Saturday, August 6, 2011

It's Hard Being a Working Mom

You may have noticed that my posting has dropped dramatically over the last couple of weeks. (If you didn't notice, it has.)  My posts have dropped because my hours at work have increased. A LOT. That is a good thing, but it also sucks.

Working a lot is very good because having business is always very good. You might not know this, but the legal industry has been suffering just as much as the rest of the economy. Many, many attorneys have lost their jobs (but not their student loan debt!) Many, many more support staff have lost jobs. So, having work is a very good thing.

Unfortunately, this uptick in work is not crazy busy, not trial prep busy, but it is normal busy pre-recession. The problem is my level of overall fatigue. Because I am so tired from this life we have been living for the last three years, it is hard for me to get up in the morning because my inner night owl wants to come out (or at least stay in bed). However, if I don't get up by 5:30 am, I don't get to work until 9:00/9:30am, which means I have been leaving work between 9:00 and 10:30 pm. When I don't get home until 11:00pm, my night owl really kicks in, making it so much harder to rise the next day. Throw in the Dancing Queen crying off and on all night due to pain from an ear infection that won't go away no matter what we do and continuously bursts and bleeds, and I am one tired mommy.

I know my heart has bled a lot on these pages about how difficult it is being a heart mom and it is. But I don't think it is as black and white as I've been making it out on here or in my head. At least 50% of my exhaustion, of my dreariness, is being a full-time litigator mom. Trying to find enough hours in the day to take care of children (and a husband) while working is hard enough, but I am also expected to do the extra hours required for a litigator and I need to constantly be on call for emergencies and surprise deadlines. I'm not sure how I do it all because I am always so very, very tired.

I had lots of roll models for working moms. My mom worked full-time while raising my sister and I. My aunts worked. Both of my grandmothers worked. That is what you do when you have to put food on the table and one income won't do it. I saw them struggle to balance it all, but I had no idea of the utter weariness of it all. So, when baby fever hit, I knew I could do it because they all had, but I didn't really know how hard it would be (or the toll it would take on me physically).

Add in at least one doctor appointment a week, therapy sessions, and the inevitable trips to the pharmacy, even doing the regular stuff for the kids gets hard. For instance, TRex will begin kindergarten a month from now. How can I find the time to take him to visit the school (when it is open)? I need to be at work during the day and if I'm not at work during the day, I'm at a doctor's office or the hospital. I simply don't have extra time to take him to the school. Yet, he needs to go there.

So, I make time for things like visit schools, making me work later and longer when I finally get into the office. The next day I sleep in later, perpetuating the cycle. The only way to break the cycle is a break. This is why vacations exist. People need a pause button for life. And even if you don't go anywhere, at least you can catch up on sleep. But instead of vacations, we get hospital stays that are more draining than most everything else.

And that is why I am not blogging. If I'm not working or at a doctor's office, I am exhausted without brain power to write. It's hard being a working mom.


  1. I really do feel your pain (oh that is so cliche)! I was fortunate enough to not be a working mom--well, I did work very hard and was on duty or on call 24/7. For the first, oh say, five years, I was exhausted taking care of two healthy little boys. So I know the difficulty when everything is going really well. I recall the joy of having a few hours away to meet friends for lunch occasionally. I remember shutting myself in the bathroom and scanning Time magazine so I'd have something to discuss other than children. I wanted to read something other than Goodnight Moon, Dr. Seuss and the like. If I'd have had to throw a demanding job into the mix, I don't know how I would have done so. I am in awe and admiration of you. Sorry I don't have more to offer!!


  2. I feel the difference being part-time already. It is so much more manageable. Now, we'll see if they keep my workload actually part-time or not, and we'll see how much I like the bank account. :) But you're right, being a full-time working mom is SO hard under normal circumstances. I can't imagine throwing all the special needs into it, too.


Having a child with a CHD is like being given an extra sense---the true ability to appreciate life. Each breath, each hug, each meal is a blessing when you've watched your child live off a ventilator, trapped in an ICU bed, being fed through a tube. Each minute is a miracle when you've watched your child almost die and come back to you.
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