The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


In the Tunnel

I went back to work fulltime when my son Nick was 16-weeks old. God, I was clueless about how difficult it would be. Forget about the B word, balance – give me a break. The best I can do is to have periods of relative calm, where I’m not screaming at either location.

I was relieved that first year to discover we could work and parent. Day by day we figured out – who would be home first to relieve the babysitter, who could get Nick to the pediatrician for his shots, who could start dinner. I even had a few overnight business trips – Nick came along on two trips and stayed home with his dad for a few others. We were tired and we weren’t talking much about anything except the logistics of daily life, but we were doing it.

By the end of year two, it struck me that we would never again have a stable schedule. Childcare arrangements changed, preschool loomed and I switched jobs. Our routine didn’t just change week to week, but often day to day. This was a major learning curve for me – to not expect routine – to anticipate that schedules would differ and that I would always be behind getting things done at both home and work.

Nick is 10 now. I get smug for months at a time thinking my husband and I have it all down by now. It’s all about priority setting, I think. But every now and then I can’t do it. I’ll be rolling out a new program at work, like I am now, and all hell breaks loose inside me. Things look okay from the outside – Nick’s getting to school on time, dinner’s on the table most nights – but inside I’m crazed.

I start waking up at 4 in the morning, thinking if I could just squeeze in a couple of additional hours each day, I’ll get a handle on work. I pull out my bag of tricks – start saying no to helping out at school, limiting social activities, letting my already loose house cleaning standards slip even more.

Nothing helps.

I’ve been too busy to take my vitamins – how silly is that? It’s like I go into this wild tunnel for a few months and I flail around, searching for the other end. I find it and make it back to hectic instead of crazed. And then I swear I’ll make sure I don’t enter that tunnel again.

Whew, I hope I make it out soon.

By Marianne Lonsdale


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