Thursday, March 8, 2012

A-ha Moments From A Newly Working Mom

Wouldn't a 25 hour day be awesome? I think it would...because there is no way on earth for me to actually get everything done in only 24. And here we are about to lose one hour this weekend!

After a month of working full time, I've learned some things. Here are my top 5 a-ha moments from transitioning to being a working mom. Some are good, some are a little less good...but all have been very necessary things for me to learn.

  1. It's not as bad as I thought it would be. I was very nervous before I went back, fearing that it would be so hard for the boys, and even harder for me to get used to. But this was thankfully way scarier in my head than in reality. I'm actually really happy to be working again, and I think the boys are getting benefits too from not being with me 24/7. Overall Family Win.
  2. I need to be more organized. It's true. The Me I Was ten, or even five years ago, would like to kick the behind of the Me I Am Now for becoming such a creature of routine. But setting times for specific things, like Diaper Washing Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, and actually thinking about things a little more than five minutes before I need to do them has really saved my life. Again, the boys are also benefiting here. Having more structure and learning that we have to do things when the clock says so is something I was really not giving them when I was at home.
  3. I loathe commuting. I am taking up a collection to buy a helicopter. Or build a teleporter. Ugh. My commute is by far the worst part of my days. THIS is why people who work downtown should not live in suburgatory. I have no solution to this problem, other than a blissfully helpful and wonderful Hubby who is my boy pickup and dinner prep hero every day.
  4. I'm much older than I used to be. I look around at the girls in my office and there's a distant memory that I used to be one of them. I used to be thin, and cute, and young. I used to have a social life, and fashionable clothes, and amusing stories about dating and fun. I'm not that anymore. I am Office Mom. With a desk full of pictures of my kids, a painted handprint on my wall that makes me cry when I read the poem on the back, unidentified smears on my coat, and a dusting of cracker crumbs and used tissues at the bottom of my bag (even though this is ONLY my work bag!). And I am comfortable with this. Except for the part where I'm not thin.
  5. Ummm. I forget. The biggest casualty from my years at home is my memory. I can't believe how much I forget now! People tell me a name of someone I need to contact and I forget it in 30 seconds. Or I morph it into something close, but very wrong. Or I forget altogether than there's someone who does the task I need help with. I have never, ever relied so heavily on Outlook as I do now. Is this a function of age too, or trying to do too much, or something else? Was I forgetting stuff this much before and never knew it? I suppose if I was, I forgot about it.
Bonus! The absolute best side effect of working outside the home full time. I appreciate my boys so very much more now and truly cherish every minute I spend with them. I mean, I have always loved and been amazed by both my boys. But when you spend that much time with other humans, inevitably you begin to annoy one another. When before I would roll my eyes or grouch or be impatient with their precious annoying baby ways, I am now finding ways to enjoy what used to irritate. My positive parenting techniques are working so much better than they used to. My patience and ability to stay calm when they test me has really improved. Of course I still lose it occasionally (like when B1 kicked me in the face when I loaded him in the van after daycare one day!), but those episodes have greatly diminished.

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