Friday, January 7, 2011

A Day in the Life of a WOHM*

People seem to be eyeing a new article with almost the hope it will re-start the "mommy wars," which only exist in a few journalists imaginations as far as I can tell.  The number of woman who have a clear-cut choice about whether or not to work are a pretty small percentage, as far as I can tell.  As for the rest of us, I have hard time lumping us together into any sort of category.  Mom101 had a funny little post about the "modern-day" language we're supposed to use, with a question about what we hate to be told as "working moms."  I personally was thrilled when someone leaned over to whisper "I've done both, work and stay at home, and, honestly, working is much harder."  Thank you.  When I got a luxurious 8 months off, I didn't mind a friend shamelessly recruiting me as room mom since "I wasn't working," I feel no guilt as I throw my working status around when turning down requests for volunteers, but show up when I can because frankly teaching science to cute 1st graders is fun.

For me it's not so much all the stuff I have to do, because frankly with better time management I have enough time to do what I need to do.  For me the issue is more with mind share...cramming dentist appointments, birthday parties and homework into my brain along with invoices and powerpoint presentations and remembering to call that vendor.  And that's not the half of it, or not even close.  Should I make dinner, force the kids to play one of their games they got for Christmas, or respond to a couple work emails?  I think it's clear why this blog has been suffering.

Yesterday really brought home why I need something to change around here.  My son had a rough few days, getting kicked by his PE teacher in a rousing game of capture the flag, followed by a late night futsal game with no subs, left him unable to walk the next morning.  So should I stay home and miss a couple important meetings, which won't get me fired but will drop me lower on the totem pole in a job I struggle to embrace?  Or do I send him with dad to the doctor appointment?  I have my parents, too, so I know I am very lucky, these issues are minor compared to the juggling acts of single moms or those with no support from their work.  Later on I find out my husband needs to leave by 3pm, and since they have a birthday party at 5:30 he can't take the kid with him.  Due to some serious miscommunication he neglected to inform me he'd actually taken the injured child to school, so both kids were safely ensconced in their after school care.  I didn't find this out until I rushed home by 3, proceeded to cram in a little work then high-tailed it back to work to meet up with interviewee for my alma-matter, my one volunteer activity beyond school.  Other than having to wrap the gift in the car, things went relatively smoothly after that. 

While I'd love to have the option to stay home right now, my ultimate wish would be to find a job I love, which, as long as I'm in a fantasy world, is flexible enough to allow time with the kids.  The kids are finally old enough to join their dad at his work as a soccer coach, which is wonderful, but I do get a bit envious sometimes.  In the meantime I'll count my blessings, try to make a good impression at the job I am lucky
to have, and get these darn kids to clean up their room.
*That's Work Out of the Home Mom for my TLC challenged readers.
This post was inspired by Take the Cake by M.F. Chapman – A From Left to Write Book Club book.  I received a complementary copy of this book.  Read other posts here and look for a few more book club posts coming up soon

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