Monday, September 8, 2008

What they don't tell you

By they, I am referring to your family and friend. What I'm referring to? How it's hard to be a working mother. This is now my fourth week back to work and though it has gotten easier to get out of the house without spit up and all the things baby and I need, the emotions of surviving on a little sleep and being productive has been a challenge. What is gone? My enthusiasm. It has nothing to do with my new co-workers, the company I work for or anyone I work with. My enthusiasm is gone because of the pressure I feel under each day (and being deprived of sleep too). The pressure of doing an awesome job at work and being creative and then coming home and taking care of Ben, the laundry, dinner and day to day stuff. My poor dog needs to be groomed. My house is filthy. I don't think the mail has been picked up since Saturday. Oh and being a good wife too. The pressure is getting to me and sometimes I have no idea how to handle it except cry.

One would think since my baby goes to bed at 7:30 p.m., I'd get plenty done but I'm so tired by then, I usually crash.

I know it will get better and I just have to stay positive.

7 comments:

Fawn said...

I know this may not help but it will get better, I promise! You will find your rythym.

Little Things said...

Fawn's right, it will get better! The first several months (ok, the first year and a half) are SO HARD. Heck, my house STILL isn't clean. You just learn to deal with the important stuff and let other stuff go.

Once the sleep deprivation is gone, life will get marginally better. It's worth it, but sometimes you doubt it. Hugs.

Alissa Maxwell said...

IT IS HARD! and it will get better. You are in the hardest months - just surviving is a great accomplishment. Try to remember that this is temporary. After 6 months, it will get a little easier every month.

I think we don't tell other moms EXACTLY how hard it is because:
1. We forget (thank goodness) how bad it is (Scott has had to remind me that I was not in a good mental state last November),
2. We figure maybe others won't have as rough a time as us, and
3. Expectant moms are so optimistic that we don't want to ruin their enthusiasm.

Jen F said...

Yes it's hard. Heck, for me it's still hard. And my kids are in school full time. But I would *much* rather be in those schools helping out (they need it) or doing something else to make my kids' lives better.

But for now - my way of making a good life for my kids is working full time. It's not a choice, it's a responsibility. Ya know? And I have come to terms with that and do the best I can.

Hang in there, Shan!!

Wordfairy said...

I have to disagree with the other comments. It doesn't get better. You just learn to tolerate the messy house, undone chores and other forgotten details, or you go crazy. Your enthusiasm for your job will return and you'll feel productive again, but if you don't figure out how to be OK with the ungroomed dog, occasional dirty dishes, etc., you'll end up berating yourself for something over which you have no control. Trust me on this - I've lived it for six years.

Your post highlights the great evil done unto working women everywhere when feminism, the economy, greed and our patriarchal society conspired to perpetuate the myth that women can Do It All. We can't. Women should know the truth of that.

Elise Michaels Media said...

I'm sure family and friends have told you... but it was before you were ready to actually hear what they were saying. (you know, long before Ben was a twinkle in your eye)Plus, NOBODY will tell you that when you're pregnant. Kind of moot point, right?

REally, you will get your rhythm worked out. And you'll learn how to do more with less sleep. It will just be your way of life.

Alicia said...

Shannon,

Well sweetie, I'm sending you hugs! I've been there and I know how overwhelmed you feel!

I remember all too well the days when my little guy was a baby. I was working 30 hrs a week, plus selling Party Lite, plus trying to be all those things you mentioned...wife, mom, housekeeper, etc. And we had the two darn dogs on that big acreage that took so much work! It is intensely overwhelming!

My advice to you is that you needn't worry SO much about the "little" things, such as a clean house, car washes, laundry, etc. As long as you keep up enough to keep the house livable, than don't sweat it. I used to stress myself out and finally realized it wasn't worth it! I'd miss a whole day with my baby because I was so focused on the chores! Forget it!

One thing that helps me tremendously is making lists. Making a list for the day or for a week is a way for me to mentally take the stress off of my mind...its on paper for me to look out so it is "out of my mind" so to speak. Then each day I try and do one or two things on the list IF I'M LUCKY. Cross it off. Here's the trick though....keep the list going for a week or so and by looking at things you've crossed off helps you remember that you are being productive even if you don't feel like it! Sometimes its all a mental game.

But the real bottom line is that it will all come together in time. It's not so much that it gets better, but that you learn how to work it all out, get in a rhythm, and be satisfied with your new routine. You're motivation will come and go, and that's normal. You are going to be okay. :) Hang in there! :)