Will informed me last night that I am “always too busy.” I don’t know if he meant that I don’t sit still or if he meant that I am too busy to do things with him. Either way, it bugged me – after he said it I went downstairs and watched Toy Story with him for the eight-millionth time. I was planning on watching it with them. I was just trying to get changed out of my work clothes. It was 7:30 pm and I still hadn’t managed to do that yet.
Sometimes I hate being a working mother. Moments like that make me wish I had all the time and money in the world to do whatever, whenever with my family. I say that jokingly because I did get an opportunity to stay home with them for a while when they were little. I lasted 10 months, 3 weeks and 2 days and that was stretching my capacity, trust me. What I really wish is that I was a billionaire so I didn’t have to work but could still have all the things I want. That may sound selfish, but the things I want are pretty simple – for my family to be happy and healthy.
Being a working mother is challenging. There is a never-ending rush in our house – constantly trying to get stuff done or get somewhere on time. Add in a child with special-needs and that just multiplies it by ten, just like everything else. All the doctor’s appointments and IEP meetings just mean more things to juggle and a need for greater balancing skills. I am amazing at multi-tasking and can run a conference call from my car while heading to the ENT check-up.
I choose to be a working mother. There is a part of me that needs to be validated in other ways than wife and mother. I know that if I wanted to, my husband would figure out a way for me to work less and be home more. He’d also ask me how I intended to pay for that car in the driveway, but we’d find a way. I’m just not there and am not ready to go there anytime soon. I know, especially after having stayed home with them, that I am a better person when I work.
That doesn’t mean I feel any less guilty about it. I try not to miss, but sometimes I do and sometimes it is because my job gets in the way. I try to make my home life similar to my work life – surround myself with really amazing, talented people who can help me when crunch time hits. Luckily, my misses aren’t too big.
It’s when all those little misses start to add up that I get comments from my son about “being too busy.” Children with autism usually don’t understand the concept of lying or embellishing on the truth, so they speak straight from the heart. It might be time to re-evaluate.
So, on this Saturday morning at 6am, we have breakfast together, play the Toy Story game and then watch Mater’s Tall Tales. I know I can make up the sleep time later, but I also know that he will only be four and wanting to play with me for a very short time.