Tuesday, January 25, 2022

That Work/MomLife Balance

Yesterday I had the first day to myself in a long while. Like months. Probably July? Has it been 6 months?! Our company had transitioned to 4x 10-hour days over 5 years ago, although a few employees (mostly those with younger kids) opted to work the traditional 5x 8-hour days. With Covid, and a temporary furlough, then maternity leave, I had returned at 28 hours last March with my Mondays off (4x 7-hour days).

Our morning routine: stroller walk with
my girls before daycare and work

It’s taken me a while to figure out how much to work while balancing my new role as Ainsley’s mom. We pay for daycare full-time, so it had been nice to have Monday as a day to myself to run errands, take care of my neck issues (see last post on car vs. bike consequences), and get a guilt-free workout in. 

But I felt overwhelmed at work, like I didn’t have enough hours to get everything done. I jumped to 40 for a few months, and it was too much. Then I backed down to 35, electing to work a few hours on Monday. But recently I’ve realized that I really need that whole Monday off. Between my neck issues and Ainsley’s appointments, I decided that 32 hours/week is what’s best for myself and my family.

It took me too long to accept that it’s okay to not be able to do everything. I’m so used to being a superhero and doing ALL THE THINGS, but it’s okay. Financially 32 hours is fine, and for my own sanity is much better. I need to stop beating myself up for not being able to work 40 hours and also do everything else that I want to do, and be grateful that we can afford for me not to work a full workweek and I have the flexibility at my company to do so!

(Mom’s still learning to dial back on this philosophy)

Speaking of 5 years ago, ironically I had been sent to a work conference back in late 2017 and the speaker there had us write out individual five-year plans. Where did we see ourselves in 5 years? Amongst things like “student loans paid off” and “have 2 children”, I had written that I would cut my work hours down to 30 hours.

So. There you have it. My 35yo self was very wise. (Other than the 2 kids, ha!)

Yesterday, I made a huge list of all the things I wanted to do. Of course we also had Verizon Fios and an electrician coming in the morning. By the time they both left, I decided I wasn’t going to also squeeze in my 10-mile run in addition to running errands at the mall (Christmas gift returns, a Target pick-up for new diapers and other stuff, and my first Trader Joe’s trip in a while).

Me, not doing my Monday long run.

I had already run 3 times over the weekend (Saturday was a split run during 2 short naps, Sunday was a stroller run), after not running for almost 2 weeks due to my neck problems the previous weekend. My left shin had complained the tiniest bit during our short stroller run (a really old high school stress fracture) and I knew not to push for 4 runs in 3 days after almost 2 weeks of not running. 40yo me can be wise too!

In conclusion, I’m continuing to learn how to balance everything, just like this darling is learning to balance on two feet—a little shaky but getting there and super proud of herself!

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