I’ve been working on the railroad

Well I have officially added a job to my already more than full time job. This full time single mommy is now employed, for money, outside of the house. Yes, I have taken the leap after thirteen years of at-home-mommyhood to real life employment. (I guess one potentially demanding boss could be no worse than 4 adorable little tyrants , and grown up bosses generally don’t throw tantrums when they don’t get their way, right?)


I spent a good part of the day getting myself oriented (or shall we say disoriented – so much to remember, my poor head is still spinning) and am very much looking forward to this new stage in my life.


Of course when I got home I had a complete and total meltdown. What was I thinking? That I could manage to work and run the house and be a good mom and have some me-time? Hardee-har-har! I had a pity party for about 30 minutes, had a good friend tell me I was just plain exhausted (jet lag still kicking my patootie) and that I should not pass go, should not collect my $200, just go straight to bed for a power nap. I was told to leave my PoisonBerry away from my room, and go lie down. Major withdrawal. But I managed. My nap energized me. I woke up, the kids got home, we cooked supper, we did homework, we ate together, laundry got done, I even cut the boys’ hair, I managed to get them all showered and pajamaed and bedded – and ended off the evening with a lovely conversation with a new friend (that’s me-time right?) . All that was missing was the back rub I so desperately needed……oh mr knight in shining armour, now is a good time for you to ring my bell.


So dear readers, I have a question for you, especially those of you who are working parents – how do you do it all? What are your coping mechanisms? How do you fit personal time in with all the other calls on your time? My biggest fear is that something will be overlooked, or someone’s needs will be neglected. How do I prevent myself from getting overwhelmed as I was today? Any advice – constructive please – would be welcome.


Thanks! Off to sleep, for tomorrow I must awake refreshed and energized for a new day at work.

15 responses to “I’ve been working on the railroad

  1. Good question!! While you wait for the answers, enjoy this new stage in your life.

  2. I don’t work full-time, but I work for someone who does. There are many things she has to cut short. I do a little volunteer work (arranging meals for new mommies, for example), but there are certain women I try not to ask, because I know they could use the meals, too.

    Hang in there.

  3. hrm, well I don’t have kids, but I do work about 60-70 hours a week. It gets much easier over time, as you get into the regular routine of it. Also, things that are less important will fall away (maybe tv, internet time). If you’re anything like me, you’ll get most chores (grocery shopping, major cleaning) done on weekends. Try to keep up with the hobbies and stuff that you love, but realize that you will probably have less time for them.

    So, question…if you are divorced, how did you not work until now? Did you get alimony or something? (just curious, you don’t need to answer if you don’t want)

  4. > especially those of you who are working parents – how do you do it all?

    Wife and I just have one baby and we have difficulty. I can’t imagine how hard you work to take care of four (FOUR!) by yourself. You’re a real Supermom! I don’t know how you do it.
    As for reducing stress, I find it helpful to have a set routine. It makes it easier on you (you always know what you have to do) and the kid/s like it. It also makes them easier to manage.
    Good luck!

  5. thanks for the responses – to answer q’s – eden, all good things must come to an end, and i sacrificed to be able to stay home until the little one started first grade this month. now that he is out till late afternoon there is no justification for me not being out there in the real world. i made a conscious decision to stay home until this stage in their lives, and i dont regret it for a second.

    LubabNM – this morning was so smooth it was almost scary – everyone worked together as a team to get lunches done and breakfast eaten and cleared away. we are a family that love routine, but this is a new one we have to figure out. but we will. they are so proud that their Ima has a job and goes to work.

  6. I think working mums just cut out friends. That’s the easiest thing to get rid off. Concentrate on work, family, and mummies of your children’s friends, but cut out unnecessary friendships. That’s what my friends did when they had to get along with working and family.

  7. single moms are raising the next generation. G-D in his infinite wisdom has given us the strength and ability to pull it off. We can do it – work, mother , friendship, role model in the home setting. It will all fall into place – give it time – you will pull it off – trust in yourself.

  8. How do we do it? In a word: Shabbat.

    Without it, I would never beyond this week and into the next. I honestly don’t know how people manage without Shabbat. I am not saying this as a religious statement, not in this context. I mean in the purely practical realm.

    And, every once in awhile, like this week, we just get sick and have to take a break from some of it…. or maybe I’m just low on iron. Either way, Shabbat is almost here again…

    Good luck with your new job. You’ll work it out. But if it takes awhile, go easy on yourself. None of us figured it out all at once.

