Friday, September 2, 2011

Ask the Host Q6: Work and Home

My partner and I both work full time. I feel like I have to do everything in the house because he "worked all day." My baby goes to daycare from 7:30 to 5:00 and I feel like I don't see her as much as I want to, then when she goes to bed I'm doing housework and sometimes more work-work. We fight a lot and I feel like people at my work-work are unhappy with me. I'm overwhelmed a lot of the time and find myself wanting to cry a lot. How do you manage to get everything done and still have time for your baby, your job and your relationship?

Honestly? I don't. I don't get everything done to the standard I would have held myself to pre-baby and I've just learned to cut myself a little slack. Sometimes you just have to say close enough. I rely on The Husband's participation a lot. For example, he does daycare drop off and I do pickup. He entertains The Parasite while I make dinner, and he cleans up after dinner while I get her bedtime routine started. Some days we're so tired at the end of it that we kind of zone off into our own little worlds in front of the TV or a laptop until bedtime. Romantic, right?

Get demanding. There is no shame in asking for help when you need it - NONE!

Is work seeping into your home life? It's one thing to put in time after hours if you're in the midst of a huge project or a colleague is on vacation, but it's quite another thing if it's all the time. Are they *really* unhappy with you at work or is it just the mom-guilt talking, making you feel like you can't please anybody - let alone everybody? Maybe you could examine the stuff you do every day to see if there's anything that could be done more efficiently or by someone else. Can your boss help?

As for your partner, sometimes you have to be specific and pointed about your needs. You might be waiting for your partner to see that you're overwhelmed and expecting him to step right up and offer to take a few things off your plate. You might be waiting a really, really long time. Ask for help! "Honey, can you stir the soup while I take <insert kid name here> to the potty?" or "I can fold the laundry while you bring the groceries in from the car." Yes, if you have to delegate you're still responsible for getting it done and that's kind of frustrating. You can fume about it, or you can choose to use that energy more productively.

Are you and your partner getting any time where you're not being Mommy and Daddy? I'm lucky enough to have a mom that adores her granddaughter and loves to babysit her, and on the occasions that "Grammie" isn't available we have a couple of reliable sitters to call on. But I know if you don't have family volunteers it can get expensive to pay a sitter on top of date night. We've been known to, on rare occasions, feed The Parasite some leftover noodles (her fave!), put her to bed and have a nice meal together at home with an even nicer bottle of wine. Not quite the same as a dinner out where you don't have to cook it yourselves and clean up, but romantic and sweet in its own right.

I feel your pain about not seeing your baby as much as you want. It's hard. If you get some assistance on the other fronts you might a little more satisfied with the time you DO have with her.

This post is part of a weekly series, Ask the Host, allowing you to ask any question you want as long as you're prepared for a brutally honest answer. Got a question? Send me an email with "I have a question" in the subject line.


Canadian Coupon Mom said...

Hi I am following from the great Canadian blog hop.

I feel like that a lot but I work afternoons 2-10pm an hr away from home. So really I leave around 12:30-12:45 and dont come home until 11 or after. I feel like I get nothing done around the house. Just the bare min somedays but I also want to spend time with the kids especially since in a year when they are mon-fri full days I will never see them. this will have to change.. hmm..

The Host said...

The evening shift certainly does make it more difficult. I can't blame you for wanting to spend every moment you can with the little people. Mine is really little (she's two) so getting her involved in household chores is a slow process but as she gets older I plan to involve her more. Can you get the kids on board?

Brenda Stevens said...

oh wow..reading your post shot me right back to the "growing through" was a tough time so remember; and its as if a "partner" really resents not having all of you time. Sex has to be almost "planned" its not that you don't desire..but you're so SPREAD THIN..almost like peanut butter on a sandwich and its for someone else to where does your sustenance come from? HUH>!!! :0) its time for you to suck out the bottom of the cone! NOT just scoop in the ice cream dangit. hehe don't you feel better after you blog? I know, finding the time to refuel makes it all worth it..and as far as the guilt goes...LOVE ON gotta do what ya gotta do during this season..and it will pass!! MUAH! great job, well done..hug yourself!

Unknown said...

I can certainly see why you feel you have been spread thin!! I can only imagine how difficult it is to strike a balance and find some normalcy in your busy chaotic lives. Thanks for the glimpse into your everyday life. It was a real eye opener.


Jo said...

Being overwhelmed is part of raising a family, I think. There is never enough time for anything, it seems. Know this, however, this will pass and one day way sooner than you can envision, the parasites will be grown and time will be on your side. You will then be able to sit and remember when you had way more to do than you could possibly accomplish.
Let me promise you this, you will not remember if your house was clean or your laundry was done. You will remember how cute the parasites were and how much fun you had with them.

Anonymous said...

You provided great answers. It's not easy to keep up with everything, and when we set impossible standards for ourselves (which we tend to do), we can be left feeling as though we're not doing well at anything. Prioritize, ask for help, and come to terms that good is good enough.

Nicely done!

Laura Rogers said...

Life with kids at any develpment stage is hard, but the real young babies do require so much attention.

I have a phrase I use often now and did when my kids were young
Good Self Care.....
We have to know that it is ok to be overwhelmed and take our goals down from the sky. It is ok. " Be gentle with your self"