Sunday, March 17, 2013

The day to day

Four days a week, this is my life:
  • Wake up at the crack of dawn - before 6:00.  Which now, due to the time change, is before the crack of dawn.
  • Race to leave the house in order to catch a 7:00 train, which will land me at my desk at 8:00.  If I miss that train, the next one is in about 20-25 minutes.  That's assuming the trains are running on schedule.  
  • Work, work, work.
  • If I'm lucky, I leave at 5:00.  That doesn't happen too often these days though.  5:30-6:00 is the norm.  And I could stay later.  Every day, I could stay later.  I always leave something for the next morning.
  • It takes an hour to commute home, if I'm lucky.  Which doesn't leave me much time with the girls before we start the whole bedtime routine.  Baths in the winter are every other night and I'm a stickler when it comes to teeth brushing and hair washing so the girls still need assistance.  I also read to them for 15-30 minutes each night before tuck in time.  
It makes for a long day.

Compared to others, I know our family has it kind of easy right now.  Even though Rich is studying and job searching, he's still "at home" while I'm an hour away in the city.  (Although being at home, doesn't make it very easy to study or job search.)  We have a Grammy who can help out when needed.  We can live off of my salary without major concerns.  I know that there are others who have to work two jobs to make ends meet or don't have any family to help or can't work because they have a child with special needs.  If we hadn't had Grammy to assist us with Anna's care, one of us wouldn't have been working.  

The strain right now is within me.  I'm tired.  My job is stressful and always with me.  I'm constantly thinking of how I can complete all that I need to at work within a "normal" workday.  I never know which train I'm taking home until the very end of the day.  The girls want me at home and not at work - all day, every day.  I struggle to keep up with the cleaning because at 8:00 at night, I'm not cleaning.  I'm usually eating dinner.  And then I don't want to clean; I want to sit.

Busy is a relative term.  Right?  Sometimes being "busy" is a result of our own doing.  I obviously want to do it all but I realize that I can't.  I often wonder if having three kids in the same grade is more difficult than having three kids in different grades.  I don't know because I can't compare the two.  All I know is that two, three, four years from now, life is going to be more hectic.  It's not going to slow down.

Over the past month, I've discussed with Rich the possibility of returning to work full time.  Not because I want to, but because I sometimes feel like it would be less stressful.  Unfortunately, it often seems like a lose/lose situation.  Thursday night, as I cuddled with Emily in her bed, I decided that I can't do it.  Not right now.  I can't take more time away from my kids, my family.  Her little body was pressed against my side as I hugged her.  I didn't want to let go.       


MeghanF said...

If you can afford it financially, keep working part time. You will never get that time with your kids back, and they seem to really want you there. Your kids will never be this little again. There will always be more work - even if you were working 5 days, you'd probably find you have enough work to fill 6 days...and so on. So, while you can, take the extra time with your kids. A better work-life balance.

I am currently on mat leave and wishing I was only going back part-time. But, it's not an option at my work right now, and it would make things difficult financially. I envy that you can afford it! Take advantage of it while you can and while it counts with the kids.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I sometimes read your posts with only one eye open.

I am very thankful to have been home since my girls were born, but when they start Kindergarten, I'll be back to work. I miss my career, and -- while I would never want to wish away my girls' childhood -- part of me is looking forward to being back in the mix.

The part I DREAD, so very, very much, though, is what I know will be the competing pulls. I hope I will be able to set better parameters when I return to work than I had before the girls were born...but I so know the feeling of the time at work never being enough.

Before children, that didn't matter so much...I enjoyed a big part of it, actually.

But I know even 30 minutes of extra time at work will make a difference in the day with the girls.


Katie said...

Hi Sarah,

When I was a little kid my grandparent's stayed with my sister and I while my parents worked. When we moved to another city, my mom took time off of work to look after us until we went to school full time. I really cherish all of that time we got to spend together.

From my experience, I think the girls will really appreciate that you took that time to be with them every week. It sounds like you're doing the best thing for your family right now.

I love your blog by the way :)

Nadine said...

If I were you I would continue part time. I would love to work part time when I return to work but as a teacher that is not really an option. I hope to stay home with my daughters until they are 2 or 3. I hope your life begins getting less hectic. Work and a family, especially a family of multiples can really tire a person out.

Anonymous said...

Totally hear you. It speaks so much to my situation right now. And makes me rethink it...

I work in Corporate Tax (so much better than public if you are thinking of making the switch). Just had my second baby. Wasn't able to get the baby into our daycare and was going to quit my job. Heard of an opportunity closer to home with on site daycare and applied. When I told my current job they offered me a sweet part time position.

Ended up taking the new job. Start in a few weeks so who knows how it will work out. It is hard being a two career family with kids. It is also probably hard being a one income family with kids. But I hope to give it a try some day.

Anonymous said...

what's your husband study? and when will he finish?
cheer up!

Sarah said...

Thanks for the feedback & comments. Anon #1 - I work for the tax group of a private company. I don't think I could work in public accounting again. Good luck to you with your return to work.

We have a bit of an advantage with the $ thing in that we've never had to pay for child care.

I like using my brain too - but sometimes I don't have the energy to think. Makes perfect sense - right?

Rich is trying to pass the cpa exam. No definite end date - unless he finds a job.

Eileen Ward said...

How is working more than 40hrs a week in just 4 days, part time? sounds like you work harder than most people.
I'm glad that your husband is able to be home with your kids, that they'll have those memories of being with their grammy, and that you ARE able to spend the time with them that you can.

Jessica said...

Unfortunately there's just no right or wrong / black or gray when it comes to this topic. I replay my decision in my mind all the time (I work full time but only 40 hours in 5 days). I contemplated going to a compressed workweek (four 10-hour days) but realized it would just make those four days suck and I'd rather have more time every evening. I still think about it all the time. It's hard for sure. Good luck in whatever you decide! If only money grew on trees...