Adjustments

I’m going to get a little serious (and quite possibly emo) on you for a few minutes. It’s very unlike me to broadcast an honest-to-God, serious issue I’m dealing with on the internet, but seeing as how you all are completely awesome and always so helpful, I’d like to ask for your opinions and insight once again.

I have become a full-fledged working mom.  I wake up at 6:00am, take Madeline to day care, work, run errands on my lunch, work, pick her up, go home for the evening, and do it all over again the next day. I’m exhausted.

Lately, Justin has been taking over a lot of the household duties since I’ve been so wiped out. He’s been spending time with the girl while I’m getting myself ready to leave, cooks for us, and picks up the apartment so it’s nice and tidy when I get home. I appreciate his hard work and would be an overwhelmed, pitiful mess without his help, but I’m honestly starting to wonder if I qualify as ‘domestic’ anymore.

Before I had Madeline, I thrived on taking care of my home and my man. I truly enjoyed cooking and cleaning. In fact, those have always been the things that have given me a sense of purpose. But now, with me dumping all these duties onto my husband, I’m not feeling quite the same about my life. I actually feel a bit guilty.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful… I am so blessed to have Justin’s help. I’m just in a place where I’m unsure. With me working, I’m earning our family’s benefits and health care. That is important. That is necessary. But is that my true purpose right now?

Is it wrong to feel guilty for not being able to make meals in the evenings? For not having my kitchen as spotless as it used to be?  For going to sleep without folding the laundry that is piled high?

Or is this just a new phase of life that requires me to adjust, stop whining and just be thankful for having a job?

19 thoughts on “Adjustments

  1. Ok. I love your honesty. But here is the gist – there are times that we have to do what makes our family work and as much as it is not the ideal situation that you may have always dreamed of or would desire for you have to find your purpose not in the things that make you feel domestic but who you are to those 2 people living with you. When Madeline gets older what is she going to see in you, do you want her to see a clean house and the accomplishment you feel when it’s perfectly cute? As wonderul as those things are creating a HOME is very important. But what she IS going to see, is a mom who made sacrifices for her and her family. A mom who just wanted to be home with her, made the sacrifice to give her more, provide for her, taught her that you can do whatever you need to – to make things work. There are people I know, that stay home and at times can’t diaper their babies or put food on the table.

    Another HUGE thing, is the team that you are Justin are becoming. The moments she is going to spend knowing her daddy when no one is around, the times that are just them. When he learns to take care of her by himself, is huge. For 1 – there are lots of dads that don’t do much at all. She is going to learn to love and laugh and to be confident because of the special times with her daddy.

    The cleaning and cooking part is hard I agree. But there is only one of you, and when it is the end of the day, what matters is just spending time together, making sure everyone in the house matters. That is your purpose, to live, laugh, grow together and enjoy every minute. In time things will change, and you will get to do all that you dream of.

    I love you to pieces and I have been there. It gets better and better.

    Hugs!

  2. This phase won’t last forever. It can be hard for a new mom to get the hang of things. It makes perfect sense that you’d be so wiped out. Your day is jam-packed.

    But, there will be a point (hopefully soon) where you’ll get the hang of balancing work and home. You won’t be so tired and having the best of both worlds will be a lot more streamlined. You’ll get to work during the day and still spend some of the evening tidying up and doing the wifely duties. Why? Because it’s what you want. Your body will find a way to keep up with your desired way of life. It just might take a little time to get there.

  3. Ok so I think you’re amazing for the things you are capable of doing. I’m not a mommy yet, not will I be for quite a while. I think you will start to get used to things and you will adjust. It’s completely normal for you to feel the way you do, or at least I think so. Justin is amazing for helping you and your baby out with duties around the house. Some guys would just let it pile up and be dirty.

    There are ways to have benefits with out having a job. I don’t know what your financial situation is, but you can buy insurance monthly through places like Aflac. Just an option. I probably shouldn’t have said anything, but oh well I did. I hope everything works itself out for you soon.

