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I’m a working mom. And even though I feel like I’ve designed things so that I have a fair amount of free time, there’s still just never enough time.
This blog for example… I want to spend more time on it, and when I find a way to do it consistently, ideas flow.
But, take two weeks off of writing and not much time to follow up on social media and I’m feeling a little lacking in what I want to write about right now. The more I write, the more I think of things to write and so on.
But there’s the other component, that interaction time looking at other blogs and commenting or twitter really do help drive traffic to my site and inspire me with topics to write about. Life gets busy and as this side project is ultimately for fun, I just don’t have time for it sometimes. Or I have to take time away from something else to do it.
I’ve had a busy few weeks. An out of town Dr. appointment (pitfalls of rural living, you have to travel for things like this). A “full time” schedule for 2 months between my two jobs. Full on Mom duty on my days off.
But I’m not that “busy”
Busy as I feel, tired as I get, I know I’m not a “busy” person. There is lots of downtime at home. I can’t tell someone what I did all week that took up my time and for the most part I don’t have anything to show for it.
How do people (especially the moms) with full time jobs are also managing to keep up active blogs and social media interactions (or half the other things people with busy lives do)? I assume things will get a bit better as my toddler gets older. But I keep thinking that and every week the kiddo just requires more and more one on one personal attention!
Kids take a lot of time, and attention!
I could park my son in front of the television, but we really try to avoid that. Our electronic babysitter is saved for times when we really need to get something done undisturbed. I try to not make it an everyday occurrence and less than an hour a day when we do watch the few select programs we will allow. Some days there is more than an hour, but that’s the goal.
Also, to me, it just feels wrong to park my kid in front of a television when he would rather be interacting with me just so that I can do something that is not a “must do” task.
Call it the working mom guilt. I really do find that I feel the need to provide my attention 100% of the time when I am home. This leaves me with very little time for my personal interests. I work 30-50 hours a week, and then on my days off I attend to my kid. It gives my husband a break (because it is exhausting to attend to a toddler one on one, full time), and gives us quality time. But, this doesn’t leave much time for me to have any kind of break.
Yes, for me, work does provide some break from my kiddo.
I chose to grow and nurture a small human
We’re not the kind of family that looks for opportunities to get away from each other (my child has never been with a babysitter, ever, so far). Having actively chosen to have a baby, we wanted a family. Trips involve the whole family. The rare night out to eat involves the whole family. Etcetera.
Funny side note here; because we don’t want to get away from our toddler, but he’s also at an age where eating out isn’t particularly enjoyable, we just eat out even less. It’s a blessing in disguise for the budget!
Back to where I was headed with this, yes, work is a good mental break from the taxing constant interaction with a small person (enjoyable as it is, it is exhausting many days). But, at work, I’m busy the whole time too. I hardly have time to think about anything other than what’s going on with work.
Putting in the effort early for dividends in the future
Just a stage of life I guess. That initial sacrifice you make as a mother from the time your body becomes the nourishing vessel of another life just keeps on going. I continue to put of my own interests to the side in the interest of providing the most nourishing environment with my love and attention I can. I can only hope this hard work early on, just another type of sacrifice of personal pleasure, provides dividends.
It’s a love and attention bank. I’m putting long hard hours in right now to fill that account up. The logic works elsewhere in life, it’s got to work here too!
Regina is That Frugal Pharmacist. She’s a PharmD, mother to a son with cancer, breadwinning wife, personal finance enthusiast, artist, writer, and entrepreneur. Regina’s single-income household has been debt-free, including her home, since she was 28 years old.
Her money approach is “holistic financial health.” She encourages mindful spending, awareness of the non-monetary costs of choices, and aligning personal values with money habits. Regina sees a frugal lifestyle and mindset as an important part of environmental stewardship. As such she’s interested in ongoing efforts towards self-sufficiency and sustainability.