Since I’m such a goddamn perfectionist, while also managing to be one of the laziest goddamn people I know, I knew motherhood would be…difficult for me. I figure what better way to deal with my mental anguish at not being the perfect Lorelai Gilmore-perfect mother (I realize that June Cleaver is the usual reference here, but she’s become Stepford-wife creepy in my brain, so no thanks) than by documenting all the things I beat myself up over, and posting them to the internet. No way this can go wrong. Nope. No way. No how.
So, as previously discussed, I work from home two days a week – Mondays and Fridays. Super duper lucky, everyone would love to have that flexibility, it’s the best thing anyone could ever hope for with small babies, etc. etc. We’ll return here, don’t worry. There are two major implications to that – 1) I’m able to be with my kids more than I’m away from them, which is of course the general goal of work/life balancing (I think. Right?) and 2) we only have to have “childcare” one day a week, since 2 of the 3 days that I’m in the office BB is home with the girls. Mostly, it means that my Working Mom Guilt should be alleviated, since I’m home with them for part of the week, right? And since as previously discussed, I have very little Working Mom Guilt to begin with, I should be good, right? Soaking up the awesomeness that is WORKING FROM HOME – living the dream. Hahahahahahahah.
But back to how lucky I am to be able to work from home. I am, I know. Believe you me, I know it. We would be in a much worse situation, child-care-wise, if I wasn’t able to work from home on Mondays and Fridays. But. BUT. Those are always my worst days. My most stressful, pass out immediately after bathtime probably cry at some point during the day days. Being at home alone with both babies is tough (and understand, I’m saying this from the perspective of not even having been home alone with them all day yet – only for a few hours at a time while my mom runs errands / BB goes to work), add to that the need to actually get work done – be on calls, answer emails, complete paperwork, etc., and the day can quickly feel like it’s getting out of control. Now, obviously, my bosses / coworkers know that I’m staying home with my babies, and babies run their own schedules, so they’re not expecting me to be perfectly on schedule as if I were in the office. But I am expected to get my work done, and it’s on these days that I actually feel the most “Mommy Guilt”. I want to be ABSOLUTELY PERFECTLY CLEAR about this, just in case anyone actually ends up reading it: nobody is making me feel guilty but myself.
So, now that that’s out of the way: I know that I need to get a certian amount of work done. My bosses and I had discussed this before I returned from maternity, and it was agreed that as long as work was done in a timely manner (i.e. before any major deadlines for it, like the end of the month or whatever), getting it done between 9am-5pm on the days I work from home was less important than simply getting it done and remainging a functional member of the team. However, the fact remains that if I expect answers to emails or phone calls clarifying anything I need to get that work done, a good chunk of it does in fact need to be completed between 9 and 5. So I find myself…resenting?…the time I spend trying to console the girls crying fits because I know I have to get work done. So, I’m feeling guilty because ANYTIME I can’t calm my babies I feel guilty (why am I such a bad mother I can’t figure out what’s wrong and fix it?) and then I feel guilty because I should totally be working, and then I feel guilty for wanting to work rather than spending time with my babies, and etc. and etc.
It’s quite literally a shame spiral, much MUCH worse than anything I’ve ever ridden simply going into the office.