I'm having one of those periods of time where the pendulum of work/life balance is swinging more heavily towards work. I've been noticing little things that I'm neglecting with the kids. Luckily, due to my new work arrangement, these things are mostly little. But they still bother me.
For example, I've been picking up the kids a little later than usual due to some high demand assignments at work. When we get home, I'm almost too exhausted to resist Jacob's demands for more background TV. I'm too tired to fight battles over vegetables. I only half-heartedly listen to Jacob's long, drawn out stories. I lack the patience to remind him nicely not to throw the ball around the living room, jump on furniture, or throw stuff at his brother. And, I often decide to tackle a sink full of dirty dishes (we freaking don't have a dishwasher- can you believe it?!) instead of getting on the floor to play with Ryan.
Basically, I see plenty of areas where a more selfless and energetic me (or any supermom, for that matter) would respond to the kids more patiently and more enthusiastically than I do. It makes me feel a bit deflated. I promise myself that I will do better. But then Jacob dumps a boxful of Cheerios on his train table or bounces a ball off Ryan's face and my good intentions quickly fly out the window. I yell. Jacob whines. Ryan cries. In an effort to back me up, my husband joins the yelling . And just like that, we've turned into everyone's favorite neighbors.
I know all that craziness is (mostly) just part of a temporary life imbalance due to an upcoming trial. I know that if I really got desperate at home, I could scale things back at work. But that's not easy for me to do for a surprising reason: I simply don't want to. At least, not right now.
I'm having a hard time leaving work at work. I'm having a hard time not over-promising. And I'm having a hard time leaving the office at my normal time. All because I absolutely love all of my assignments, cases, and projects. This is not a bad problem to have.
At work, I've been doing a lot of motion writing, which is the kind of challenge that I love the most. Which is weird because during school, I always had the hardest time writing persuasive essays. I think my young self would be very surprised that my older self nearly implodes from excitement each time a partner asks me to write a motion.
So....even when the life versus work balance is hard and tipped, things aren't that bad for me. I'm still having a great time. I can thank an incredible boss and an incredible job for that. Really, it's the kids that get the brunt of my exhaustion. But luckily, my husband and I are a pretty good team of working parents. Whenever I seem to lose steam on this whole parenting thing, my husband is able to jump in and fill in the parenting holes. I'm able to do the same when it's his turn for a daddy melt-down.
All I can say is thank GOD for the progressive men of my generation. My dad is awesome and I love him. BUT I cannot remember him ever changing a diaper or washing a single dirty dish. Honestly, if my husband wasn't so involved in every aspect of parenting, there is no way I would be able to do this whole working mom thing. Some might say that it's sad and bothersome that we don't automatically expect fathers to do half the work. I'm not trying to make a profound statement or to even be politically correct. All I'm saying is that my husband is awesome. We make a good team. And I'm very thankful. Because things could have been a lot harder if we weren't on the same page.