I am tired. I am tired of being told that I shouldn’t be tired because I don’t work. I’m tired of being told that I don’t work. I’m tired.
I have worked since I was 16. My first job was cleaning rooms at a Bed & Breakfast. I worked for the most horrible couple I’ve ever met. Something you’d see on a Lifetime movie where a girl is kidnapped and forced to work from sun up to sun down and then locked in a basement and beaten if she dared to ask for water. I mean, of course it wasn’t slavery. I was paid. I think I made about $5 an hour. The husband would come in with a white glove, and check every inch of the room to ensure that I didn’t miss a single speck of dust. Seriously. An actual white glove test. The wife measured the sheets to make sure they were on the bed perfectly even. She also stood over me as I did laundry and folded to make sure I didn’t do it “wrong” The B&B catered to snobby rich folks who were headed to the track for horse races or a concert at SPACC. They NEVER tipped. I cleaned up drug paraphernalia and vomit on more than one occasion. It was great! I loved it so much I got my cousin a job there too. And then I quit because, it was truly awful.
In college I worked at a tiny toy store in the mall before moving on to a job at Target (and a job at Christmas Tree Shop that lasted a day) I worked at Target for about 6 years and then I got my first “real” job working as a Marketing Manager for a company that makes picks for the floral industry. Yeah, small wooden picks. Then I got fired. Apparently, I wasn’t doing my job. The week prior to being fired the owner took on a new “assistant” She got my office and my computer and i was moved in to an old storage room with a desk. And no computer. It’s hard to “do your job” as a marketing manager and graphic designer when you don’t have a computer. Let me also add that this guy used to follow me home, and follow me to events I’d go to. Yeah, he stalked me. It was special.
After that I went back to retail. I spent a couple years at Sports Authority. Then I was convinced that massage school was the right path for me. I spent 9 months in school M-F with clinic in the evenings and Saturdays. I didn’t work. After I graduated I worked at a day spa. I got fired from that job because I wasn’t “meeting the client’s needs” All my clients were male. I found out later that the girl who worked there before was was…uhm…meeting their needs. So that was what they had come to expect. So I went back to retail. Babies R Us, and then back to Sports Authority. I then had the Oklahoma Fiasco, and ended up back at Sports Authority here in Rhode Island. Then I moved on to the fabulous Expressions as an Office Manager/marketing guru/graphic designer/whatever… which leads us to today.
I’m a mom. It is by far the hardest job I have ever had. The hours are long. There is no time clock. There are no mandated breaks. There is no paycheck. There are no benefits. (unless you count hugs, kisses and pre-chewed bits of food that are regularly shoved in my mouth by tiny sticky fingers) However, it is the best job I’ve ever had.
My day starts at 7am when the alarm sounds; “Maaamaaaaaaaa, me, me,me!!! Mama? Mama? MAAAAAMAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!” I stumble out of bed (having been up until 1am writing this blog–the “job” that does give me a paycheck once a month) groggy, I head to Avery’s room, stubbing my toe on a number of toys strewn about, or my running sneakers I kicked off in the hallway the night before. I open the door, and am greeted with a smile and a tiny little “hi”
I change her diaper, overflowing, and usually leaking. It’s gross, but Avery laughs as I say “Ewwww stinky!!!” and it doesn’t seem so bad. I get her dressed and we head to the kitchen to make breakfast as she yells “BAH!! BAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH” (“Bah” in Avery’s world could mean anything from an actual bottle or sippy cup, to a ten course meal featuring lobster and foie gras. It’s all the same to her) Pancakes? Oatmeal? Peas and cheese? The menu changes, but the experience is the same. Avery will eat most of her food while I pick up the toys and books I didn’t get to the night before. She let’s me know she’s done eating by flipping her plate so the food falls all over the floor. The dog loses her mind at the thought of the precious treats on the hardwoods. I let Daisy in to clean up the mess.
I take Avery out of her high chair and she heads right over to the book shelf/toy box/DVD cabinet and gets to work removing everything and throwing it around the room. The living room looks like a scene out of “Twister” This will continue for a bit as I head to the bathroom. On a good day Avery will let me get dressed, wash my face, do my hair and make up AND brush my teeth before she starts yelling, then crying, then screaming for me. “MAAAAAAMAAAAAA!!!!”
I finish up and go back to the living room, where I try and pack up the diaper bag. Diapers? Check! Snacks? Check! Sippy? Check! Then I realize I left the gate open and Avery is now in the kitchen/bathroom/bedroom tearing everything apart!
I grab her, put Daisy in our room for the day, and we head out. We go to mom’s group, a play date, the zoo, the park, Target or to run other errands. If we’re feeling really nice we’ll bring Daddy lunch! No matter where we are there is usually some kind of drama. Whether Avery doesn’t want to be in the stroller at the zoo, or she wants to eat sand at the park, or wants my coffee at Target and hates riding in the cart at that moment. There is always something. We deal with it and move on. We have lunch. Well, Avery has lunch. I don’t always get to eat. When I do have my own lunch Avery usually feels that it is better than what she has and demands that we trade.
Some days she takes a nap. Some days.
When Dave gets home we have some family time. We have dinner. And I start working. Whether it’s a blog post or a design job. Dave and Avery spend time together, watching the Bruins, Celtics, Sox, Pats…whatever the season may be. At 7:30 We put Avery to bed. She usually goes right to sleep and I get back to work.
Most nights I’m done on the computer between 9 and 10pm, and Dave and I relax and watch whatever we have on the DVR.
We head to bed between 11 and 12. Avery wakes up around 12. Almost every night. If she doesn’t, I lie in bed waiting for her to cry. Seriously. It’s crazy, but I think “Why fall asleep if she’s just going to wake me up in a few minutes anyway. She wakes, I give her some water, and back to bed we go. Where again, I don’t fall asleep. Since I was pregnant I’ve had trouble falling asleep. At some point I do, and then the alarm goes off “MAAAAMAAAAAA!!!!!”
So, you see, I do work! I may not go to an office every day, I may not punch a clock, but I work. I work hard, and my shift never ends and I am tired.
Just like you, I am tired.
But, I am happy.