Monday, January 11, 2010

Using My Blog as a Self-Indulgent Pity Party - Care to Join?

My friend Nicole wrote how she's having some unhappy thoughts about being a stay at home mom. I do feel for her but I was having such a miserable Monday that I thought I'd share the other side of the story. Please indulge me in my little pity party - and feel free to join in with your own woes.

Reasons it sucks to be a working mom (especially a Big Firm lawyer working mom):

1. Clients come first. Penny's pulminology appointment for Monday afternoon had to get moved (to February) in case I had a call on Monday afternoon. The call happened but lawyers weren't invited. To accommodate workload/calls the Nanny is coming at 8:00 am this week and I'm sure to miss bedtime every night. So my time with the kids is down to about 5 hours total until Saturday.

2. Penny called me "Nanny" all weekend. I would correct her and she'd say "Mama" once and then switch back. She gave Nanny April kisses through the gate when April came into the house today. Requests to give "Mommy" a kiss were generally met with a headshake.

3. More tears/tantrums than love this past weekend from the kids. Text from the Nanny today saying "Kids have been great all day lots of luv 4 Nanny!" Glad they are so happy with our wonderful nanny but it still hurts.

4. Chores during the weekend instead of focused kid time - schlepping them from Target/Kohl's for shoes to the grocery store for food this week. Feeling guilty when I have to throw in a load of wash or check email during our one hour together in the morning. Spending the weekend assessing skills and development to see if they are "on track".

5. The commute is so bad from Boston home (and I only live 12 miles from my office) that if I can't leave by 5:00 pm I might as well stay and work late.

6. Feeling like I am surviving/providing for my kids rather than parenting or enjoying them. Trying to compartmentalize when I am with them and failing miserably.


Sarah said...

The grass is always greener - right? I hear you on the commute front - getting in/out of Boston is such a hassle. And my girls slip up and call me "Grammy" here and there. I left public accounting years and years ago so I don't have to deal with the client aspect but I remember how difficult that was even w/out kids.

LauraC said...

I had one of those nights. Nate didn't want to leave school. The boys were terrible all night. Tried for 20 min to get Skype to work with Jon while the kids cried bc it wasn't working. I've been doing chores all night since they went to bed.

And I think - I worked all day looking forward to seeing the kids and this is what happens.

Nothing like lawyer! But working + traveling husband week after week = sucks sometimes. Tonight was one of the sucky ones.

Anonymous said...

Does it ever make you seriously question your decisions? I don't mean to be the one to throw the grenade in the room, but aren't we all too caught up in needing to make enough money for the really big house, and the new cars? Sometimes it seems to make more sense to slow down and enjoy those times and years that will never come around again. I've never heard anyone say that they wished they had worked more when their kids were young.

Sweet Coalminer said...

I worked for a small firm - a first associate for a solo - and although my hours were decent, I was interrupted by pumping breaks and had to leave constantly to pick up sick kids at daycare. At home, we had to make all food because the kids had too many food allergies to order out. It was EXCRUCIATING, and the lion's share of my paycheck went to childcare and job-related expenses (dry cleaning, sending laundry out b/c I didn't have time to do it). My boss was always on me for not billing enough or would jump on me if I were 10 minutes late, say if I had to change a poop or the day care provider wanted to chat me up about something.

It's hard, and I'm sorry you're having a hard time! I have one friend left practicing with small kids, and she calls me weekly to flirt with staying home. She's a mad success, though.

If you're strong enough to stick with it, I'm sure the kids will be fine and you will be better off.

We do without a lot of things, and I doubt my kids will even remember this time together. We will have a less-comfortable retirement, etc. I'm sure that my children of the future would rather have financial stability than nature walks and park time with me, but it's our lot right now. I do love being home, but I do also love working.

I truly think that being a lawyer, especially one that litigates, is one of the least-compatible jobs for involved parents because the clients come first.

Nicole S. said...

This is why I secretly don't want to go back to work. Because deep down, I know the struggles are more complicated. And as you and Laura point out, working plus a travelling husband makes things even worse, which would be situation each and every week.

