The hardships of a working mom

There are many things that are difficult for me about being a working mom.  I’m sure it all stems from the fact that I grew up with an incredible stay at home mom and I always thought that my own kids would benefit from that same experience.  I am, however, fortunate to have a job that offers me a lot of flexibility and I am able to be there for my kiddos more often than most.  The thing that really gets to me is that this isn’t really a choice anymore.  Way back in the day, there were some fine ladies that did the right thing in standing up for women’s rights and all…but who knew it would lead to this constant struggle between the biological pull to be there to raise our kids, and the need to provide a suitable income to be able to provide for them in an entirely different manner?  One that was historically the responsibility of the male. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super appreciative of the fight that led to women being able to read, get an education, vote and provide a solid contribution to the work force.  I just only wish that society would have stopped the evolution of this monster at the point of “choosing” to fill that role and being “obligated” to fill that role. We are in this vicious cycle now.  Graduate high school, go to college, get a job…this leads to marriages later in life, kids later in life and then you are stuck.  You have this dual income. This way of life.  Now, as a woman, you are faced with some incredibly difficult feelings, and choices.

After I had my son, I was presented with some pretty fierce biological instincts. I had an awful time going back to work, even if I did have this flexible schedule, yada, yada, yada…

Two years later, I still have a hard time going to work.  As I type this, I’m at home for an approximate 36 hour weekend stint that is sitting in the middle of a two week training session in Phoenix.  Technically, I’m not even supposed to be home, but I worked it out so that I had (reluctant) permission from the training department of my company.  Everyone else is still in Arizona, away from their families, drumming up things to keep them busy for the next 24 hours.  I fly back tomorrow afternoon…and I’m dreading it.  Some moms would take this as an opportunity to rest and get away from their kids.  Not me, I hate it.  I hate being away.  I hate leaving my house and kids to someone else to take care of. I hate the additional responsibility of my job…even though my job is actually a really good job.  I just (hang onto your hats) want to be able to concentrate all of my energy on raising my kids, cooking and cleaning.

I know, there are people out there gasping and clutching their chests.  My mentality is simply that my kids are only this young, and home all of the time, for such a short period of time.  I want to at least be able to be here for them 110% for their first 5 years.  Then they go to school for 8 hours a day and things start to change again.  It’s just not fair in my eyes.  Who are these strangers that are robbing me of this time with my children?  What were they thinking? Why is it that this goes against every fiber of my being, yet I still have to force myself out there for the good of a different kind of “providing for my children”?  I am torn between society’s (and my husband’s) way of thinking, and my own biological instincts.  I deal with this battle inside of myself every single day. It sucks.

In addition to the internal struggle that I have between my job and my belief that I should be the only one taking care of my children at this point in the game, we have the issue of time. On so many levels.

Not enough hours in the day to keep the house as clean as I would like to.  Not enough time to devote to my husband.

Yea, this ends up being a big one in a lot of households I believe. Here is how it works out for me…

For the amount of hours I spend working and away from my kids, I try to dedicate the hours that I am not working solely to them.  I feel guilty and I want to make up for it.  I want to change every diaper, give every bath, read every book, tie every shoe, brush every tooth, cook every meal…you get the gist.  This does not leave a whole lot of energy for my house or my husband. I think that in the days in which stay at home moms were more of the norm, there was a “need” to have adult time with your spouse.  You needed it for sanity.  You wanted it for sanity. It was natural.  Now women spend so much time away from “old fashioned” responsibilities, the time crunch (hang on, have to go put the laundry in the dryer…I’m serious) has left us with a shortage of hours and energy to appropriately divide our time and/or do what we would like to do.  So while I’m home for 36ish hours, I’m blogging about my internal struggle, folding sheets, doing 2 loads of laundry…and my husband is upstairs watching a hockey game that he recorded earlier so that we could all go out for a family dinner while I’m home. 

This is not right.

