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  • Susie Csorsz Brown

Dancing as fast as I can

If you are a working mom, you need to hear this.

If you are in a relationship with or married to a working mom, you need to hear this.

If your mom is a working mom, you need to hear this.

I am a working mom, and you should know I am doing the best that I can.

I feel as though I am doing all of the jobs that I have been given or have volunteered for rather half-assed. Try as I might, the tasks I am juggling are not being completed to my satisfaction, and I know it shows. I am trying to keep all of these balls in the air, I am trying to keep everything rolling smoothly, I am trying not to let my stresses and struggles be apparent to my family or friends. These are my issues, and I can handle it. I am trying to make it all work just fine. Honestly, though, I don't want it to just 'work;' I want each part thrive and be amazing.

It helps, actually, knowing that other working moms struggle with these same stresses. We can’t possible be all or do all for our families; that is not the point anyway, is it, if we are raising children who will at some point be independent, confident and able individuals. We are supposed to be giving them their space to learn and lead. It helps, actually, knowing that other employees (working moms and otherwise) struggle with some of the tasks that I am trying to accomplish. Isn’t it true that misery loves company? Sure, but beyond that, it helps to know that a problem or system or process is not just my own frustration, that others, too, feel it.

I just wish I could figure out a way to do it all. We are supposed to be contributing members of the team, not solo artists, both at work and at home. Even knowing that doesn't stop me from having that dream – however unattainable – tucked away.

I hear from my kids they are doing things that they wish I could attend during the school day, but I don’t have time. I hear from my fellow colleagues at work things that they do after work, but I don’t have time. I hear from my friends the events that they go to on the weekends, but I don’t have time. How do I balance all of these balls? How do I keep these processes processing and moving forward? How do I do a full-time (and additional duties) job in part-time hours, and how do I do a full-time mom gig, and how do I do all of this in the same 24 hours everyone else is allotted?

Every position – work, parent, spouse, friend – has its time constraints. Every task has its frustrations. Every joy has its strings. Every responsibility has its requirements. What I also know for sure is that this is a lot of give give give and while most of it I enjoy, this is not where I get my energy. I am reaching near-deficit mode, and I see it, and I understand it, but I cannot stop it from happening. What happens when I hit that deficit? That’s a good question; not completely sure. Perhaps I’ll just sleep all day (NEVER happened). Perhaps I’ll get sick (not a good plan, as I am a truly horrible sick person). Perhaps nothing, and I’ll bounce right back up there.

It isn’t that I am sad, don’t get me wrong. It is more that the satisfaction I usually feel from knowing a job is well done is missing.

I know I am not the only mom-who-works who feels this way. I also have my support team in place. The kids are old enough to do so much for themselves. Hubby is back now, so no longer the only adult in the house. One thing that is unique to FS life that is an added daily stressor is the process of bidding, which is in full swing. None of this is new; we've bid before, but the task of seeking that onward assignment is just another thing to juggle.

This too shall pass. I know this for sure. But right now? It really feels like a lot, and I am dancing as fast as I can.

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