Sunday, January 25, 2009

Diary of a Working Mother

Now that I am working full time, I have really begun to realize just how precious those early months with my boys were. Z and I were really lucky to be able to schedule our work time so that one of us could be home with the boys at all times for the first couple of months that the boys were here. After that, I went back to work during regular work hours just 2-3 days a week, so they were only in daycare during those days. I truly believe that their transition was so smooth (relatively speaking) because of the time that I was able to spend at home with them.

Since I started my new job, I've come to live the life of the working mom. Dropping Jellybean off at school at 8:00am (while Z takes Peanut to daycare), heading to work, being at work until 5:00-5:30pm, driving back to our new town to pick Jellybean up at his after-school program, getting home around 6:00pm, scrambling to get some (reasonably healthy) dinner on the table, spend a couple hours with the boys, bathtime, bedtime for the boys, and then the grown-ups in the house collapse.

These days I get to spend just a couple of hours of quality time with the boys each day. Its a bit of a shock. I find myself missing them terribly...especially if during those couple of hours one (or both) of them is crabby or needing some constant re-direction. I went from feeling like their mom to feeling like I'm just the lady who sleeps in the same house they do.

I know eventually things will start to feel routine...our lives will settle in to this new normal and it will all be fine. But for now I feel a bit guilty. I feel like I'm missing out on major pieces of their lives. I feel like I'm not really a REAL mom. I feel a bit sad about missing so much of their day.

But the truth is...this new life is normal for most families. We were just really blessed to have that time. It was difficult to juggle sometimes (and we had no money), but it was nice to have that time with the boys. I wouldn't give it up for anything. But I also know that I need to work. Its good for me...and its good for our family. And, Jellybean is in school most of the day anyway. Peanut will start school in the fall and then both of them will be in school most of the day.

The upside, is that my new job gives me free time in June and July. I will get two months with my boys!! And that is something I can really look forward to.

But in the meantime, I've come to realize that I really need to utilize a particular small appliance in my kitchen. Its time to dust off the crock pot and put it to good use. Coming up with a meal that doesn't take an hour to cook when I get home after a long day is challenging at times. So...if any of you moms out there have a great crock pot recipe to share, I'd love to have it.


Amy said...

Chanda, it sure sounds like you are (and have been) making the best out of life, whatever it brings. :)

I do not have any great crock pot recipes to offer. I have one that is relatively lame, but it tastes decent and is a last minute, running out the door life saver. Chicken breasts, poor over a jar of your favorite salsa and cook on low. Super easy, but if you literally have 5 minutes until you have to leave, it'll do. :)

Hope you are enjoying your new house!


Heather A. said...

Oh Chanda, I don't think you have any reason to not feel like a real mom or to feel guilty at all! You've gone through so many changes in just a short period of time, I'm sure it's still a bit chaotic. But your boys will see their mom doing something she loves, something she's good at, and helping to provide for her family. That is a GREAT life lesson for them! You're doing what you need to do to take care of yourself, your family and the son waiting for you in Ghana. Don't let anyone tell you that you aren't doing the right thing!

My big time saver is making double or triple, sometimes quadruple of the dinner I'm making and then freezing some for a meal the next week. If you have a casserole dish, line it with tinfoil, scoop in your goop and let it freeze. Once it's frozen you can take it out of the dish and put it back in the freezer to save space.

Hang in there. I'm thinking about you.

Bonky's Mom said...

check out the website

And...Paula Deen has a yummy crockpot cobbler recipe...check it out on