Tuesday night and my husband does the cooking since he beats me home. It’s a race against the clock to get everyone fed, always. The kids are hungry and whiny. I just walked in the door from my one-hour commute and feel like I could collapse at any second. My toddler is at my side, clenched to my hip the second I take my shoes off.
There is often bickering, sometimes laughter. Always hugs and kisses, and the sweet “Mama, I missed you.”
I feel the heaviness of emotions; from both my family and me. I squeeze my babies tight. The days always seem too long. Too long away from them.
I carry the weight of my day and can feel the weight of theirs as well. It’s a vicious circle, our weeks. The little, very little downtime I have is spent in the hour after I put both girls down to sleep. I have a mental checklist of things I need to do, things I want to do, and things that get pushed further off into the distance.
Cooking is one of those things. I often say to myself, “this weekend I will make . . . ” but the weekend comes quick and we rush to eat. The time to prepare anything is scarce and I come to accept I will never have the time I really want to cook the meals I truly want. At least not while they are this little.
I want to do so many things with them while they are this little. Like crafts. On social media, I see stay-at-home-moms doing awesome seasonal decorations with their kids and feelings of jealousy emerge. Why not me? The weekends are always a time to do laundry, grocery shopping, parties, running errands. When will I have the time to craft with my girls?
Baking, crafting, volunteering at school, joining the PTO, having playdates: these are all things I never have the time for. And it sucks. It sucks to know I will never get the chance to be the mother I could be. Just in bits and pieces. I always give my children attention, but it’s in-between the living of life.
“Hurry up” is spoken on the daily. I don’t always want to be in a rush from morning till night but it’s the only way it seems to be for us. I want to savior the moments, I want to lay on the couch after dinner and watch television, with them nestled in my arms with no worries in sight. But I can’t. Least not during the race of the week. Because the dishes need washing, the floor needs sweeping and possibly washing, and the girls need baths. And then I need to bathe as well. Oh, and sleep. Sleep is a must. Which is another time suck.
Not all working mothers choose to be “working mothers.” For some of us there is no choice in the matter. And while I wish life could be a slower pace – I have learned to adjust to the pace we’re in. It’s not easy, but it’s not horrible either.
Will I ever get to fully be the mother I truly want? The mother who has time for everything? No. Not while I am a working mother. And I know I am not alone, I know there are other working mothers who feel the same. Because time is something you need more of to do the things you want to do, the things that require time. And time is something you can’t get back. Time is something that stops still for no one. And time is something I never have enough of.
And energy. There is only so much energy you have to give and kids eat up a lot of it.
I do my best, I try my hardest. I make the most of the time I have. And while I never know how I am going to get it all done, I somehow get the necessary things done . . . which I guess, is all that matters.