It’s been about 3 months since I talked about my decision to stay home with Bryce. At that time, I was also trying to figure out how to find my sense of identity and determine if that meant pursuing my career in some sort of capacity or not.
Well, there’s been an update on that front. I hadn’t really been aggressively looking for a job by any means, but an opportunity came on my radar that I knew I had to pursue. It was a company I had worked on a project with a while back and they really stuck out in my mind ever since. The job description was a great fit for my skill set and was a brand new role within the company, which was also enticing.
It’s also completely remote. All 17 of us work from virtual offices across the nation. I told myself that if I were to go back to work, I would want it to be part-time, but this position is full-time. However, the fact that I can work from home was a major factor, which has allowed us to have a pretty unique arrangement when it comes to Bryce.
In the end, T and I crunched a lot of numbers, considered all the angles, prayed and decided that I should take the job and at least give it an honest to goodness shot.
We ended up finding a nanny to watch Bryce three days a week while I work from my home office, and the other two days are covered by the grandparents. They have graciously agreed to travel to our house and stay with us to help out two days of the week (mine and T’s switch off every week for the most part.)
So far, it’s been a week and a half in this new role and let me tell you: this whole working mother thing is super challenging. Here’s a list of reactions/random thoughts on my (exhausted) mind.
- Some days are better than others. Work-wise and baby-wise. But I enjoy the great ones and try to get through the tough ones as best I can.
- I can feel like I’m stretched pretty thin on weekdays- between work (where others in addition to Bryce rely on me, and I have expectations and deadlines), spending quality time with Bryce, pumping/washings bottles, making dinner, household chores/necessities, and making time for T and Izzy—it’s hard to carve out “me” time. T is a fantastic partner and great support/teammate, but we are both exhausted by the end of our days and try to tag team as much as we can.
- I am desperately trying to figure out when to squeeze in that “me” time…and for me, it’s working out. Relieves my stress and lifts a figurative weight off my shoulders. But it’s hard to get it in and I hope to find a way to carve that into my schedule without feeling guilty that I should be with Bryce or T or doing something else.
- I’m a Type A control freak and I’ve learned I have to let go of that. Gotta remind myself to focus on grace, not perfection. The dirty dishes and laundry can all wait (although these things still have to get done- which takes up the limited time I do have…where is that cleaning fairy when you need her?!)
- There is never enough time. And as a result…I have quickly learned to prioritize and create a new routine for myself. I’m considering a “day in the life” type post at some point, but I’m still trying to find my groove in all this.
- Going from being with Bryce all day to only having a couple hours in the morning and a couple at night (with random breaks/lunch here and there), is tough for me to deal with, but I’m sure it will get a little easier as time goes on (I hope!)
- Family time is SO important to me so we try to capitalize on that in the evenings when T is home, meaning blogging, checking emails on my phone and social media can (and should) wait, among many other things.
- Working from home has its advantages and disadvantages. For one thing, I don’t have to spend time commuting, putting on makeup or wearing nice outfits, which means more time with Bryce. On the other hand, you don’t get that coworker camaraderie from a traditional office setting…and although the commute & traffic is awful, it was also a time for me to decompress and transition and do things like listen to the radio/book/podcasts, call friends/family, etc. Now, it’s a 30 second “commute” and flipping the switch from work to mother and visa versa isn’t so easy some days.
- I’m also being a lot more mindful of not over scheduling myself for other things. While I can get stir crazy working from home, I do try to get out every now and again for drinks with girlfriends, head to the library every week for Bryce’s Little Listener class or something else- even a “date” where all of us (Izzy included) head for a car ride and grab ice cream or hot chocolate.
- Weekends are going to transform quite a bit versus how they’ve been the past 6 months, but I’m striving to have a healthy mix of fun family time & activities, making an effort to connect with friends & family, attend church services and catch up on housework, errands, grocery shopping, etc.
Phew! If you are with me still, thanks for reading my free flow of consciousness! High five.
All in all, I am really, truly happy to have this opportunity and feel challenged, build my career and have that “adult time” to flex my brain in a different way. And I’m VERY glad to be able see Bryce more than I would in a non-virtual work arrangement. But wow, it is tough. In the end I am just remembering that I am trying to do what is best for me and my family. Just have to realize that not everything is going to fall into place at once and to give it time (perhaps I should have titled this post “My Type A Self is Getting the Best of Me!” or something to that effect- ha!
But all things aside, my hat is off to all you Mamas out there that make it work—it’s a tough gig, but we are all better for it!
Working Mothers- any tips to share? How long did it take you to find your groove? How do you fit in your “me” time? What is your routine like?
Photo courtesy of Blaszkiewicz Photography