And don’t even get me started on how my boss told me that it would be a “bad career move” if I tried to reschedule this training…which just happened to lie directly in the path of our family vacation to my parents’ house to celebrate my Bubba’s 2nd birthday.  Yep, it’s only his 2nd birthday and his mom is missing it.  I’m just glad that he doesn’t know that it’s his birthday. If that were the case, I may have gotten fired for not showing up in Phoenix because I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I disappointed my child for a job.  This year, we celebrate his birthday 2 days late.  I hope I get over it someday. I’m already over the $1200 it cost to rebook our plane tickets to later in the month…urg. (well, maybe not). I guess that’s all material for another post…

Scam?

Have I mentioned that I’m pregnant again? Yea, it’s not really “news” as I’m in my 7th month, but still exciting!

So, the first week in September, my parents were up visiting from FL. My mom and I went to this baby store that I have heard so many people talk about. I was looking for a Joovy Ultralight stroller and couldn’t seem to find one anywhere to look at in person before I pulled the trigger.
The store is located in St. Paul and is in an old victorian house. It is cramped, packed full of merchandise and we had a really hard time finding someone to assist us. All things that are cardinal sins in my little world of shopping…
So, we are finally pointed in the direction of the strollers (in the very back of the store) where we find several customers and one sales person. We try to go back up to the front of the store to ask if they even have the stroller in stock for us to look at, and we are simply told that the employees that know about strollers are located in the stroller section. Really? Wow.
Well, we finally get someone’s attention, they get the stroller out for us and then leave us to figure it out on our own while they go help other customers that are also waiting. After several minutes, we flag someone down again to answer some questions that we have about the stroller who then has to find someone else who knows the answer. Ok…now I’m really getting frustrated.
So, we get our questions answered, my mom insists on buying the stroller to which the manager ends our arguement with “we always honor Grandma’s money first here”, and $250 later, I have a receipt for the upgraded version of the stroller that I wanted and a promise that they will call in 3 days so that I can come back and pick up the, fully-assembled, stroller.
2 weeks later…I call to see where the stroller is. I am notified that they transferred the stroller over from another store and then proceeded to sell it to someone else. Oops. So now they have 2 payments for the same stroller…and I am still stroller-less. They assure me that they will order me a new stroller and it will be there in 2 weeks. They will call me.
2 weeks later(yesterday)…yet another call into the store…still no stroller. But they will be sure to call me before the end of the day. Yea, right. I have another call into them this morning, in which they double assured me that they would call me back ASAP. Hmmm…still waiting.
What kind of establishment takes your money and then sells your merchandise to someone else and repeatedly doesn’t follow up with the paying customer? Yea, I think I’m going to have to tell this story…to all of my mommy friends. Bummer for them that they couldn’t have handled this better the first 4 times that I tried to deal with them.
Baby on Grand: Bad customer sevice, poor follow up, and seemingly trying to steal my mom’s money. I will not shop there again. Ever.

Waiting for relaunch

Just a note that mamafication.com will be relaunching (informally) after Labor Day.  Daily blog entries, weekly “They Say” articles and merchandise are on the way!  Sorry for the inconsistency!  I’m working out all of the kinks, remodeling a new home office, and collecting lots of new information.

Thanks for your patience!

ebates update

Old Navy is offering 12% cash back right now…seriously…you know your kids need something!

Ebates.com

Use it man. Log in, sign up, buy stuff you normally would buy, get money back.
Sounds too good to be true but I have used it several times and it is legit…so far.
You simply use the ebates website to navigate through to the actual store website that you are buying from and they have some kind of deal with the retailers that offer you a certain percentage of cash back.

Buy an appliance from Lowe’s. Pay no shipping (or delivery). Get 3% of the purchase price back.

Buy your department store makeup without actually having to go to the store. It gets shipped right to your door and a few weeks later, you get a check in the mail (in my case, with Clarins, there is no shipping and I get up to 7% cash back).

Buy summer clothes for your kids from Old Navy. Pay no shipping. Get 3% back.

So far, just from buying normal, everyday stuff through ebates.com, I have received about $40 back. No coupons, no hassel.

Try it out!