I’ve been a working mom for four years now. As of this moment, I feel certain that it is the best situation for me. As a teacher I am challenged (daily), but I am also fulfilled. I miss my kids all the time, but truly appreciate the time I have with them.
Fulfilled yes? Overflowing at times, YES! Because although there is so much on my plate to fill my time, there is something missing altogether.
Love? No. Fun? No. Sleep? Nope, I am even getting that (most weeks).
It’s quiet – I have no quiet in my life.
I often start mornings with one of the kids calling for me through the monitor. After getting the kids ready for pre-school (and the chaos that accompanies it), I walk into a high school of 2000 + and line of teens waiting at my door to tell me about their nights on snapchat and their many excuses for not doing their homework. Even though work builds in “quiet” time, it never actually is. During my plan period students find their way into my room, my lunch is spent debriefing, planning and complaining with colleagues and even if I have a “test” day I spend much of the period asking students to “be quiet.”
I take the five minute commute from work to pre-school to gather myself and prep myself for the non-stop talk fest that will follow when the kids get in the car. Mix in after-school snacks, dinner, reading and lullabies and my world isn’t really still until after 8:30 at night.
I am desperately seeking some silence.
But instead of wallowing, I am trying to change the script. Moms don’t have a lot of “me” time, and I am notoriously bad at making myself a priority, yet I’ve made a few changes recently that have added some quiet in my life. First, instead of trying to fit in a workout before or after dinner, I’ve set my alarm clock an hour earlier and I enjoy the entire basement to myself before my family even opens their eyes.
While the weather is nice I take my dog out for a night walk (around 8:45). My street is very quiet, very calm. I carry a flashlight and my pitbull and I decompress under the stars. I think about the day or the day ahead, more often I just space out.
Is it perfect? No. My life before kids involved after school walks in the sun, evening workouts at the gym and bedtimes that often began in the 9 o’clock hour. But in the moment it’s the best I got.
For what its worth, I’d still take the noise over the luxury.