freelance writer here at Babble.
And I’m a homeowner without a maid, cook, or butler.
I’m an overwhelmed working mom.
These are all activities and responsibilities of my own making, so please don’t think I’m complaining. After all, I’m the one that signed that mortgage, and said “yes” to working in social media, and then thought it would be a super idea to keep working even after my 8-5 job was laid to rest for the day. There are also so many moms out there with fuller plates than me, with more than one child and without a husband to help, or a great, flexible job.
But today when I pulled up to daycare and realized I forgot Harry’s nap sheet and blanket, I felt like it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. In the grand scheme of life, it is barely a blip, but I had been struggling with feeling caught up for several weeks, and reality set in this morning that I was absolutely missing key parts of my day. Normally I put the clean sheet and blanket in his small fox backpack on Sunday nights and either put it in the car or by the door, but last night we were grocery shopping just in case our area sees the crippling ice the weather folks are predicting. Which meant I forgot, which meant that I had to admit sheepishly to the teachers that I just plain forgot, I’m so sorry, please tell me you have extra sheets because I really can’t go back home and fetch one? It’s a humbling experience to admit that to a woman that looks calm and collected with 15 kids at her feet.
It’s like if one part of my routine changes, I lose sight of everything. That’s how structured my days have become. But I fear what life would be like without that structure.
As a working mom, I feel like I am constantly weighing pros and cons and setting priorities and that I’m being pulled in a gazillion different directions. I have a planner and Outlook reminders and a chalkboard in the kitchen but still, things fall through the cracks. I’m constantly looking at my life for ways to do it better, faster, more efficiently. Instead I end up still juggling, still counting balls as they fly through the air and hope they land where they’re supposed to.
Just last night I had a terrifying dream that it was Christmas Eve at 7 pm and I didn’t have a present for my husband. Not one single present and my entire family was staring at me. I woke up in a cold sweat, thrilled when I remembered that it was already February.
Or today, mid-meeting and I’m wondering whether I submitted reports to ShareFile last week… surely I did… right?… or was that my imagination?
So to help out, I’m on a hunt for a (better designed) paper planner, to carry on me at all times.
Until then, I’ll stop acting surprised when I find the proofs of December’s school pictures in the back of my car three months later.
More from BA: