Stretched thin

A colleague of mine (single female with no children, I must point out) asked me why women are so bad at staying in touch with their girlfriends once they have kids. I realize she was making a generalization based on the fact that she was frustrated with one friend who hadn’t returned her calls, but I still felt the need to defend the friend a bit. 

As I thought about my own life and my relationships with my girlfriends since becoming a mom, I realized how tough it can be. 

Right now, I’m still trying to get settled into some sort of a routine as a working mom of two. In doing so, I’ve come to realize how many roles I have and how many different (and sometimes conflicting) expectations people have of me and, quite frankly, that I have of myself.  When I examine those roles and expectations, I discover that I’m doing a whole lot of things, but not really doing any of them terribly well. 

I’m trying the best I can to be a good mom to my kids, but often I feel like I’m rushing around and getting impatient with them. I’m trying to be a good employee and manager, but it feels like I’m always playing catch-up as my to-do list grows. I’m trying to be a good wife, but it feels like my husband and I barely get to say hello to each other, let alone have a real conversation or spend any meaningful time together. 

So, where does that leave girlfriends?  My two closest girlfriends are my best friend from high school and my roommate from university. They are both single. On the one hand, their schedules are a little more flexible and they are always willing to come to me for a visit. But I’m sure they’d prefer to spend time with me in a non-kid setting (and I would like that too!)

And then there are all the other people in my life that I wish I had more time for: extended family, family friends, work friends…

I feel like I’m being pulled in all different directions and getting stretched out of shape.  In an attempt to do everything, I feel like I manage to do nothing. 

I know the advice I would give someone else in my shoes: “go easy on yourself.”  “It will get better.” And, “you are doing a much better job than you think.”  So I’m trying to remind myself of that. 

Monday is a holiday here in Canada and I’m taking tomorrow off work to give myself an extra-long weekend. I know this will cause me some extra stress on the work front, but some family time is something I really need right now. Then, maybe, I can tackle the girlfriends!

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Trying to relax 

In an attempt to make the most of my final week of maternity leave, mom and I spent today at the spa. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a massage and I actually had a spa gift card that my colleagues gave me at my work baby shower before Bo was born. I can’t believe I waited this long to use it!

We started with a quick dip in the hot tub followed by Swedish massages. Then we hit the steam room and had   another soak in the hot tub before stumbling into the dining room in our bathrobes for a three-course lunch. The food was excellent but we ate way too much. After lunch, mom went off for a reflexology massage and I got a facial. 

The whole day was quite lovely and it felt really nice to have a day to focus on myself. I needed the massage badly, but I have a feeling I’m going to suffer a bit tomorrow. My neck, shoulder and upper back were ridiculously tight and the massage therapist kind of beat the shit out of me. At times I wanted to scream (especially when I thought she was going to rip my head right off my body) but I know my poor muscles needed the work. All my tension and anxiety manifests itself in my left shoulder and sometimes it feels like I’ve got a solid rock in there. Of course,  nine months of pregnancy followed by a year of breastfeeding hasn’t helped. 

Now that my spa day is done, it’s back to prepping for next week. Tomorrow is my birthday (37, yikes!) so I’m hoping to get a bit of stuff done around the house while semi-taking-it-easy. We’ll see…