Yesterday I’ve realized that I have been rather grumpy the last few weeks as life has felt more chaotic then normal.
One of the many things on my mind right now is that work is a bit insane at the moment. A few of my projects have required my attention in the last few weeks and the next few weeks are also going to be busy. I never intended to work this much, we thought I’d work 1-2 days per week. And, yet here I am, working an average of 4 days a week.
In the consulting world it’s hard to turn down work and both Mr. MPB and I are independent consultants (in different industries, but the lifestyle is very similar). The fact is, I don’t know where my next pay check will come from. Which means I also don’t know when it will come or how much it will be for. So, I seem to live by the old consulting motto of work when you have work, relax when you don’t have work. But, it’s proving slightly hard for me to live a balanced lifestyle when I have no consistency in my work life.
For example, June was slow for me. I barely worked, but it worked out well as I had my breast reduction surgery then and just took it easy. But now August is busier then I’d like. Next month, who knows.
But, what specifically about work has turned me into a grumpy bear this month?
I think two things:
First, I think part of my issue with work is that I always feel that my job is not as important as Mr. MPB’s job. When it comes to a scheduling conflicts (which unfortunately no matter how hard we try, do happen for us from time-to-time) I feel as though I’m always the one who has to either delay a work deadline or juggle Baby MPB and work at the same time – which means I am not being the professional I want to be or the mom I need to be. It frustrates me beyond belief, and has been the source of a few recent arguments between Mr. MPB and I. When I told him this, he did admit that he places more value on his job then mine, which has meant that when we have a scheduling conflict, he focuses on his job and I’m the one delaying work to focus on Baby MPB. In fact, he suggested that I should stop going to spin class as it wastes time that could be put towards work. While he has a point about my 3 times/week spin class reducing the time I have available to work, I just refuse to compromise my desire to get back to being more healthy after years of recurrent pregnancy loss that did a number on my body. I don’t want to live that way. In fact, I simply cannot as I only have one body to get me through this life and I want it to be a long life.
Second, I’m a bitter that I feel like I’m working my butt off to help pay off our adoption related debt, to afford to give our son the life we want for him, and to be a decent wife and to be the best mommy I can be. And, I sit here feeling like I’m not doing it all well enough. I feel like I’m failing at every turn. I feel like I’m not doing a good enough job for my clients as I’m constantly playing catch up. Pathetically, being a decent wife is barely even on my radar most days recently. And, even worse it breaks my heart that I feel like I’m not doing better for Baby MPB – he simply deserves the best. And, during a recent MPB argument, Mr. MPB reinforced this for me as he told me I’m not doing enough with Baby MPB and evidently I’m not doing my fair share around the house. Yup, I was essentially kicked while I was down. And, now I’m trying to do even more, yet I feel like I’m walking on an increasingly narrowing tight-rope.
(To be fair, before everyone criticizes Mr. MPB, this is just one side of the argument, and I promise you there are always 2 sides and I know I didn’t shine in the best of light either. But he doesn’t write a blog so you only get to hear my side).
I’m guessing most of this work life balance stuff is probably very common working parent problems. And I do believe learning to be married while having a baby is hard work, and so while I hate these argument, they are probably pretty normal for first time parents. But, it all feels a bit crippling at the moment.
How do other mom’s (and dad’s) do it all? More specifically, how do others do it all successfully?
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