It’s funny how dramatically your work life can change after having children. Personally, I had chosen to take a year off after my son was born to focus on caring for him. It was the best, craziest, and sleepiest year of my life. But after about a year, I started wanting more for myself. I’ve always been a worker, and always liked the sense of satisfaction that came with a job well done. However, I also didn’t want to be so wrapped up in my job that I didn’t have an ounce of time (or energy!) left for my children. So working for myself has really been the best of both worlds: I have my son in daycare two days a week, during which time I cram out as much work as possible, and then I try to fit in as much work as I can on the other three weekdays while he naps, and after he goes to bed at night.
Prior to starting a family, my life was very compartmentalized: I would work during the day, Monday-Friday. And then my evenings and weekends were mostly free . I could do what I wanted – granted, it usually involved paying bills, or cleaning up the apartment, but at least there was some order to my world. And as a Type-A, somewhat anal individual, this worked out just fine for me. But what has transpired now is this disordered life, where I don’t just work 9-5 (or in my case 8-7) anymore. I am a mom, working 7am-12:30pm when I am with my son. Then he goes down for a nap and even though all I want to do is sleep a that point, I am immediately at my computer, working from 12:30pm-3:30pm on the business. Then he wakes up and it’s back to my mama job again, until he goes to bed at 7:30pm, and then it’s back to work on the business, until I’m so tired I can’t see straight. My life no longer seems to be compartmentalized, but rather, all the compartments have encroached on all the others, often making it difficult to determine where my mom job ends and my adult job begins.
But it comes with the territory when you’re a parent, especially a parent like me who works two jobs. Your job as a parent never ends, so it colors your adult working world. But for me, that’s the greatest gift I could ask for. I think that although my life is crazier than it has ever been, I am a better business owner because of my child. I have more patience with myself, and I am ok if everything on my “to do” list doesn’t get done that day. The old me was always stressed in my compartmentalized, ordered world, but in my current disordered life, the mama-me is surprisingly more zen than ever.