Modern Family Life Is Hard Work

NEWSFLASH: Modern Family Life Is Hard Work!

The need for a good work-life balance is a shared struggle for so many of us.

Annoying inside-my-head smug voice:
Wait, you signed up for this right?
Me: Well yes…
Nobody forced you to have two children, did they?
Me: Well no…
You knew you’d have to go back to work right?
Me: Yes…
Well quit your moaning then Doll Face
(Yes my annoying inside-my-head smug voice calls me Doll Face, so it’s not all bad).

“Parenting (like Ronseal) – does what it says on the tin”.

OK, OK, I’m not really allowed to moan but can I just for a bit, a teeny tiny bit, please?

Since September this year we have been adjusting to a new routine with one child now at school and one at nursery.  This is nothing short of a massive pain in the ar*e. Kindly allowing me the opportunity of arriving late at not one but two separate locations in the morning *sigh*.  A standard week is like a full-on military operation. Involving meal planning, online shopping, bag packing, shooshing, rushing, sighing and swearing (under my breath). And transportation by various combinations of car, train, pushchair and foot. Mixed with some pulling, pushing and on occasion, dragging.

By the time I get to work I’m completely exhausted, from just existing.

In all seriousness though, the biggest stress, I find, in the life of two working parents, is spreading yourselves so thinly. The feeling that in doing so much & performing so many different roles, you end up not doing any of them very well. The feelings of frustration and guilt (more guilt, just what we need) are there daily. Sometimes you want to ask (politely) if you can get off, to just catch your breath for a bit.

Yes, I want the bloody moon on a stick, who doesn’t?

I want to feel like a better parent. I want to be able to carefully answer all my daughter’s questions each morning without rushing her or stopping her half way through by shoving a toothbrush in her face.

I want to have more energy for her reading and writing.

I want to let my son play for longer in the morning. So happy with his trains before I engulf him in shoes, hats & coats and plonk him in a car seat.

I want to give more to my job. I take pride in my work, I’m not a person that can just clock in and clock out (thanks, Mum & Dad for making me annoyingly conscientious). I care and I want to be the one to make good suggestions, come up new ideas but some days I’m so drained I can just about remember my system password.

I want to do more on my blog. Much more. I want to write more, promote more, interact more, take all the opportunities that it might bring but there is just no time.

I want a clean & tidy house. It’s filthy, honestly, I cringe at the thought of this. I can just about manage a little tidy each day but cleaning is a nightmare.  No, I can’t afford a cleaner and I just, you know, don’t like the idea of it….

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you get to win, God I love those weeks, feeling like Super Women. I arrive on time, I forget nothing, I eat healthily, I answer questions, I write (I still don’t clean, but hey ho…). And there are very limited amounts of rushing, sighing, swearing and dragging. And for us, the weekends bring welcome down time. But in amongst the sometimes overwhelming stress of what it takes to ‘exist’ as part of a working family of four, I find there are all these moments, where you feel like you’re actually doing a good job. Happy, sad, challenging, all different kinds of moments, where in your head (or maybe out loud?) you give yourself a little high five, a tiny fist pump or do a little jig, whatever works for you.

Some moments are big and some are very small…

Recently my son had a nose bleed in the middle of the night. After cleaning everything up, despite being a major Daddy’s boy he wanted me and only me.

So I cradled my son in my arms, heavy now at 18 months. We rocked back and forth in the subtle orange glow of the night-light in his bedroom, a room that I know so well now. I’m pretty sure I could rebuild it with alarming accuracy anywhere. We listened to the soft lullaby of Ewen The Sheep, the only other sound was the padding of my bare feet on the carpet.

He was very unsettled, I kissed him on the head and stared at his half illuminated face. My arms hurt and I felt brain dead until suddenly I realised that this was one of those moments and I smiled to myself, a smile just for me.

Because as I rocked this small boy that couldn’t sleep, in that moment, right there, I was doing a good job.

I was everything I needed to be.

And it felt good.

Cuddle Fairy
My Petit Canard
3 Little Buttons
Pink Pear Bear
Admissions Of A Working Mother
Mummuddlingthrough

Published by

thishappenedtometoday

The random & chaotic thoughts of a working Mum. I write stories about life as a working Mum, emotion provoking tales, opinion & humour, that I hope people can relate to. A Photographer & advocate of general silliness. Come and join the journey....

27 thoughts on “NEWSFLASH: Modern Family Life Is Hard Work!”

  1. This is really lovely at the end – you are so right, amongst the I HATE MY LIFE moments we have these totally serene moments where you wouldn’t change a single thing.
    Well, maybe one or two things… 😉
    Keep going, you are doing a STELLAR job xxx
    Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how you said you are exhausted from just existing, it is so true, my mornings are so exhausting and by the time the kids are all dropped off I feel like I have been running on a treadmill for hours (unfortunately I am not getting the weight loss benefits from that bloody treadmill though juts the exhaustion lol). I too want to have time for all the questions, and the longer hugs in my bed they want from me in the mornings. Awesome post! #stayclassymama

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I think it is so sad that we feel like this, no matter how many good days we have, we tend to zoom in on the bad ones. You’re doing a great job. Just getting everyone out of the house is something to celebrate. I have found that being super organised the night before and laying everything out ready can help. Thanks for linking up with us. #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This completely resonates to the point that I could have written this post! I had a day off today and everything felt good for a little bit as I’ve had an extra day to just sort my life out rather than feeling like I’m never enough for anyone…I love the ending 🙂 Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so scared of going back to work after maternity leave finishes next Spring, for precisely these reasons! Being a working parent is so HARD. We learnt that with baby no 1, I have no idea how we are now going to manage it with 2! I am hoping that like the first time, we’ll just figure it out – fingers crossed 😉 Thanks for sharing this on #MarvMondays. Emily

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t know how you working mums do it, I really don’t. I went back to work after having my four year old and I struggled . So much so that I first go back after having my now too year old and I haven’t worked for three years. Obviously in the not so distant future I am going to have to fight back out there and get and and I’m dreading for all the reasons you’ve mentioned. I don’t have enough time in the day as it is and I’m at home all day. How does that work?

    #bloggerclubuk

    Liked by 1 person

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