Sometimes I feel like I’m a part-time parent with full-time mom brain. My kids are never NOT on my mind. It could be in the middle of a meeting and I wonder who my oldest son is playing with at recess. Maybe I’m writing a proposal and suddenly I’m thinking about when the yearbook orders are due. Or I’m talking to my business partner and something he says reminds me that Milo has preschool graduation coming up and I need to submit a baby photo of him (which initiates a cascade of thoughts – what photo? How can I get it printed? I’m going to have to go to Walgreens so I’ll need to do that this weekend because I won’t be able to do it during the week so I better put it on my calendar now for Saturday so I don’t forget…ETC).
I did the math – I only spend about 51 waking hours each week with my kids. The other 45 – 50 hours that I’m awake are spent working. About 3 hours are spent on some level of #selfcare when I’m at pilates. I say some level because I’m pretty positive my pilates instructor is trying to kill me so it doesn’t feel much like #selfcare.
I work outside of the home so I actually spend very little time physically with my kids. And I’m a workaholic so that doesn’t really help things.
But I have full-time mom brain.
It doesn’t matter what I’m doing at the moment, my kids are always on my mind. In fact, more math, I would say that I think about my kids approximately 85 waking hours each week. Those daycare theme days? The permission slip that due on a specific date? The cash that Ollie needs to have so he can have Kona Ice with his class in school? All of that cycles through my brain at random intervals in the day.
And this is where some weird cognitive dissonance comes into play. If you aren’t familiar, cognitive dissonance is that uncomfortable feeling when you have two conflicting beliefs, ideas of values.
Welcome to the life of a parent, am I right?
As a hyper-focused person, I used to assume that working parents flipped their work switch on and it was all work when they were away from their kids. All home-life things were handled at home, off-hours. But then I had kids. And the reality is that there is no switch. Work/life balance isn’t a thing. When you become a parent, it changes the fiber of your being. You are a parent – and even if you are at work, you are still a parent.
I am lucky to be in a work situation where my schedule can be flexible. More than that, I’m able to make it so that everyone who works with me enjoys the same flexibility. I always say that life doesn’t stop when you step into the office -and I get that. I get it on so many levels.
51 hours each week with my kids. Full time is considered 40 hours a week…so really? I guess you could say I’m a full time parent with overtime.