  9. i am so glad that no one suggested i give up blogging!!

    Shoshi – I hope my friendships wont suffer, but it makes sense that those would be the first relationships to suffer due to time constraints. altho, how does one judge a friendship “unnecessary”?

    Emma – welcome to my blog and thanks for your comments. thanks for the pep talk – it realy helps!

    Nadneyda – Welcome also to you! BH for shabbat! I totally agree. today has been day 3 at work, i have been sick the last two days and totally frayed at the edges, and by all accounts i should be totally messed up today. Not so. I physically feel ill b/c of my head cold, but i am starting to see things fall into place. its not quite so overwhelming today as it was on Monday. Time helps.

  10. Okey, dokey… you’ve seen my house, so I assume that you realize that one of the things that I’ve “given up on” is tidiness 24/7. It. Just. Is. Not. Possible.

    A word of advice — do NOT let your friendships go. The support and understanding of your friends is essential to sanity. I don’t stay on the phone for hours, nor do I socialize as much as I would like. But touching base with a close friend — to share or to vent — is an important support that I can’t imagine living without.

    Occasionally, someone’s needs are not met (at least not the in the way they desired. I don’t like that it happens sometimes, but — hey! guess what? — I’m human. We always try to turn those situations into learning opportunities for all parties (myself included) involved.

    You must cut yourself some slack! I have had every conceivable work-Mommy situation (full-time out of the house; part-time out of the house; part-time-out and part-time in; not-quite-full-time-outside work, but from home….). Each option requires an adjustment of expectations of what can reasonably be accomplished. Try not to worry about something falling through the cracks — even if it does, the sun will still rise the next morning and set the next evening! The worry-factor is really your worst enemy! Worrying, by itself, is emotionally exhausting and draining.

    Your oldest is 13 and your youngest in first grade, yes?! They are old enough to have conversations where you explain the “growing pains” of this new chapter. You can reassure them that even though the reality of the day-to-day routine is different, that your goals and desires vis-a-vis their welfare hasn’t changed. You can help them make the adjustment by being honest with them how the adjustment is affecting you and letting them know that you will continue to evaluate the routine/situation and make adjustments where necessary/possible until you hit the groove that works for your family. In my experience, kids can handle the unknown when they know that the adults upon whom they rely understand their perspective — even if the adults haven’t necessarily “solved” it all — just knowing they are “on it” is a huge comfort!

    B’hatzlacha! Know you will work it all out! 🙂

  11. Zahava! so nice of you to drop by! i noticed no mess nor clutter at your house – so no worries on that score! there is a difference between a house thats pristine and one thats lived in – i prefer the latter!

    thanks for all the advice – the kids have been really great this week, rolling with the new changes and pitching in. i just hope it doesnt get tedious for them. right now they are trying to convince me to allow them each a night to cook supper – i cant eat hot dogs and french fries 4 nights a week!!!! but we do talk and they do come to me with their concerns, so I know we will get there.

    and just when we have settled into routine, chagim will happen, school vacations, sickness etc – we all have to be prepared for the unexpected, right?

    and yes, Zahava, its 330 am and i am awake……my body yearns to be in Israel.

    Shana Tova to you and Trep and those delicious children of yours (k”h)

  12. And I thought that it was your soul that yearned to be in Israel, (along with your body, of course!)

    Missing you loads. Can’t wait to upload oovoo… Stay tuned.

  13. Like Zehava, I’ve had every working situation. I have not worked for the past 18 months while my daughter recovered from illness and we planned our Aliyah. I sstarted again two weeks ago and am totally exhausted, primarily because I DON’T want to give up the things I love (blogging, reading, talking to friends in America). But I do have to say that when I work, I am much more organized than when I didn’t. My house is actually cleaner now than it was before. I set limits with regard to the computer (because that is bordering on addiction, oh heck it IS addiction) so the work gets done, I have my girls (and husband!) contribute, and somehow, I know a routine will develop and it will work. And as Nadneyda say, thank G-d for Shabbat!

    PS love the blog. Came here through Leora.

  14. Rifki – love you too! oovoo you soon.

    Baila – welcome! thanks for the advice – i know things will work out. shabbat is almost here – yay!

  15. Pingback: Haveil Havalim #185 (Carnival of Jewish Blogging) posted | Writes Like She Talks

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