Women who work outside the home often have a fair whack of running around to do long before they finally make it to their desk. To the uninitiated, it might seem like they’re on quite the sluggish schedule, but the reality could not be more different, as this frustrated mum explains in her shout-out to other working parents.
“Waltz into work”
US writer and mum-of-four, Liz Petrone had pretty much had it up to the eye-teeth with the idea that working parents have a more “relaxed” office arrival schedule.
In response to a rather spiky “wow, it sure must be nice to be able to waltz into work at 9:00am” comment, a totally knackered Liz posted a clenched-teeth and very clear outline of just what goes down in the pre-9am hours at her place, to her Facebook page. Spoiler: there is nothing nice or waltz-y about her morning!
Her update is an exhausting and sobering reminder of the load that parents carry – and the challenges of balancing the work that needs to be done at home with the work we do out of the house.
It’s also a solidarity boost for mums and dads juggling this struggle. When the bus driver or the coffee shop person or the human at reception makes a comment about how relaxed your arrival at work is, know that LIZ knows it’s not like that at alllll!
“By the time I sit in my chair at work and fire up my computer, my Fitbit says I have walked 2.5 miles (4.02kms),” Liz confirms. “All just to get us ready and out of the house.”
“Not actually making it anywhere”
Liz points out that the ground she’s covered pre-9am is almost all stepped-out inside the walls of her own home. It’s typical and symptomatic of these early years of parenting, according to Liz, and she wants other parents to know she SEES THEM as they navigate the same situations and challenges.
“If walking 2.5 miles and not actually making it anywhere at all ain’t exactly what this stage of life looks like I don’t what is,” Liz posted summing up the part-Groundhog Day, part-treadmill vibe that caring for small children can spark.
“This morning I woke four sleepy humans. Some I gently patted, some I prodded, and one I pulled the covers off and tried to roll onto the floor when the pat and the prod fell short. I’m not proud of that last one,” she began.
“I made five beds, one twice because someone snuck into it and tried to go back into sleep. It *may* have been me.”
What follows is a whirlwind of toilet-flushing, pull-up retrieving, teeth-brushing, limb-dressing, coffee-drinking, pet-feeding, room-tidying, drop-off completing, breakfast-banishing, cheek-kissing MAYHEM. And all before 9am…
Read it and weep (or nod, the choice is yours!)
This morning I woke four sleepy humans. Some I gently patted, some I prodded, and one I pulled the covers off and tried…
“This is so many of us”
Other parents related, responding passionately in solidarity, in the comments under Liz’s Facebook post.
“This. This is so many of us. I’m told repeatedly that I have it so easy because I “only” work six hour days. But when the division of labor with my husband happened at the beginning of my marriage I was supposed to be a SAHM. My husband works ten hour days, 6 days a week, so I do all the rest,” one tired mum posted.
“Every morning! The kind of sad part is that I consider that rush around, clean up, prep for the day my “me time.” Probably need to reevaluate that,” another said.
“Ummm, there are some dad’s that have this same basic morning routine. Hats off to all parents whom ensure their kids leave the house with their stomachs full, teeth brushed, lunches packed and rooms cleaned!….and yes, it is all worth it , but sometimes you just need to sit back and reflect on your blessings to remain focused on these important in our lives. Oh and a beer or two on a Saturday helps as well,” a dad called Brad piped up.
Liz’s response to Brad was 100 percent dad supportive: “Totally agree. My husband actually does this routine in reverse in the afternoon and I always say he’s got the harder job because he doesn’t have the benefit of coffee. Hats off to the working dads too. The struggle is real all around.”
The struggle is real indeed. Sob.
How about you? Are you arriving late at work for a very gosh-darned good reason?! i.e. KIDS!