Good Days and Bad Days – Juggling Family, Work, Guilt & Frustration

I’m tired and pissed off. What’s the problem now, you ask? Bone-headed people who seem to think I spend all day sitting around the house with my thumb up my ass because I’m a stay-at-home mom and I don’t have anything important to do with my time.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ve probably figured out that I am obsessed with time and schedules. I do my damnedest to squeeze the most out of every day, trying to fit in time for family, work, exercise and housecleaning during the 18 hours that I’m awake. It’s not easy. In fact, after running the numbers yet again the other night, I have to admit it’s damned near impossible. I can only get up so early (4:45 AM right now) and I can only stay up so late (some nights I’m not in bed until 11:30 PM). In between waking up and going to bed, I feel like I’m running a marathon while juggling chain saws and bowling balls all day long. And leaping over hurdles. Let’s not forget the hurdles, because they always trip me up.

Somehow, I have to get Sam’s nursing and nap schedule to jive with the YMCA nursery schedule (8:30 AM – 1:00 PM, Mon-Fri), my daytime karate class (11:30 AM – 1:00 PM, Tues & Thurs), Cassie’s preschool schedule (pick up at 4:30 PM, Mon & Fri; pick up at noon, Weds), and Cassie’s weekly play date (noon – 1:30 PM, Weds). In addition to this, there are certain things I want to make sure happen. I want the entire family to sit down to dinner as often as possible during the week (conflicts with Michael’s evening karate classes). I want to work at least three hours a day (conflicts with naps, nursing, and my daytime karate classes). I want time to play with Cassie and Sam, together and individually (which conflicts with damn near everything; besides, why would I want to do that? They’re only my kids, for crying out loud). And I’d like to do stupid things like go to the bathroom and eat a meal at least once or twice a day (frikkin’ impossible to find time for things like that!).

I can almost do it. I can almost get everything fit into the perfect schedule so that I can accomplish it all, but there are always one or two things that just won’t line up no matter how hard I try. I spent so much time this weekend going over my schedule (done in a multi-page Excel spreadsheet), playing with options, trying to make things work, that I thought I had time tables coming out my ass. I think I may finally have a schedule I can live with. It’s not perfect – I’d love to have a few more work hours in there, and I always need more time to spend with my family – but it’s doable as long as I’m willing to continue getting up very early and force myself to stick to the schedule.

So you can imagine how angry I was when someone heard about my little schedule and laughed at it. This individual (who shall remain nameless, unless you think Jack Ass is a good name) quite frankly doesn’t believe I’ve got any reason to need a schedule. Yeah, yeah, he knows I work, but it’s not real work like what other people do. As he put it, it’s not like I have a JOB to go to, or an EMPLOYER who’s expecting me to clock in at a particular time. My time is flexible because I work from home so I can just plop right down and work whenever I want. So I really don’t have anything important to do, do I? Noooooo, I’ve nothing to do but sit around the house with my thumb up my ass.

It pisses me off that this individual doesn’t have any respect for what I’m doing, and that he doesn’t understand that I do have a schedule, a very tight and overloaded one that I’m struggle to keep up with on a daily basis. Right now, I’m doing my best to be a good mom and wife, but still satisfy that part of me that needs to be a writer and an artist. It’s hard, but if I don’t work, the consequences are ugly. I get depressed. I resent my husband and kids. I hate myself and the world around me. I’d rather be overloaded and dead tired than ugly and resentful.

I want to spend time with my family and take care of my kids. I want to work. And you know what? I’d like some respect, just a little, for the effort I’m putting out to make all this happen. Call me crazy or even stupid, but that’s what I want, and I don’t think it’s too much to ask for. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go. According to my schedule, it’s time to stick my thumb up my ass again.


Before I leave, here’s the artwork for today’s entry. This is a piece I started over two years ago and then set aside. Every now and then I pull it out and do a little more work on it, but mostly it’s just been gathering dust. Hopefully no longer, though. I’ve finally got this piece transferred onto a clean sheet of drawing paper and I’m ready to work up a color scheme for it. That means that you’ll be seeing this over and over again too for a while. Hope you like it.

Art Nouveau Woman And Jewels – Work In Progress, 8 September 2006

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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  1. You’re right – many people who have never done it don’t realize that being a SAHM is a 24 and a half hour a day job!

    To Love, Honor and Dismay

  2. OH! I hate that!!!! You just have to remember that there are many ignorant folks out there who have no idea what it means to be on call 24/7 AND have some sort of artistic outlet. GRRRR!


  3. The picture is beautiful. I can’t wait to see it finished! You have so much talent, you are, as they say, all that AND a bag of chips!

  4. whadaya mean you’re busy? imean really, taking care of kids is soooo easy.

  5. Yeah, I’m not that busy, am I? In fact, I’m getting to the point where getting up at 4:45 AM to squeeze in that extra hour of work is starting to get real easy. Oh my god, I can’t believe I get up at 4:45 AM! If somebody had told me when I was a teenager that I would one day consider sleeping until 6:30 AM to be sleeping late, I’d have croaked.

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