  4. I honestly don’t know how you do it. :(

    But don’t think that the house would necessarily be perfect if you were at home either. Mine sure is far from that!

  5. Aww this makes me sad! Though I think that any working mom will go through this, but a sign of a great marriage is balancing the give and take. I don’t have a child yet, obviously, but sometimes you have to step out of the “traditional role” to get to where you need to go. I’m the breadwinner at the moment, and I know that it’s so in the future we will be better off having a lawyer in the family than some job that he could get with a bachelor’s degree. Plus there’s the trade-off day-to-day, Cale’s Mondays and Wednesdays are so full he doesn’t get home from his review until after 11pm. So those days I manage everything. During busy season, Cale did everything around the house, and I had to live with the fact that I couldn’t dust once a week anymore (yikes!). But in the grand scheme of things, it will work out for us, and it will work out for you.

    This morning I was walking to work with a coworker whose wife just had a baby. I asked him how it was being a new dad, and he said “Oh fine. I don’t have to do anything, my wife deals with her.” And that made me so sad. At least Justin is taking an active role in Maddie’s life. So while you might wish you were there more, Maddie has an involved father and a caring mother: how amazing is that! She’s one lucky little girl.

  6. Oh girl, you just wrote about every mom’s struggle. I stay home, and even so my laundry is piled high. I haven’t cooked a really great meal in weeks, my bathrooms need cleaning like you wouldn’t believe, and the bookshelves are dustier than I care to admit.

    I think the bottom line is: you can’t do it all. NO one can. In these weeks since Rosalie has been born I’ve hated feeling like I’m not the housekeeper I like to be, like I”m letting my husband down becuase I don’t have a delicious meal on the table when he comes home from work… but at the same time I’m learning to embrace this season of our life and just be grateful that I have an understanding and helpful husband in the meanwhile. It’s all very humbling. And I’m learning that it’s ok to choose to rock Rosalie for that extra ten minutes after she falls asleep or read just one more story with Emma and Annabelle instead of scrubbing the toilet. Or, to simply cuddle with my husband while we watch TV instead of folding laundry.

    you amaze me with all you do (seriously, wow), and I’m so glad you have the great husband you do. Enjoy that, enjoy him, and enjoy your little girl– those are the important things. And someday you’ll find yourself able to “do it all” again, I”m sure. It always gets easier!! Like you said: adjustments. That’s all it is. :)

  7. I feel for you! Honestly, a full-time working mother to a newborn (or any age child) cannot do it all. Society tells us we can do it ALL, but it is not true and it isn’t fair to make women think it is possible. I don’t know your financial situation, but working less or not at all would (duh) be ideal. But many of us haven’t set our lives up to work that way because we get used to having 2 incomes and then spend 2 incomes instead of trying to live on one. I think it is natural that you are feeling this way since your natural instinct is to want to take care of your baby and your home, and the job is taking up the time you would normally have to do that stuff. I hope you can work your way into a balance where you are delegating your time to what is important to you. So many women bloggers have expressed the same feelings you did here.

  8. I am feeling a lot like this right now, and we don’t even have a kid (2 dogs, 2 cats, 1 turtle count for a kid right? :p). Since both of us are gone that leaves us the evening and weekends to do our house stuff, make dinner, walk the dogs, feed the dogs, let the dogs out to pee multiple times at night, getting woke up by said dogs early in the morning…etc (hah). The past 3 weekends I’ve told myself: OKAY I am getting the floors mopped this weekend. Then I run out of time. Then I know right after I mop them they are going to get trampled on with dirty dog paws and shoes. No motivation there! I feel like a total bad woman of the house! As much as I HATE CLEANING, I still feel like, for some reason, it’s my responsibility to at least make sure everything looks and feels good. Our messy house makes me not want to be there and makes me more stressed. ugh yeah. I feel like a big fat FAIL. Then I get to thinking…is this ever going to change? Isn’t this going to just get worse and worse?

