Let me give you some background on why this book changed my way of thinking about being a work outside the home mom.
I love a good challenge and I love being in control. I do my best work under pressure, which is why I think I was drawn to critical care and trauma nursing. The last year or so I had gotten in a great rhythm as a work outside the home working mom and I was actually beginning to feel like I needed a challenge in my life. Since accepting more work responsibilities I've struggled to balance work, being a mother, a wife, and running a household under the standard I prefer it kept. I am physically and mentally drained when I hit the door at night. My final straw was the day about 10 days before Christmas when I was exhausted with the end of the year rush of patients, attempting to write a new OSHA policy by the end of the year, OSHA inspections, and end of the year OSHA paperwork. I drowning.
My house was a disaster area. Laundry piled up so much you couldn't open my laundry room door, and I was exhausted leading to a cranky, mean Mommy and wife. I was rarely leaving work on time and I was coming in at least 30 minutes early in the morning. As a daycare kid myself I always swore my kid would NEVER be the last one picked up and it was happening more and more frequently. He had noticed and I was feeling like the worst failure of a mom ever. However, this was a career opportunity that I couldn't pass up. I have worked for the practice for 8 years now and my hardwork and attention to detail had been noticed and rewarded. I was gaining more experience in a different area of nursing. Also, I admit, I love it. There had to be a way to learn to balance and allow myself some grace.
As I began to dig further into the book it was like I was the one writing. I felt a connection to everything she was saying. The writer has names for the different roles she lives such as Lady Lawyer and Devoted Mommy. She says this about her two roles which just put it all into prospective for me: "At the end of my long day, Jesus comforts Devoted Mommy, gives grace to Lady Lawyer, and understands when I just collapse in bed." Can we all give a big AMEN to that?! THAT was EXACTLY what my conflicted heart needed to hear. He knows when I'm at my end and He gives me grace.
I made a point to finish this book before I went back after a week off at Christmas. I needed to know I wasn't alone in my daily struggles. This was my task on Saturday. I sorted, washed, and put away 6, yes, SIX loads of laundry (with a total of 8 over the weekend!). I always say I'll do it daily and get into a routine so this doesn't happen again. Yeah, I never do. I spent the rest of my day picking up and cleaning. This was done the previous week at 4am when I couldn't sleep.
I also love to meal plan, but you know what, life happens. Sometimes my day has been worse than anticipated or I forget to thaw something for dinner. Those nights my family gets grilled cheese or quesadillas from the freezer. You know, that is ok. At least we have food to eat and we are eating as a family.
A lot of my friends ask me how i do it all or tell me how impressed they are with my balancing act and I always get embarrassed. I hate feeling like I put on a persona or that I am trying to get praise for just surviving. I promise you that it is not easy and I hate that it seems to appear this way. I live in survival mode and this book taught me that every other working mom does too. We are NOT superwoman and let me assure you, I do not even pretend to be!
Let's open up the comments for other moms to share their struggles and encourage each other by showing that no one is alone. We are all in this together!