I cannot believe I have officially been a working mama for over 6 months now! I can honestly say that I have a much greater appreciation for my parents, I don’t know how they did all of this WITH 3 KIDS.. they made it look so easy haha. It has been so rewarding and yet so exhausting as well. My 2 favorite parts of the day are watching Sesame Street with Asher and then hanging with Stephen and debriefing about our days! We usually stay up late catching up on shows or movies (or atleast we try to .. but I always end up passing out haha) . I am still trying to master the perfect schedule. Honestly, whenever I have failed to meal prep on the weekends or plan in general for the next day, it totally screws us up. There have been days when I am just so tired that I just veg out on the couch with Asher after dinner and just wait for bed. I always regret that the next day when I am running around trying to get everything together so we can all leave the house on time. For this post I wanted to share some of the biggest challenges that I have faced in the past few months of being a working mom.
….. I’m sure all my mom friends have something to say about this! It is the number one biggest challenge that I’m still working on. Some days I am just so tired I honestly just want to sink into the couch. I feel like every day just passes so quickly and despite working 15 min from my house, I miss Asher and start to feel a little homesick. I think what gets me is that I feel like I’m never getting the most out of my days. I’m constantly being pulled in different directions and I feel like that leaves Asher short changed sometimes. Does that feeling ever stop or are we parents just always going to carry this? I was asking a few of my coworkers how they manage because I just always end the night with wondering if I spent enough time playing with/ engaging Asher. I am totally guilty of keeping him up later than he should be just so we don’t have to cut play time/ quality time short. Otherwise, I feel like it would just be too little time spent together. Why do babies need to sleep so early???? (it’s rhetorical, I don’t need any know-it-all moms jumping down my throat about my “growing baby”). I think my best bet is just to conquer time management and take it from there. One thing that I have decided to do is to plan a special activity or event for Asher over the weekends. Last Sunday Stephen and I had our first family beach trip! The week leading up to it, I was just SO excited! This thought alone helped ease the mom guilt, knowing that during the week it is always so rushed but that during the weekend I can make up for it. It was the perfect daycation. I think it’s so important to have those. It was our first family beach day trip and Asher had a BLAST! (I will share more in a following post!!). We are also planning a trip to the aquarium, the Science Museum, and a trip to Pennsylvania to spend a weekend visiting Sesame Street Place. So that’s on the agenda for now, I’m still trying to find more kid friendly adventures for the weekend. But I have a feeling we will be stopping by the beach a few times :)
I have to give Stephen a shout-out because I don’t know how he’s been managing! Besides working full time and parenting, he has also been in school getting his masters. This summer he has been in intensive classes that are 3 hours each! So every Monday, Wednesday & Friday he goes to class from 6pm-9pm after work! The thought alone exhausts me. He is also an umpire for baseball and over the weekend he can have games back-back! He also has games to umpire during the week too! So he is basically always working or studying. He was also doing a 100 day challenge; this challenge consisted of going to the gym every single day for 100 days. That takes some serious will power…. He lost 30 pounds! I remember last semester, on Tuesday’s, he had class so he would wake up at 5am to workout before work, and then head to work, and then go to class, and come home around 9:30pm! Such a long day! Basically, this man is my HERO!!!! So trying to find time to just chill out has been….. a little difficult. We usually play catch up after we put Asher to bed and unwind with a show/movie. We are so fortunate because my fairy godmother takes Asher for the day every other Saturday so we try to hang out as much as we can (that is if he doesn’t have to study or have games to umpire). I will usually run errands during that time. There are also nights after work when the both of us have free schedules (super rare) and my mom will babysit for a couple hours so we can go on a dinner date at our favorite restaurant. A couple weeks ago was the first time in months that we had a full Saturday where we were both completely free! My fairy godmother took Asher for the day also. Stephen and I just hung out on the couch ALL DAY and caught up on our shows while I blogged! It was such a relaxing day, and I am still smiling about it lol.
I honestly don’t even know what that is anymore. Like I mentioned, Stephen is super busy so I spend all my free time doing all the behind the scenes work. One of my major problems was planning ahead. I was so used to being at home with Asher that I always thought I had time to run errands. When I started working I didn’t realize that I needed to abandon that mentality. I was just always going out after work to run errands and would get home beyond exhausted after working 10 hour days. I don’t know how I let weekends escape me without getting everything done that I needed to. I felt like I was frantically getting things done all week sometimes and crashing at the end of the night. There have been instances where Stephen or my mom would stop me from going out. I would literally be a zombie walking around the stores getting diapers or strawberries.. That needed to end, I need to just buy diapers and grocery shop on the weekends like normal people haha. The other day I was feeling so stressed and anxious because I felt like nothing ever gets done. I start to think of everything that I have to do and I will just feel mentally frozen until I have devised an executable plan (which takes me too long to do lol). Whether it’s cleaning, organizing, laundry, cooking, running errands, getting my nails done, practicing different hair care routines, blogging, hanging with friends or planning events, sometimes I feel like I’m not meeting the expectations I set on these tasks. I just end up being way too hard on myself. All in all, I have found that the best way to handle things is to just start being realistic about tasks and what can actually get gone in that day/moment. I was trying to conquer the world every single day, but there was always something that ended up paying the price. Nowadays I’m just trying to take things a little slower and actually enjoy what I’m doing.
Yoga & Meditaion! I don’t care how “hippie dippie” you think this sounds, don’t knock it ‘till you tried it! Between the mom guilt (that will probably always linger), trying to spend quality time with my hubs & finding down time for myself, some days I just feel depleted. One thing I have been doing for a little over a month now is Yoga. I can’t believe how much of a difference it has made. There have been a few pretty bad days and honestly I’ll start yoga and just get in the zone, I’ll play nice relaxing music and I start my yoga routine. It has been my number one de-stresser! I should probably add that I am doing this late at night when I actually have a min to myself. It will literally be 11pm and I’m spreading out my yoga mat, turning on some mellow tunes and stretching/praying like it’s my JOB! It’s the perfect alone time and it puts me RIGHT to sleep after! Sometimes I will also do it first thing in the morning too, depending on the day ahead haha.
My advice for the days when you’re just feeling super overwhelmed would be to completely stop what you are doing and start to single out one positive thought, and then focus on it. One thing I have to remind myself is “Count your blessings to find what you look for.” (Thanks, Adele!). I have found that in doing so I start to calm myself down. The other day I was getting all worked up about something so I just paused and tried to think of something completely irrelevant. I remembered a few months back when Asher was sick and Stephen and I didn’t get any sleep the night before. We were so delirious the next morning. We just kept laughing at our own jokes and talking about the night before. For some reason everything just seemed so funny to us haha. I can’t remember any of the silly things we were laughing about, but the thought alone made me so happy nonetheless.
And if you can find someone to talk to, it’s really important to do just that. I would have driven myself crazy if I kept things to myself. Sometimes all you need is for someone to tell you that you’re not (totally) crazy haha. It’s all just an adjustment. You live & you learn.
Fellow mama’s, what’s your best advice for trying to have it all? (and don’t say “you can’t!” lol I want to keep all positive vibes). What are the realistic expectations you have for yourself and how do you go about executing them?