Rant!

I wanted to start posting earlier, but I was distracted by the Google Doodle witch in honor of Halloween. I wonder how many hours of productivity are lost annually by Google Doodles.

You might just want to stop reading right here. This is a very rant-y post and not very festive.

It’s almost the end of the week, and I’m about tapped out. Hulk came home super late last night, and took the early train out to the office this morning. I thought he would be working from home today and we would be able to take Squish trick-or-treating together as a family tonight. Silly me, why do I, a mere mortal, make such lofty and unrealistic goals like spending the holiday together as a family? He has to stay late tonight so I’m on my own to Squish-wrangle again. Looks like we’ll be heading to the mall since I really don’t want to haul Squish to the other side of the city on my own. But we’ll see what my mood is tonight, and how wiped I’ll be.

(Caution: rant ahead)

Also, we’re going to take a mommy moment here, because this is on my mind and has been bugging me. When Hulk gets home from work, he heads to his office and works some more, maybe stopping out at the table for dinner and chasing the cranky toddler out when he wanders in looking for something to do. When I get home from work, while having a screaming, cranky, attention-starved toddler hanging on my legs I have to cook dinner, do laundry, pick up toys, vacuum dog hair from the carpet, put the still screaming and cranky toddler to bed, set out all of my gear for the next morning, and then try to squeeze in a few minutes of work or reading before I pass out.

In the morning, I’m up at 5:30 to work out, walk the dog, make breakfast, get me cleaned up, get the toddler cleaned up, and catch up on other little chores that didn’t get done last night – take out trash, unload dishwasher, sweep up broken glass/dumped out container of spices/whatever else Squish decided to throw on the ground and destroy. Yesterday the dirty diaper bag caught on the door handle as I was taking it out and dirty diapers started pouring out all over the place. That’s what I want to be doing when I have a train to catch in five minutes.

I’m irritated. I want to spend more time on my career, but when I’m home I feel pressured to be at home. I can’t work from home. I don’t put as many hours in at the office as others do because 1) there’s no way I can possibly make it out the door before 8am. It just doesn’t happen. and 2) if I don’t get home and feed Squish and start on the chores and housework, no one else will do it and I come home to an extremely hungry toddler with a dinner that’s mere ingredients yet and a never ending list of crap to do when all I really want to do is chill out on the couch with Netflix or a good book.

So as I do, I’m trying to look for solutions. Streamline my tasks, do some value stream mapping, and identify the non-value-add tasks that I can probably eliminate. This morning, I needed to get to work early since I’m taking off early to trick-or-treat with Squish. So I cut out my workout to make more time. Then I spent nearly 40 minutes in the kitchen making breakfast and lunch for today … for me. We had tons of veggies that were going to go to waste if I didn’t make good use of them now so I was chopping, finding containers, finding containers that were dirty, washing containers, storing chopped veggies in the containers, burning the eggs, listening to Squish cry in his crib because he was up from all the noise and it was too early to get him up (I try to wait until 7), then running around trying to clean up my mess because I feel bad leaving the babysitter with a huge mess first thing in the morning. All I can think about is, “this wouldn’t happen if we would just eat some damn cereal and call it good.” Stupid paleo. We’ve been straying far from the paleo eats the last few months, mostly for budget reasons. But I’m starting to value how convenient crap food is. It’s not healthy, but it gets bellies full without me stressing out so much about how much time I don’t have to do this.

Also, I’m realizing how small our apartment is. Why does it take me so long to throw breakfast down? The other morning while I was doing my ususal morning breakfast-and-lunch-pack-extravaganza I realized how the small space was really clogging up production. I was constantly tripping over myself, moving the thing I just set there, accidentally setting stuff on the stove on the burner that was just used and therefore very hot, etc. It probably takes me so long to do anything because I have minimal space and resources. I have one big bowl for mixing. So if I’m making eggs for breakfast and a chopped salad for lunch, I have to wash the bowl in between operations. If I find another bowl to use for the salad, now I have two dirty bowls taking up precious counter space. So I’m thinking it’s time to move to a bigger place.

Anyway, back to the mommy moment thing. I’m an engineer. I mostly work with dudes. It just comes with the territory. But they all put in, like, 10-hour days. And why? Probably because their wives cover the house and kid stuff. Like my own husband, they come home at the end of an exhausting work day, give the family a quick hug, then retreat to their offices for more work. I can’t do that. Well, maybe I can, but I haven’t figured out how yet without completely neglecting household operations and childcare. Is this going to hurt my career? Am I setting myself up for less than complete success because I technically work two jobs, the other unpaid? Where I work, women are definitely starting to be recognized as industry big wigs. Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, made headlines when she went back to work after having her baby and worked throughout her maternity leave, which was just a few weeks long (this is from my recollection, I don’t have a source). Sheryl Sandburg of Facebook wrote the book “Lean In” about women’s leadership in the workplace and why it has stalled (disclosure: I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my to-read list). Surrounded by powerful industry leaders that are women make me want to be a powerful industry leader, too, but I feel held back with my other goals and interests. And responsibilities.

Sorry this has an abrupt end, but I ran out of time for writing today. I’ll probably address this topic again soon, so, sorry for the long rant.

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2 thoughts on “Rant!

  1. Aww lady, I can sympathise with the wanting to do it all mentality but I don’t have a kid yet so I can only imagine what extra stress that can bring.

    I know you feel guilty and don’t want to leave a mess for the babysitter but cut yourself a break, you are paying her – yes not to do the dishes but a little extra help from her with it sometimes when you need it isn’t such a bad thing.

    Have you thought about doing food prep in advance on a Sunday to get all your breakfast/lunch and dinners ready for the week and getting the husband to stop and help you with it? Also freezing meals ahead of time can work wonders too.

    Also don’t be afraid to just leave things sometimes, I know that if you leave it, it won’t get done but it sounds like you just need to fit more you time into your life anyway and treat yourself with a little more kindness (not always the easiest thing to do I know). And perhaps have a chat to your husband if you haven’t already about how you are feeling about all of this?

    (Feel free to take none of my advice, only know that I just feel for you right now, so only trying to be helpful).

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