Working parents are my heroes. I don’t know how you all do it; but clearly, you are on a mission from God.
A few weeks ago, I became the “working parent” in my family. I had to fill in as a reporter for three straight nights. (My journalism degree and awesome editor allows for me to work from home.) By the end of the third night, I was half expecting to see my husband packing his bags to head off for a week’s stay in an insane asylum when I walked through the door.
When we are in our own “normal parenting rolls” life rolls along smoothly in our household. When a wrench is tossed into our already chaotic life, all hell seems to break loose. I am just happy that when I came home from work at 11:30 p.m. each night that the house was still standing and the children were sleeping in their own beds.
My husband, God love him, manned up and took charge. He was in charge of everything from 5 p.m. on – alone. (And on a few days, a tad bit earlier than the scheduled 5 p.m. clock-in time.)
Dinner – check.
Dishes washed– check.
Entertainment hour – check.
Bath time – check.
Snack time – check.
Bed time – check.
Clean up the house while guzzling a glass of vino – check.
Sitting down to relax while guzzling another glass of vino at 10 p.m. – check.
For those of you moms/dads who work the 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift – when do you have time to do anything other than what I mentioned above? When do you clean your house? When do you wash clothes? When do you have a chance to simply breathe and enjoy life?
For those three days, I felt like I was running in a million different directions with my head cut off. I tried to do it all before I left for my shift, but in the end, I failed. There was no chance in hell of me waking up at 7 a.m. to get started on my day when my day before ended at 11 p.m. – that means, I didn’t fall asleep until closer to 1 a.m. I cannot go from working in a newsroom where I had to report on a double fatal to simply going home and heading off to bed. Does not happen. Granted, I could have used that extra hour-and-a-half AFTER work to do all my “mom chores” but the truth of the matter is, after working, I didn’t feel like doing a damn thing and the only good thing was no one was awake to ask me to do anything for them. No children were around needing to fed or entertained. No dishes needed to be washed since my husband did them before he dragged his ass to bed. Therefore, I just vegged out.
And I thought … I thought about all of the working parents in the world and I then I prayed. I prayed to God. I prayed thanking him that my job allows me the opportunity to work from home nearly 85 percent of the time.
Because right now, as I write this blog … this is literally the scene in my living room:
My 7-year-old daughter is sitting on her “Dora” couch, watching “Goosebumps” and running to the bathroom every 15 minutes to get sick. And here I sit, by my computer desk, filtering through work e-mails and other stuff, waiting like an on-call doctor, in order to rush to her every beck and call every time she screams, “I threw up!”
CHEERS TO ALL OF YOU PARENTS OUT THERE! WE ALL DESERVE FREAKING GOLD MEDALS!
About the author:
Melissa Linebrink is a reporter/bi-monthly columnist for “The Mommy Wars” printed in The Chronicle-Telegram. She also writes, edits and manages her blog, http://parenthoodthenewcrazytrain.com/. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.