Measuring Up

I am learning that coping with my new reality is a lot more than just accepting that J doesn’t want to be married to me or be friends anymore. Co-parenting is a whole additional world of trying to find calm and center my emotions when something unpleasant comes up (or, why don’t I just say it — when J is acting like a jerk).

It’s been a rough five days. J only takes little guy every other weekend during the summer months because she usually is traveling for work. This week her travel plans got cancelled and it happened that kiddo got sick during this time (home from daycare for a couple days, which means I was home from work). J wasn’t willing to pick up any extra slack, even for a few hours one evening so I could do some work triage. She wants to stay *strictly* to the arranged schedule. Which, I understand, except that the arranged schedule is 100% about her to begin with…

When I came back to work I got (gently) reamed out by my boss for letting some time-sensitive tasks slide. I like my boss and I work hard at my job, so this makes me sad. I feel like I’m always in panic mode at work, juggling more things than I can really handle, and it’s super hard to know whether I need to be more self-critical about how efficient I am, or whether I am truly being pulled thin by too many responsibilities. I don’t want to dismiss criticisms that may legitimately help me improve, but at the same time there is a level of crazy that comes with parenting (by yourself) and working full-time that I don’t think non-parents, or even parents with supportive partners, can really understand. My reality involves a job that really wants to be more than a 40 hr/week job, daycare schedules, and a toddler who has to be cared for and who hates to see his Mamma working on a computer (and who currently takes an hour or more to go to sleep in the evening). I have about 8 hours of “sleep” time at night myself in which I must sleep and do all the things that are hard to do when the toddler is awake, like prep lunches for the coming day, clean, take care of bills, and … oh yeah, maybe unwind, just a little? Unwinding feels like slacking off, whenever I do it. Trying to fit additional work tasks into my “sleep” time makes me want to flip the world a middle finger. But I do it sometimes, when there is a task that can be brought home. Can I be more efficient? I am sure there are many ways I can be more efficient. Do I fuck up and forget important tasks sometimes? Unfortunately, yes… But seriously, it’s hard to do all of this! Some days (and weeks) it is so, so hard.

My sanity comes from reminding myself of a few basic things: 1) Sunrises and sunsets are pretty, no matter how crappy the day has been; 2) I am glad to spend as much time with my son as I can, because this is the part of my life that really has meaning for me; and 3) I have some pretty awesome family, even if they don’t live in the same town as me. In fact, my parents have paid to fly me and the toddler out to Spokane this weekend for the annual Bloomsday event. I’ll probably post more about Bloomsday when I get back. For now I will simply say, thank goodness for family and family traditions. I think this is going to be a good weekend.

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2 Responses to Measuring Up

  1. Lindsay says:

    I know exactly what you mean about how difficult it is to be a single parent with a full-time job. I am constantly in panic mode at work too, because I do the work of 2-3 people, it feels impossible to do it all. Some days I feel so stretched and so worn down that I just don’t even know how I’ll go on. But I do! And you do too.

    I hope you have a wonderful time at the Bloomsday event!

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