Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Janice AKA Mom AKA Office Manager

Lately it feels like all I do is work. And it's not like when I worked "outside the home". With that you get to have a few minutes to yourself when you commute, to enjoy a cup of coffee, to think, to get a paycheck as a reward. Yes, there is still housework and there are errands to run, but those are done bit by bit, without interference. There are still stretches of time to do things you enjoy or to do nothing. And there is not a little person constantly whining and complaining at you. All day long. Yes, you have a boss, but that's still just 8-5, M-F.

I'm "on" from 6:15am when my husband leaves (which sets the kid off to restless sleeping which keeps me from going back to sleep) until about 8:30pm when my son goes to sleep. The little dear still wakes up screaming 2-3 or more times a night. So I wake up groggy. Yes he naps, and my mother comes and helps several days, but then I'm running errands or cleaning the house. There is very little time for me. And my husband gets home pretty late, then there's dinner, clean-up, and getting the boy down to sleep. I do get some time to myself at night but I'm often too tired physically and emotionally to knit or do anything. And time with my husband? Almost nil.

Some days it doesn't feel like I am doing my job too well. Things don't get done. I get aggravated. There is very little time to do what I need to do, let alone do anything for pleasure. I sneak time in on the internet here and there. Partly, that's just life with an active toddler. Completing anything is a major undertaking. Sweeping? He must mess up the pile of dirt. Paying bills on-line? He gets mad that I'm ignoring him. Wash the dishes? Ditto. And going anywhere in the vehicle except at naptime? Suicide mission. And part of it is the nature of having your own business. It is definitely not 8-5. And right now my husband is working seven days a week, so things are especially bad.

I was trying to figure out why it is so hard. I was thinking that I really have three "jobs":

Kenneth's Mother
-body servant to illiterate, incontinent dictator
-chauffeur
-psychologist
-nurse
-playmate
-dietitian

General Contractor's Office Manager
-bookkeeper
-communication liason
-gopher
-dump master

Housewife
-dishwasher
-laundress
-bookkeeper
-housekeeper
-cook
-shopper
-social director
-travel director

That doesn't leave much time for:

Wife
Me

It's hard to explain if you're not living it. A toddler needs constant supervision. There's no taking a break when you get burned out. I don't get weekends off. I'm cleaning, typing invoices, or something. Even if I get to go somewhere for a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon I will come home to a mess to clean up, and the laundry will still be there.

Yes, I do get to spend really good times with my son. And he is thriving, so one job is going well. But, I really have to work hard to keep myself thriving. It's a constant battle when I am pulled in so many directions.

4 comments:

Offshore Wife said...

I am so feeling this post. I use to have a few lines on my blog that read what is an offshore wife? book keeper, mom, wife, maid, chef, etc..you get the picture. I hope tomorrow is better for you.

Janice said...

Thanks for the encouragement, I need it! We were up at 5:30 this morning. Husband informs me my truck is full of junk I have to take to the dump. My mother won't be coming over until next Tues.

You know, as much as I complain, if I only had one job I would probably lament the days when I was busy.

Kat said...

I hear you. I feel you. I think we are the same person! =) My hubby is a contractor too, until recently, and I had all the same jobs. It isn't easy, that's for sure. That's why we get to do it. Because we can! Not to be cliche, but its true... I can't imagine my husband trying to do what I do. He's great at his jobs, but seriously has a meltdown if he tries to load the dishwasher while my son sits on his feet. Its just not that hard for me to do 4 things at once, luckily. =)

Janice said...

Funny you should mention that, I'm working on a post about the genders' differing capacity to multitask.

And you're half Norwegian! I love the internet sometimes.