I am sitting at my desktop. Tears drying on my face with the threat of more to come. Why is this so hard?! The clock is ticking, Mama. Get to work!  I have one class to teach today at midday, and then its grocery day (Tuesday are double fuel points at the Ingles, and that helps shave dimes per gallon off at the pump). The clock is ticking, from when I dropped my 3.75 year old off at her 1/2 day preschool. Her Dad is able to pick her up on Tuesdays, his day off, so I can teach that class and run that errand. The clock is ticking, Mama,  as I struggle to clear my mind from a night of crappy sleep and focus on a daunting to do list, involving technology. It is simple stuff… if you know what you are doing.

I’m getting familiar with editing my new website, which includes this blog. The writing is the easy part. The hard part is learning anything new. I mean anything. Anything not run by the autopilot part of my brain instantly overwhelms me. Because the clock is ticking, Mama. Because I can hardly think a complete thought, much less finish a complete sentence when I am in Mama-mode. And there’s just so little time available, in our present arrangement, to be in work-mode. I know, nature made it that way. Being really present, is not just cliche parenting advise, its biology! You literally can’t do or think about anything else when your child is around. Any attempts will only lead to frustration. And we all know that doesn’t help. 

The clocking is ticking, Mama, and the bank account is strained. The need to work, is more than just for personal fulfillment and having an identity beyond the roles of mother and wife. We’ve been so unbelievably fortunate that I’ve been able to be the primary caregiver and part-time income earner. But, that time is ending. Let me be clear. I want to be a full time income earner in our household. And with a preschool aged child, the pain of being pulled in two seemingly opposing directions, career building on one side and child raising on the other, is acute.

Do some mom’s successfully navigate this territory? Sure they do. I certainly know many who didn’t miss a beat going back to their various careers after having children. Or who stayed home as long as they could. What I know for CERTAIN. Is that there is NO MOM, who has it ‘easy’. I’m even willing to bet, the mom’s with full time nannies have their struggles. Their guilt. Their fears about not having enough to give in all directions. And I’m sure, struggles that I just can’t imagine.

I have a reflex to minimize what feels like complaining. And its my nature to want to project an optimistic outlook. And its the truth. I believe that everything is already working out. That everything is exactly as it should be, for my personal growth and for reasons I may never know. I am working through my challenges. Trusting, that the choices I make, are the best for my family. I pray, HARD, for guidance. And I pray for patience and action in the appropriate measures.

And as I conclude this blog, a feeling of calm moves into my body. I did it. The clock ticked, and while Mama waited in the backseat, I got a few things done. The kitchen stayed messy, but I did this. And it will get easier.

Annie