I have never been able to juggle, whether it be bean bags, apples or oranges! I have often wondered if that part of my brain just can't comprehend that act. Over the past few months, I have been faced with what can only be described as a juggling act! I went back to work full-time five months ago, after having a glorious year of maternity leave. Before my leave, I loved my job. I loved the work I was doing, as it was very community oriented, social, and the focus was on military families - a topic very close to my heart.
After having our first baby (we will call her Baby H), I took on mommyhood full force and embraced all it had to offer. I loved every minute of my maternity leave! We spent every day going to activities planned within our community or going to mommy and baby play dates.
Once I went back to work, I was sad to have to give up those activities and even more sad that I wouldn't be spending my every waking moment with Baby H. Now, working 7.5 hours a day, five days a week (plus some evenings) has forced me to learn to juggle being an employee, mother, wife, friend, daughter, sister and try to fit in being an individual, all at the same time. As I mentioned earlier, I cannot juggle!!!!
I have faced many challenges in the past, but nothing could have prepared me for this! I've often been told that I seem to juggle all my responsibilities well and make it all work. Well I am here, saying it loud and clear that I may do it, but it is hard! There is no sugar coating it. Being a mom who works full time is hard. All my days are set to a specific schedule and if that schedule is disrupted, we manage, but it can be a struggle. Disruption can be someone simply stepping in and yanking away a bean bag or throwing me MORE bean bags, which has been more so the case over the past five months. I'm very good at saying "no" when I am given more than I can handle. However, sometimes no is not an option. And this is when I flounder. At this stage in my life, I feel as if someone is just chucking bean bags at me from all directions and there is no way I can catch them all!
So in saying that, I've come to the realization over the past few months that it's okay for me to just drop some bean bags and focus on the ones already in my hands. Sometimes the important ones can be taken for granted without even realizing it. I've learned that it is okay to slow down and appreciate the little moments. I never would have thought juggling could be so difficult, but I am learning.
How do you cope with being a working mom?