Love. Life.
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The Unglamorous Life of Working Parents

You make it seem all glamorous. 

It being “working motherhood”. I was chatting with one of my friends and we were discussing my prayer intentions. I admitted being overwhelmed by my life and asking for God’s help with work-life balance. And she said, “You make it seem all glamorous but I’m sure it has its iffy spots.”

“Iffy spots”? Understatement.

Parenting. Drool. Dirty, drooping diapers. Reading said diaper contents like they’re tea leaves, foretelling your child’s health. Why so orange? Right, he ate carrots last night. What’s that?? Is that an almond? Oh, Lord. Half-eaten bowls of oatmeal on the kitchen counter. Torn classics because the kid likes my books better than his. Nonsensical nursery rhymes I’d never heard before 2016. Daddy finger, daddy finger, where are you?  Toddlers that tumble off beds. A subscription to Baby Centre. Hospital emergency room at 6 am on Saturday morning because the child ran an overnight fever so severe he glowed bright red. Motherhood. Forgetting your laptop at home but arriving work with your milk pump bag. Because…priorities.

Work. My mentor says to do what I must now, so I can do what I want later. And it is hard. It is excel sheets and Powerpoint slides and endless meetings. It is open-cubicle offices and your neighbour eating fried fish in his cubicle. It’s passive-aggressiveness, it’s conflict, it’s competition, it’s conflicting feedback. It’s a workload that overwhelms you with its mind-numbingness. It’s struggling to find your passion in all of it, in fighting to remember the graduate trainee you were with your naiveté, and your confidence, and your unshakeable optimism.

Life. It is making decisions on restaurants to go to based on child-friendliness. Do they have high chairs? Do they have changing tables in the restroom? It is cajoling younger siblings and cousins to babysit the kid for one hour, two hours, a week, so you can attend that concert, see that movie, have that “adults-only” dinner with your mates. It is going through old vacation pictures and reminiscing. Exactly how/when am I ever going to go to Rome again and wander for 6 hours in the Vatican museum? Will I ever go on that girls’ only vacation with my university friends? Will our lives, so busy these days, ever synchronize again?

But would I do it again? Yes. Because I believe in Life teaching lessons and if it isn’t hard, then I am not learning. And I believe in myself and that I will eventually figure out everything that makes me restless and stressed. And recognizing that I (and others) have underestimated/misunderstood me many times before. This too shall pass.

But most importantly, I would do it again because of love. And it is a lot of sacrifices we have to make when we marry, and have families, so I would only advise this. Don’t make that commitment to someone you don’t love. Love is what makes it all worth it. Love is why you can be happy even when you’re thinking, “Gosh, I’m bungling this parenting thing. This kid has eaten rice three times  in a row.” Love is the “glamour”, the sheen on the whole thing, the laughter, the smiles.

But till love and little humans come your way with their demands on your time, enjoy your glamorous, gloriously uncomplicated life.

 

p.s. If you really connect with these struggles, a couple of us are over at blazersandbaby.com sharing ideas on how to keep sanity and balance in this whirlwind life we’ve chosen. Stop over, some time 🙂

7 Comments

  1. Tee says

    Thanks for reminding us singles what’s coming ahead…lol…but no need to pressure yourself. Like your mentor said…do what you must now….cheers

  2. I’m not even a mom, but that paragraph on work describes how crazy adulthood can be. It’s exhausting sometimes. But there are good days and there are really bad days; the good days keep me going.

  3. Jite says

    Looolllll. God knows I give props to all you females doing it. Work alone is enough stress so tanks for the advice to enjoy this ‘singleness’. Well written Ose.

  4. Coco 'Bonny says

    And THIS is what makes my heart race a little too fast! I can literally feel my blood pressure rise at the thought of ‘love and little humans’
    #sigh.

  5. “Love is the “glamour”, the sheen on the whole thing, the laughter, the smiles.

    But till love and little humans come your way with their demands on your time, enjoy your glamorous, gloriously uncomplicated life.”

    SIS.

    I love that you’ve taken time to write about this. It’s really just sacrificesss. Keep pushing on, and keep loving <3

  6. Chinedu says

    Nice summation of the typical parent life. However I would say to mothers: take all the help offered and seek out ways to get the help you need! The work-life balance is almost nonexistent when you are without some form of support system.

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