I've been reading Jess at Straight Talk Jess for over a year. And I love her. Like, I want to go to Texas and hang out with her and her kids, go shopping, grab a Starbucks, have some lunch, go to a movie have a great big girlie sleep over, love her. Or something like that. Anyway. She's all kinds of cool. She blogs about everything from running to mommy issues to being a working mom. She's always interesting. And she's here. (That? Is the sound of me jumping up and down like a teen ager. And going *squeeee!*)
I had my Allie on May 31st. Just in time for my Ave to get out of school for summer vacation. New mom and an almost six-year-old at home in the hottest Texas summer on record. SCORE! That’s not a good combo when you can’t go outside after 10:00 in the morning and you can’t walk to the car without sweating your already leaky boobs off.
By the end of the summer, I was starting to feel anxious and depressed. I was terrified PPD was rearing its ugly head. I couldn’t take being at home anymore. I was starting to get edgy on simple shopping trips.
I love my girls to pieces, but I was consumed that I was a fail in the healthy eating, arts & crafts, and “not watching tv or iPod for 8 hours a day” department. Because I was.
I went back to work at 12 weeks on the day Ava started kinder—she loves it, by the way. Allie went to daycare. It has been fantastic (other than the colds they both got the first week of being at school/daycare). I feel human again. I get dressed up, I get to read my favorite blogs, and I get to interact with the real world. I do my job and I’m good at it.
But wait. It’s not that easy, right? Nope.
Cue the guilt. I felt guilty that I couldn’t handle being at home. I feel guilty baby girl is at daycare with “strangers” for 9 hours a day. I feel guilty that some nights I’m so damn tired that frozen chicken strips and ramen noodles is a perfectly acceptable meal for my daughter and dinner involves tortillas and hamburger meat, again. My kitchen? The laundry? The dirty floors? To quote the fabulous Diana, ::head explosion::
Guilt. Guilt. GUILT.
But you know what? It’s what works for us, for me. I can’t stay home and I like being at work. Why should I feel guilty about it? My girls are happy and so are we.
At some point you have to step back, put your big girl panties on and get over it. Yes, it is exhausting working all day, managing a three-month-old, a five-year-old, and a household (and a husband). Paying too much attention to the happy go lucky mamas out there that make staying home sound like heaven will make everyone else feel bad.
My kitchen isn’t nearly as clean as it should be. My floors don’t sparkle. Our clothes *might* be in laundry baskets or piles, whatever same thing. Doesn’t matter. We’ve got clean clothes to wear and food in our bellies. The fact that there’s a mess along the way is insignificant. Like I say, “as long as I can walk without falling over,” the house is a win.
Do I wish things were different? Sometimes. But at the end of the day, I’m happy with the way things are. I like working. I’ve ordered a new planner so I can stop forgetting everything that I’m supposed to be doing. Slowly I’m learning to let go of unrealistic expectations and start accepting that the rest of that doesn’t matter.
Till I get the hang of that, I’m sure there will be many long stress-relieving runs along the way. And probably some wine, cupcakes and pizza. #FTW