Right now, my dream job (if I did decide to go back to work, which I won't) would be to go back to my first job - I was a sales assistant (read: secretary that can make trades) for a team of brokers. They managed rich peoples money and I did all the office work. But my hours were exactly 8 each day, I was out by 415pm and I got all bank holidays off. You take no work home with you (its not even possible - lap tops and SEC don't mix easily, at least not at that job) and I could easily find an office close by for a short commute. No, I wouldn;t get paid too much. No, I would not have upward mobility. But at this point in my life, a job that's just that sounds so nice. Sometimes :)

I'm sure will trade war stories Saturday!

Kathryn @ said...

Weeks like this stink. And, remember, you're pregnant, so obviously very tired on top of it all! I feel like this so often (and don't work nearly as much as you!), and sometimes you just have to indulge -- don't try to rationalize it (I'm providing for my family! Or, Maybe I should quit!) Just vent, as you've done here, and feel those feelings of frustration and fatigue -- and just know (believe) that the rollercoaster ALWAYS goes back up ...

ElizabethEK said...

I get what you are saying -- all of it. And I have thought a lot about it, and have figured some things out. Let me know if you want to chat. You can call me at work if you want (info on FB).

tovarena said...

Oh, the kisses for the babbysitter and not for me. I SO remember that time. Our kids went to her home and I can't tell you the number of times my heart shattered into a thousand pieces when the kids just went absolutely livid trying to get them into the car.

Now they're in a group day care situation, and we haven't really experienced that yet in the school (fortunately).

And the commute? The downtown area I work in is nowhere near as bad as Boston, and still...every 5 minutes late I leave is an extra 10 to 15 minutes on the road. As I left last night 15 minutes late, I'm calling the school silently begging them to understand why, once again, I'm running late - really beyond my control.

I don't "choose" to work (well, in as much as I'm not "choosing" to lose my home) and there are days it's agonizing. Those are the days I just repeat "one foot in front of the other" over and over again.

Hang in there!

Susan said...

I do agree that you are pregnant and things may seem harder just because of that. However, no matter how you slice and it, working and being a mom is hard. And it is different for everyone for many reasons. I wish you the best in working through it all and finding what makes you, hubby and kids the most happy.

H said...

hugs xoxo. I will come over and play this weekend.

Nicole said...

I am really sorry you're going through such a busy, tough time. I hope it gets better soon, and I'm thinking of you!

Anonymous said...

Big Hug! I am totally feeling you, right now. And it's not like we work because we are trying to live some extravagant lifestyle in lieu of spending time with our kids. If you live in a part of the country where cost of living is expensive, you have to work just to provide a stable life. I could move to East Jebus and buy a palace but it would be at the expense of my kids knowing their grandparents and rest of the extended family. Besides, when you invest so much financially in an education, many times it's not an option to just walk away from it because it's hard.

I know "Anonymous" means well, but it really is frustrating when working moms get talked down to like that. No one is going to any one of the hundreds of thousands of SAHMs facing bankruptcy/ foreclosure and asking them if they regret their choices of not contributing financially/working hard enough professionally/etc.

Call me if you ever want to talk

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Oh I feel for you on the nanny thing.

Today we had the first instance. Kendra has not given me a smile today but was all charm and smiles for the nanny. She is a bit of a fusspot so I put it down to that but at the back of my mind I'm thinking if she's forgetting me already!

And I don't know why you work - to survive or stimulation or what BUT I know for me, working makes me a better mother. I look forward to coming home and being with the kids whereas on maternity leave I couldn't wait to escape the madness :) That said, we do actually NEED all the money I bring home. These kids are expensive.

hang in there, those preggy hormones are something else.

Natalie said...

I love you! I know its hard but you are a wonderful mommy and they are so lucky to have you. You will spend all sorts of time together very soon and maybe you will rconsider some things during your leave or maybe not but either way those kids know their mommy loves them to pieces whether she's at home or work or wholefoods.

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