Monday, November 7, 2011
Making family time is important to me. How do you balance your children, relationship, and work life?
I really wish I had a good answer for that. Many times I'm unbalanced. It's hard to be a wife, mom, and working woman all at the same time. There are only so many hours in a day. On a typical day, here is how I break it down:
5:45-6:30 - Me time. I get up before anyone else, and after I get dressed I can do my devotions, check my email, start coffee, and do any leftover dishes from the night before.
6:30-8:00 - Mommy time. This is when my husband and I work together to get Tommy dressed and fed, and we get in the truck to head to daycare. Sometimes there's a little wife time in there, as I discuss the day with my husband and kiss him goodbye, but it's mostly Mommy time.
8:00-5:50 - Vet time. When I'm at work I'm in vet mode. Sure, I may answer a text from Sam from time to time, but most of the time Mommy and Wife me are not around during this time.
5:50-8:00 - Wife/Mommy time. I pick up Tommy and we head home to see Sam. Then it's time to eat, talk about our day, play a little, and get Tommy ready for bed.
8:00-10:00 - Wife time. Time to watch TV, talk about any pressing issues, clean up, do laundry, and anything else we might be interested in doing after Tommy goes to bed.
10:00-5:45 - Sleep....zzzzzzzzzz
Then I get up and start all over. Sure, sometimes Tommy wakes up at 4am (thank you, daylight savings) and Mommy time starts early. Sometimes I can get an early lunch and meet Sam for a quick bite to eat. On my off days Mommy me is around much more, and if Tommy takes a nap (which he doesn't like to do), Wife me gets to come out more often. Sometimes if work is slow I get some time to myself to catch up on email, read my Kindle, or chat with some of the girls at work.
It's hard to balance my life and make time for family. Work me pretty much takes care of herself. I have set hours I need to spend at work. I treat my patients, get my charts done, talk to the owners, and plan out the next day. When I'm there I'm pretty focused, and (for the most part) I can leave my job when I leave work.
Mommy me is a little harder. Tommy spends more waking time at daycare than he does with me. I'm thankful that he has excellent teachers who he loves, and he learns so much more from them than he could learn at home with me. But that's still difficult to accept. My mom didn't work when we were little. She taught us what our colors were, how to read, and how to tie our shoes. I'm not my mom. I don't know how she did it, but I'm glad she did. I hope Tommy is happy with the choices we've made for him. I try to make all the available Mommy time count. We play in the backyard, go on walks to the park, watch silly shows (with hidden educational value) on TV, chase each other around the house, spin until we fall down, dance until we fall down, tickle until we fall down (Tommy likes falling down). Overall I guess I think I'm pretty happy with Mommy time. Tommy knows I love him, and I know he loves me in that "Mommy can do anything" kind of way that lights up his face when he sees me.
Wife me is where the balance falls off. Sure, Sam and I are home at the same time, but we're not exactly spending time together. In the morning we chat while brushing teeth, packing bags, feeding the animals, and getting Tommy ready to leave. After we get home it's not much better. While we eat we're both making sure Tommy isn't throwing his food on the floor or smearing it on the table. After dinner one of us is getting Tommy ready for bed while the other is catching up on housework. Only after he goes to bed do we have time alone, and all to often we're too tired to do much more than watch TV, catch up on emails, and go to bed. This is an area where I need to conscientiously make an effort to do better. Lunch dates are too few and far between, they could happen at least 2-3 times a month if not weekly. We should line up babysitters more often to go out and spend some time together as adults, even if it's just to eat some fast food, go shopping, or even go away for a weekend. Wife me needs a V8.
So, I sure don't have it all figured out. Some days are better than others. I need to keep working on keeping the balance, or at least keeping things as even as possible.