Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Showing up...

So I want to preface this post by warning you that I'm about to vent. And so please, do not hold these thoughts against me, as I may contradict myself in the future... esp. when it's not that time of the month or I get a rare ladies night off and am still pretending I'm a college student - single and free...

Working mothers have it hard. I don't know how to see it as anything but a lose-lose situation. You can't balance being a good "worker," good mother, and a good wife. I didn't even include good friend, good neighbor, and good daughter/sister to that list. I don't care who you are, unless you have the ability to clone yourself or train your body to run on 2 hours of sleep, you can't have it all.

I currently work 60-70 hour weeks and I still find myself barely making a dent on my to-do list. I come home and all I want to do is veg in front of the TV and catch up on my RHONJ, but instead my mother guilt kicks in and I microwave some trader joe's corndogs and heat up some canned green beans and sit at the dinner table with my kids... Once they're done, I try to find some fruit for dessert and then sneakily head to the couch while the better half does dishes and checks his email. I fall asleep before the kids go down around 9... At midnight I somehow get up off the couch, brush my teeth, and roll into bed. In between these series of nightly events, I am able to use the bathroom while checking my FB, like a few photos on instagram, and answer 5 more work emails. By the weekend, I'm so exhausted that all I want to do is turn on Monsters Inc. or Despicable Me for the kids and take a nap or watch Suits on my iPad. Basically, I just can't keep up with my life or the roles I'm supposed to fulfill.

I can deal with failure, disappointment, even regret. But what wins every time is guilt. Guilt for not being able to show up for my family and friends. Guilt for wishing I was anywhere else but at work or at home. Guilt for daydreaming about what my life would have looked like had I followed my glamorous brother's footsteps... Guilt is the true devil in disguise and it's taken no prisoners.

Case in point: A few friends, including one of my closest and dearest, just had babies. I haven't been able to cook and help them in any way, let alone visit them... I haven't been able to coo at their babies and commiserate with their tales of sleepless nights. I can't help watch their first kid so they can take a nap. All I have done is send them the occasional texts to let them know that I'm thinking of them and am hoping they are doing ok. That's because I've made a conscious decision to spend whatever non-working time I have to hang out with my own kids and husband. Let's be honest, how can I justify spending quality time with friends when I don't feel like I've given my own flesh and blood their rightful share? Sigh. I know they love me and understand my situation, but it doesn't help alleviate the guilt trip I harbor for not being able to just show up. Ay.

I don't like feeling like I'm being set up to fail, but that is precisely how I feel. It'd be one thing if these sacrifices came with perks, but we're still living paycheck to paycheck with no Maui vacation in sight. It'd also be "worth" working like a dog, if I loved my job and I was doing something I was truly passionate about... but that's also not the case. So what do I do?No answers from above yet.... so I'll keep praying and asking God to show me the silver linings of my life and to strip these negative, but very real, feelings out of my head and heart.
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