The Balancing Act

iStock photo by KatarzynaBialasiewicz

iStock photo by KatarzynaBialasiewicz

I apologize ahead of time that this isn't my usual post, but I figure since 70% of my pharmacy graduating class of 1999 were female that we could relate to the balancing life of work and motherhood.

From the time my alarm clock sounds at 5:00-5:15 AM until the time I clock in at work at 7 AM, I spend about fifteen minutes on myself getting ready.  I have mastered the art of putting on my makeup in about five minutes flat in the parking lot of the hospital.  Every traffic signal and every car on the road can either make or break my timing to make it to work on time.  With school starting back up in about a month, I am already dreading leaving the house earlier to account for the school buses that will slow me down.  Work has become a break from the chaotic life shuttling kids to and from school and activities, making lunch boxes and keeping a tidy home.

I find myself thinking negatively of myself quite a bit.  I think that I fail doing any of my roles well (mother, wife, pharmacist).  I feel spread thin; I am trying to give as much of myself but there is not much left.  I have to add and ask, "How do you single mothers do it?"

I am sorry I woke up late this morning - too late to handle the dog's long bathroom trips and cooking breakfast.  I made the lunchboxes, but there is nothing in there very healthy.  I threw in a pack of chips as a filler.  I am sorry that I don't have anything planned for dinner, the yard needs mowing and the car needs washing.  I'm sorry the laundry is not done.  I'm sorry we won't have any fun after school due to homework.  I'm sorry I can't stay late at work, the kids are sick I can't be there and I have no sitter next week when school and summer camp are out.  I am sorry I seem to always be in a bad mood at home, I don't fix myself up and my kids need dentist appointments.  I'm sorry I forgot the last checkup with my daughter.  I have to gather all the school supplies that fit onto two full pages for both kids and find time during my workday to make a meet and greet and registration.  No kids are allowed either.  Guess I'll just have to take them with me because not everyone is a stay-at-home mom.

There I said it.  Not everyone is a stay-at-home-mom.  I know I am judged by them sometimes with "we sacrificed for them" and other comments.  I have the unforgiving schedule of the hourly worker.  Yes, I am a pharmacist with a BS and Pharm.D., but I still clock in and out like the hourly worker down the street serving me lunch and cannot just leave at will.  Instead of expecting myself to do what no one else can do, I have started noticing the culture.  It's time for working mothers to realize they are doing a damn good job.  Even me.

We have to make things better.  I am the first to admit that I do not know how... maybe acceptance?

Some resources:

Working and Raising Kids Pretty Much Sucks in America (not my title but click the link by another blogger)

The Ten Secrets of One Unflappable Working Mother

I like this one:  For Working Moms, Key to Balance May Lie in Elusive Leisure Time

The Modern Balancing Act

A.S.P.E.N.'s Parenteral Nutrition Handbook, 2nd Edition

The Anticoagulant and Antiplatelet Refresher