Mrs. Bean

It’s summer break!

…Or at least that’s the word on the street. “Summer” implies a certain temperature range which this soggy gray July is failing to reach, while “break” seems to indicate time off, and oh my goodness gracious. I can remember times of my life in which I must have been busier, surely, but my here-and-now has a competitive streak and refuses to concede the Most Likely to Drop Own Skull While Juggling Schedule award to any former time period.

This is the first summer that I’ve worked in addition to having the girls home from school, and I’m basically feeling like Mr. Bean on both fronts. My children have to call “Mommy!” in a steady crescendo for an average of four minutes before I hear them because I’m too busy making lesson plans or translating, and my bosses have to accommodate babysitter dashes and my awkwardly-sized schedule openings. Ideally, I just wouldn’t work over the summer, but our family has some big adjustments coming up, and every chance to bolster our bank account eases a bit of stress.

As with 95% of the things I worry over, the Mr. Bean routine probably shouldn’t register as a big deal. After all, most of the other moms I know also work. However, they also tend to have nannies (or willing grandmas) and housecleaners (or extra-willing grandmas), and summer camps siphon off their children’s excess energy quite nicely. Here is where I start to feel [rightfully] ashamed of my first-world problems, because my outlook keeps boiling down to Waaaa, I want a nanny! Waaaa, I want a housecleaner! Waaaa, I want an investor to cover my children’s summer camp expenses for life so I don’t have to keep agonizing over their lack of organized fun! Good grief.

What I really want is to feel sure that I’m meeting my family’s needs in the right way, and please tell—Does any mother ever feel truly, completely certain that she has found the right balance between parenthood, finances, and good old-fashioned sanity? If so, I could use her secret before parenting or working morale drops any lower around here.

Sanity has left the building (Sanity, as you can see, has already left the building.)


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  1. hahahaha! that photo is priceless!

  2. i’m sure most moms don’t feel balanced most of the time.
    heck, it’s a human problem!

    anyhow, i cracked up at that part: “they also tend to have nannies (or willing grandmas) and housecleaners (or extra-willing grandmas)”

  3. I work full time and my husband stays home with our kids, a situation that is happening more and more, at least in my small circle. I often struggle with a lot of guilt over not being able to spend more (is there ever enough) time with my kids, until I realized that if I stayed home with them all the time I would just feel guilty over the increase in my yelling at them. There is no balance, just the best you can do at any certain moment in time.

  4. Also, I have looked into a cleaning lady multiple times, but I just cannot seem to rationalize the investment, so I just let our house stay dirty-ish.

  5. I am gearing up for the same. I go back to work before school starts for the kids, so for three weeks I have split attention. It sucks. I do neither job the way I want. It is just life, and this too shall pass. But it sucks while it is not past. Not. Looking. Forward. To. This.

  6. Liz – That kid’s faces have been cracking us up since she was a little baby… but oh my goodness, how many times am I tempted to say, “Your face is going to get stuck that way!”

    Beka – You’re right, I guess it probably is a human problem and not just confined to moms… I wonder if we just feel an extra need to overfill our time because so much of it goes to taking care of the littles?

    Kelly – I love your honesty, girl. Time with kids directly proportional to yelling at kids… ha. 🙂 About the housecleaning, do you ever work out how much you saved by mopping the house yourself (or, uh, not doing it)? Because that helps me feel a little more sane sometimes.

    Megsie – Three weeks of impossible scheduling?!?! I wish I could come watch your kids for you some or at least cook you a few dinners so YOU could spend some more time with your kiddos. The split attention thing really does suck. ::commiserating::

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