The Dwarfs Were Too Optimistic

You know those 7 little dwarfs that let the beautiful princess live with them?  Even helped to save her life?  They are not glass half full dwarfs.

They are glass always completely full, overflowing, flooding dwarfs.  Their little song about loving work.  In a coal mine of all jobs.  Ridiculous if you ask me.

I’d like to see how cheery that song would be when you throw in kids, no pretty princess to cook and clean, and actual bills waiting for you in the mailbox – not birds and squirrels sitting around smiling at you.

It’s August.  Back to school season.  Work starts VERY soon for me.  My summer break is nearing an end.  And each school year gets harder and harder to return to.

There was a time when I was excited and ready to start work again.  Eager to try out the new ideas I had gathered, pondered, and toyed with throughout the summer.  Chomping at the bit to work with new kids, new teachers, new opportunities.

Then I had Buggy.  And I really want to be a stay at home mom.  So going to work is hard.

Then last year I did the job that two people had done.  It was stressful and overwhelming.  It didn’t help.

Now there is a little more to loathe.

Buggy is old enough to realize, understand, and not like the fact that I am going to work, dropping him off with someone else, and leaving him for 8 hours.

“No mama, no” starts when familiar landmarks become clear to him on the drive to the sitter’s.  Actually, it often starts when he sees me pick up my purse, computer bag, lunch bag and enter the garage to load them in the car.

He has a great new sitter, that he loves to be with.  He’s been a few times and hasn’t wimpered a bit as he is distracted by dinosaurs and fish tanks as I pull out of the driveway.

But it’s still hard to hear the recognition in his voice that I am leaving him and he doesn’t like it.

Old sitter is going back to school.  (To be a teacher – NOBLEST of choices)  She was literally 2 minutes from our house.  On the way to and also from BOTH Hubby and my work routes.  She could only be more convenient by living next door (which I frequently made her aware of houses for sale on the street) or living in our guest room (but I’d have to take her husband and son in as well and I can’t afford that many mouths to feed.)

New sitter is conveniently located off the interstate exit just by my schools.  20 minutes from home.

At the end of last school year, I thought about how this coming year I would be the one to drop off Buggy, and Hubby could pick him up so I could have about 30 minutes to myself at home to clean, cook, be productive sans child (or veg on the couch – let’s be honest here).  Now I am the only one that is conveniently close to pick him up.

It doesn’t make sense/cents for Hubby to partake in the daycare drop off and pick-up duties.

Another convenience of this new location?  The 20-30 minutes of solitude between home and work, work and home, within which I could think, daydream, listen to the radio, and prepare myself for the destination I was driving towards, is gone.

I have anywhere from 5-10 minutes of solitude.  Then I have a babbling, singing, screaming, crying (pick a mood, any mood) two-year-old to fill my previous zen time.

Striking a few errands off the to-do list before picking up Buggy and heading home, also a thing of the past.  I will actually have to remember everything I need for the week while at the grocery store on Saturday.  Eeek!

I know the whole “I want to be a SAHM – – – I can’t believe I have to spend an extra 20 minutes with my kid in the car” thing is a bit opposite and topsy-turvy.

Here’s the thing.  I love my son more than life itself.  But working full time and trying to be the best mom and wife I can be (cooking, cleaning, playing, reading, loving, pleasing, soothing, caring) is an enormously unfair load to carry.  There has to be time in between to divide the two and try not to take the frustration or failures of one into the other.

I no longer have that ability.  I must find another way to divide, to separate, to calm, to breathe.  In 5 minutes.

Though my glass is not always overflowing like those insane dwarves, my mantra is that I am always half full.

What fills my cup half way about all of this?  My son is in a place that he is comfortable and loved even if it isn’t created by me.  For 10 months a year I love, care for, and help educate 900 children I did not birth and I do not raise, yet I impact.  My dreams of being a SAHM are not impossible and are almost within my reach.

I’d say that’s a pretty great glass to drink from.

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2 Responses to The Dwarfs Were Too Optimistic

  1. Whether you love working or not, being a working mom is TOUGH. It’s a constant balancing act. I swear, I can juggle 20 different conversations, all while expertly straw-ing a juice box.

    Think the circus would have me?

    • AKeo says:

      Unfortunately the many talents we acquire from being mothers aren’t really good for much else in the world. But you have a good lead with the circus…

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