  9. I don’t have children, so I feel as though my opinion couldn’t hold any weight. I do however, 100% agree with 1st comment.

  10. As a new mom I know exactly how you feel. Trust me, it isn’t easier for stay at home moms either. Personally, not a day goes by when I don’t feel like I should find a way to go back to work, so that my husband won’t have to handle all of the bills on his own. Then I realize that we are both doing what needs to be done for our baby and that is what matters the most.

    It is perfectly normal to feel like what your doing is not good enough and that there is never enough time in the day, but that’s what being a mom is all about. I’ve never met a mom that wasn’t busy trying to do a million different things in one day! We do so much for our little ones and our husbands, but we never give ourselves credit for everything we do.

    In the end, we must learn to cherish the time that we have with our loved ones instead of worrying about the pile of dishes in the kitchen sink. After all, I’m sure our husbands and children think of us as more than just the women that clean and cook for them!

    I’m sure you will be just fine. Now go and give your husband a big kiss for being so helpful!

  11. It’s great to know other mom’s struggle with this – even the fabulous ones!

    Having a helpful hubby is the thing that gets me through the day – I just need to realize he won’t do things exactly like I will and that’s okay.

    For work (job, laundry, dinner), I have to remind myself that even though things seem to need to be done right that instant, taking time to de-stress and do the things I like makes me a better employee and mom overall.

    Let me know if you figure out the magic secret!

  12. I say be glad he’s helping out. It’s better than him being a lazy bum and leaving it for you to do when you return home from your paying gig. Be grateful.

  13. I can totally understand why you’d feel that way, but you have no reason to feel guilty. I think that there will always be new and different phases that demand different things from us, and the fact that your partner in crime is capable of finding a balance and a routine to work with what life happens to be throwing at you right now means a lot. Things will constantly shift and change, but if you guys are loving and supportive of each other as those changes happen then you’ve really got a great thing going :)

  14. Hello, Mrs. Priss. Recent lurker here, who feels compelled to chime in for some additional perspective. I’m a stay-at-home mom by way of being laid off twice last year. It was a blessing in disguise, obviously (I won’t go into all the crazy timing issues), but it doesn’t mean I’m getting any more tasks marked off my list than you are. Admittedly, I don’t even make lists. For the past six months, I’ve managed…not very much. I have a thesis I’m supposed to be working on. Nope. I’ve plodded through a couple very easy reads over a relatively ridiculous period of time. As for housework—yeah. I mean, no. It’s all I can do to keep our hardwood floors swept each morning. The husband comes home and cooks after work; he helps with the cleaning; he helps with the babe to give me a break at night. This is what happens when one’s kid doesn’t dig daytime sleep, I guess. Anyhow, I’m just saying don’t assume it would be much different were you home. Perspective—gotta love it!

  15. I am a few steps behind you on this one, and am anticipating have those same exact questions and doubts.

    I’m guessing that in the transition to parenthood, it’s natural that everything gets a little chaotic and unsettled for a while.

  16. ya know it’s all of those things. It’s an adjustment, it’s something that feels different and at times a little icky. You know it’s normal to wish you could still do this stuff and to realize that you are now providing something else for you family. It’s an adjustment and it’s ok to notice it.

  17. You know what? It’s just mommy guilt, and it’s normal to feel like you’re feeling. I feel the very same way. I went back to work after a year off with baby number 2, enjoying my time with both boys. My husband is now staying home for the most part, and he basically does a lot of the cooking. As for cleaning, I do as much as I can and I have a housekeeper who helps me out once or twice a week. Because, man, with two little children in the house, it’s like, one step forward, two steps backward – no matter how much I clean, a new mess will appear.
    Anyway, the mommy guilt will not go away.. at least it’s not going away for me – I wish I could work part-time, so that I can spend more time being ‘domestic’ and being at home. It is tough, and it is an adjustment. And it is exhausting. Just sit back and enjoy every second you have with your little girl and hubby. Enjoy this time.

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