It’s dark when I leave my home in the morning to go to work.
It’s dark when I get home from work in the evening.
It’s a long, tiring, 12 hour day.
When I leave my home for work in the morning, 1 child has already been dropped off at school and 1 child is still asleep in his bed.
I don’t get to spend “start of the day” time with either of them.
This is depressing.
When I get home from work in the evening, the children have already showered.
- And the children have been fed.
- And the children have finished their homework.
This is wonderful.
It makes my life easier in many ways.
This is sad.
I don’t even get to see the clothes they wear to school each day.
I don’t get to nourish their bodies.
I don’t get to help them exercise their brains.
These things are work – And they are a huge privilege.
I eat, I wash all the dishes/pots, I shower, I take out my clothes for the next day.
I ask how everyones day was.
I am home for less than 2 hours before it’s bed time for the children.
It feels sometimes like I am watching my children through a window.
There, but not THERE.
I like my job – and my coworkers.
This is a blessing. I am not unaware of this fact.
My job causes me to miss doctors appointments and school functions and I don’t get to stay home with them when they have a day off for Columbus Day or a teacher work day.
My job prevents me from doing after school pick ups.
- Even if there’s been an after school activity pushing the pick up time back.
This is guilt trip inducing.
Not just guilt trippy though.
It’s not that I feel like I should be there. I want to be there for everything.
For everything I miss – Shaunie is present.
She gets all the days off that the kids get.
Her job allows for drop offs and pick ups and for chaperoning trips and for dinner prep and homework assistance and doctor appointments.
This is a heavy load to bear and it’s sometimes exhausting for her.
She does is all anyway.
My boys know they can depend on her.
That kind of consistency and stability and sense of peace is a gift to them.
The consistency and stability and sense of peace that they have is a gift to me.
For this I am beyond grateful.
I try on the weekends to make up for the lost time.
We actively seek out and attend family friendly events.
We play board games and we watch movies and we just hang out talking or doing side by side independent reading.
It never feels like enough.
Despite the best of efforts, quality family time is not always achieved or achievable – even on weekends.
- The boys have plans of their own.
- I am catching up on sleep/rest.
- I am running necessary errands.
- I am doing house chores.
- I have other commitments.
Then it’s Monday again.
And I am leaving for work when it’s still dark and with one child already at school and one still sleeping.