Last Thursday was hard. I realize that I'm only three weeks into a new job, and that last Thursday I was only two, but it was hard none the less. It started out as normal as mornings around here go. I woke up exhausted and spent a half hour on my phone, promoting things, checking in with Instagram and making sure my email wasn't going to hit two hundred messages before noon. I get that a half hour is a lot of time to waste, but lately this is the only time I can check in until it's time for bed. That's a huge change for me and my blog life.
As usual the kids didn't want to get up. I woke them up repeatedly as I put on my face. Then got dressed and then made lunches. Finally Caitlin got up about 35 minutes before we had to leave the house. Tears flowed all through getting dressed, combing hair, and eating breakfast. Tears because it was "music class day", tears because Mommy had to work, tears because she doesn't want to go to school. Finally as I was putting on Mackenzie's shoes, watching Caitlin eat a pancake (minus syrup) as she cried and choked on crumbs, I crumbled a little myself. I looked at her and knew with all my mothering heart that there wasn't a damn thing I can do to quell the tears at that point. And on this morning I couldn't give her any extra time to cuddle or coddle because we had to go. We had to get to school, I had to come home and get Mac ready for dance, and I had to high tail it to work all before nine am. It was a fine time to crumble a little, let me tell you.
We got to school at the warning bell, which has also become our usual. I'm trying to let go of the always early rule I set for myself when I was about her age. If I couldn't get somewhere five minutes early, well then I was late. I still feel that way, even after kids, even after being tardy for so many things since. But on mornings where the tears flow, and the fears are visible, I take extra time to relax and breath, extra time to count to ten instead of yell, extra time to tell her that we can do it, that we can get to school, have fun at school. So the warning bell is our new early.
After dropping off Caitlin, who is again crying, harder this time as I walk away with her little sister, I realize that I'm tearing up again. Because on this day, there is not a minute of extra time. Not a moment to spare. I get home, and meet my mom at the door, who can tell I'm a little more amped than usual. I begin to tell her about the morning, about how she will have to get Mac to dance, how I still have to buy the stuff for the Hubbs' birthday dinner and dessert, and oh yeah we need to go to Costco because we are out of everything, chicken, eggs, avocados, apples, toilet paper. And since I close for the rest of the week, today is the day. Also I'm still on the learning curve and I'm pretty sure I messed up every single closing procedure asked of me last night. And oh yeah, I haven't even bought a card for the Hubbs, add that to the list. My mom just looks at me, mouth agape. She knows I'm very close to the edge. White knuckled even.
And just as I'm collecting the leotard and tights and ballet shoes, I hear my mom on the phone... My Grandpa needs to go to the hospital again. And my Mom has been commissioned to take him.
Panic. Actual panic and gut wrenching terror sets in. Because I'm two weeks into a job and child care is already an issue. Can I take Mac to work until someone else can pick her up? Is that even legal? So I do the only thing I can think of...
I call the Hubbs. I say, you need to come home now and get Mac because we are out of child care options, and he says I can't. And I unload. All my fears. All the things running through my mind. Because this was the exact scenario I was afraid of. This is why I haven't worked for six years. My husband has a very demanding, very inflexible job. So for the last six years, I've been the one, readily available for anything that goes wrong, any mishaps that may occur. We yell, we scream, we say horrible shit. We hang up on each other. He calls his mom, she can come, all while my mom calls my uncle who can take grandpa. All the while I'm trying not to let the tears fall because for fucks sake I'm wearing mascara and not only does that shit burn, but it's not going to be possible for me to fix my make up before I have to leave for work. And I completely fall apart, and in doing so I yell at the Hubbs on his birthday.
I got to work on time in case you were wondering. I worked as if the entire hour between eight and nine am never happened. I took a breath and realized that there was absolutely nothing I could do about it now. When my shift was over, I got in the car, and went to get Mac. Grandpa was home from the ER, his chest pains were just chest pains and nothing more. My mom made me sit down for at least 10 minutes and relax, since I was still going full speed ahead. I got Caitlin, went to the grocery store, then Costco, both kids in tow, then got home just in time to throw dinner and dessert together, neither came out very well (I've promised to redo both at a later time). I apologized. I apologized. I apologized. We talked. We talked and talked again. But I'm still not sure he has forgiven me for yelling at him on his birthday. I'm not so sure I'd forgive him if the roles were reversed. Not sure that I'm completely justified in yelling at him. Not sure if we have completely resolved this issue, or calmed my fears, both rational and irrational.
So here I am a week later and it still hurts, my mascara still burns. I'm still thinking about the added stress of working and wondering how all you working outside of the home mothers don't have Olympic medals. I understand the plight of the Stay at Home Mom, but the stress and the role of the working mom (even as I'm part time) is an entirely different life. It's still early, we are still settling in, I'm still learning. I'm sure I will yell at the Hubbs again, and probably soon, thankfully it won't be on his birthday. I have a year before that can happen again.