I hate loathe working…outside the home. Since I went back to work almost four years ago, when the boys were 16, 12, and 2 years old, I have had a love-hate relationship with my job. Well, that’s not entirely true. I love my boys. I hate my job. There were times, in the beginning, that I loved my job. It wasn’t the work I enjoyed so much as being around adults for more than a drive-thru conversation. I worked with some pretty fun, nice people. Of course, there were a few knuckleheads (aren’t there always?)
Then, a change took place.
When I first returned to the workforce I did it to help make ends meet, not to pay any major bills. I could take or leave the job really. It was just to help out for a while.
Then, our car took a huge dump. And so, after pouring more than $1000 into repair bills inside of a month, we decided we had to buy a new car. But, because of Nick’s wheelchair, and the endless miles we knew we would have to put on a car traveling to and from baseball games, not to mention doctor visits, IEP’s, etc. we needed a car we could rely on. So, we bit the bullet, bought a brand new beautiful van that met all of our needs…and had a payment to prove it.
Only one slight problem.
Now, I need my job. Now, my job is no longer to make ends meet, but to keep us from going under even further financially. And I work like a dog five days a week outside the home, getting little sleep, and feeling like the worst mother on the planet.
Monday through Friday, I am the mom who is just trying to get by. I am trying not to scream at my children for doing–of all things–making noise! I am trying to make sure the homework gets done, they get something to eat, maybe even bathed (gasp!) The dishes barely get done, the house by Friday looks like a family of chimpanzees have taken up permanent residence, and don’t even get me started on the yard!
And the worst part of the entire situation is that my husband and I get to spend–maybe–an hour together. We have opposing schedules…when he gets home from work, I leave for work….when I get home from work, he is only a couple of very short hours from getting ready for work.
We are both, 99% of the time, exhausted.
On the weekends, we recover. We all sleep in on Saturday(unless some crazy neighbor decides to mow their lawn at the crack of dawn, which invariably happens), we clean up the house a bit, are a bit lazy, and then we begin to dread Monday.
By Sunday night, I am in prepare mode. Prepare for the horrific week I am about to have at work, prepare for the lack of sleep I get during the week, prepare to somehow make it through the week with some semblance of sanity.
I don’t know how single moms do it. My husband, God love him, is amazing. He helps out in more ways than I can count, yet I still feel like my boys are getting the short end of the stick because I have to work the schedule I work.
Over the last four years I have missed more of Nick’s doctor appointments, dental appointments, etc, than I care to admit. He hasn’t gotten the care he deserves because we are just trying to make it through each day as best as we can.
So, now, I am trying to find a way to quit my job…without putting more strain on my husband. Is it possible?? I ask myself this question just about every day. Every Monday I am tempted to walk in, tell them I have had enough..and walk out with a smile. Then, I get my son’s tuition bill, or the ER bill I still haven’t been able to pay, or the 1931 plumbing in this house gives out, and I feel stuck.
Is it possible to be a good mother to Nick and my other two boys when I am so distracted, exhausted and overwhelmed all the time? It sure doesn’t feel like it.
So, for now, I work….at home and on “the job” and I pray every day for wisdom…and that my boys somehow manage to thrive in the middle of this chaos.