There’s only so many hours in a day. Between working full-time, kid wrangling, and sleeping I’m left with negative time — if that’s even possible. A very successful co-worker and mother of three jokingly asked me”Do you look back at your time before kids and wonder how you could have wasted so much time? Just think you could have cured cancer with all the free time.” I don’t know if time was wasted or I really could have cured cancer, but I honestly did not appreciate busy until now.
Since heading back to work, and my hubby finishing up his paternity leave the daily grind of being a working mom has really sunk in. It’s hard, actually f**king hard to be truthful. I have no idea how those super moms do it, career, perfect house, etsy hobby shop, plus time to spend with the kid. Weekdays, I’m lucky to get 2.5 hours of awake time with my guy. Weekends disappear into some mystical time suck vortex, where just getting groceries and laundry done make me feel accomplished. But no matter how prepared or organized I am, I feel like I can never find enough time.
Lately I’ve been quizzing (i.e. interrogating) other working parents to see how they find balance and what I hear over and over again is that they don’t. Repeatedly I hear that the first few years are the roughest, life is a grind but you will survive and it’s worth it. But I wonder, as I observe people with older kids, does it really get easier or is it just different? Sure I’m not chasing after a fearless toddler who is usually inches away from leaping off a wall, but when they are older it’s so much more complicated. There’s worry about school, peer pressure, extra-curricular actives, etc. Is this mantra, “it will get easier” just something people need to convince themselves so that they make it through the week?
The only people who seem less time stressed are the one’s with a partner that is at-home either full time or part-time so that every weekday isn’t dictated by a clock. If only we could afford such a luxury in this ridiculously expensive city.
So I keep asking myself, how do I find/make more time? What do other people do? Some of it comes down to priorities. Last month I carved out some time for a yoga challenge where I went to 5 classes a week for 5 weeks. Sure it meant I had zero time for anything else, and friends thought I disappeared, but it brought down my stress levels and help build up some much needed core strength. Unfortunately 5 times a week is not a sustainable option, but it proved to me I could make time if I wanted to, and make the grind much less grinding.