Saturday, August 5, 2017

I am so ready for the workday to be over

It's 5:15pm and I am so ready for the workday to be over. It's been one of those days. Stress at every turn, difficult coworkers, menial work that feels overwhelming because of the stresses of the workplace. I'm tired, frustrated, and about to go over the edge. But at least it's 5:15pm.

I am unbelievably ready to wrap up what I'm working on, walk out the door, get in the car and drive. Sure, wherever I go will have its own responsibilities with different people to deal with, but with any luck maybe those people will be in a good mood and tonight will end on a relaxing note.

But I can't walk out the door. Because I don't work outside the home anymore. I stay home and homeschool our children. So at 5:15pm, even though I've already been fully on the job for 10 hours, I have at least four more to go, and that's if the kids actually go to bed on time and stay there. More often than not with my three year old lately I'll be looking at another six hours, minimum.

No drive by myself, listening to music to help me unwind. No change of scenery. No heading out to see if the next group of people in my life will be in a better mood. Nope. This is it.

It's been a rough day. Meltdowns, tantrums, tears, yelling, frustration, blatant disobedience and disrespect. All day.

I'm not saying there weren't good moments, because there were. But interspersed throughout the day, all day, many, many times were these moments, these difficult moments. These stressful, frustrating moments. I have yelled more times than I care to admit. It was a hard day.

But I can't pack up my desk and leave, and hope things will be better at home. This is my home, and my workplace. So I have a choice to make.

I can choose to focus on the negative, be a pessimist, and let it bring me down, which will continue to spiral my daughters' adverse behavior, or I can choose to try to see the positive in the day, be an optimist, force a smile on my face, and try to pick my girls up and make their day better. I'm the leader here. It's up to me to at least try to turn things around.

So I gather the supplies for a craft, get everything set up, tell the girls we'll do a craft. They're excited. They love crafts. This will be fun.

After reminding Jena that she needs to follow instructions or the craft won't turn out right, she yells at me that I'm ruining her art by making her follow directions and breaks down in tears because I "ruined" her project.

We take a break, but eventually finish. But no ones very excited about the craft anymore. And I'm starting to wonder why I bother.

Now it's time for dinner. I decide to make a new recipe, but one that is simple and kinda fun and I'm absolutely sure both girls will like. Jena refuses to admit that it's good, instead telling me everything that's wrong with it. But she takes a second helping. And a third.

Sometimes you can't help another person's bad mood. You can try. And especially for the ones you love, and the ones you're living with, you should. But ultimately it is all up to them. They have to decide to look at the bright side for themselves.

Dinner is over. The run baths for each girl in turn. They get into their pajamas, brush their teeth, get into bed.

It is now 11:45pm. Jillian is still awake. She just called me into her room a few minutes ago. The fourth time she's been out of bed, that I know of.

When you're a mom there is no end to your work day. Even when the kids aren't directly demanding my attention, I'm tending to housework, or school planning, or cooking, or pet care, or, or, or... The list goes on and on. And it doesn't matter if you work outside the home or stay home. The only difference is when you work outside the home you get a change of scenery, a break from one set of responsibilities, even if it is quickly replaced with another set.

I've done both. I was a mom who worked outside the home for six years, and now I've been a stay at home / homschooling mom for three years. They are equally demanding, equally stressful, just in different ways. I'm not going to lie, there are days when I think back longingly on my days as a working mom. Days when I have to remind myself how many years I spent wanting this, praying for the opportunity to stay home with my family. Days when I have to remind myself of the stresses of working outside the home. Today was definitely one of those days.

The truth is I miss working outside the home more than I ever thought I would. And while I was never one of those people who thought being a SAHM was an easy job, I definitely underestimated how difficult it can be at times. And then I decided to add homeschooling to the mix, LOL. I had no idea what I was in for! Despite all that, I remain convinced that for our family, at this moment in time, me staying home and homeschooling our children is the absolute best choice for us. I have to remind myself of that at times like today, but it is the truth.

So here's to all you working moms, wherever you call your "office". Keep your focus on what's best for your family, on why you do what you do, and keep on pushing through those hard days. There's a good day right around the corner. Promise.

As always, thanks for checking in.

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