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Sep 26 2011

The time has come. The time is now.

Well, the day has come. Or rather, it’s coming. In a week. A week to get my poop in a group. To plan and prep and clean and plan and prep some more.

I am now gainfully employed.

And I am freaking.the.freak.out.

While I haven’t been lounging about, not by a long shot, I haven’t had a “get paid every two weeks” job in 11 years. A job where having clothes that fit and match is important. Where makeup is more than my current “no one will see me today but the mirror” standard. Where this social introvert has to go interact with others for long stretches of the day and try to decompress in the car before returning to the House of Chaos.

I am thrilled to have gotten this job. While I’m freaking the freak out, I am relieved to have it. There aren’t many positions out there for people with an 11 year “official workforce” resume gap who also need a somewhat flexible schedule, and somehow I found one.

But.

OHMYGODHOWAMIGOINGTODOTHIS??? I know it can be done, my brother and his beautiful wife are certainly testament to that. He works full time, she’s going to school to be a physician assistant (I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen her since moving here at the end of July; she is a studying machine and I am in awe)…and they have a five month old. It can be done. BUT OH MY GOOOOOD!!!! How am I going to do it?

I think of getting the boys out the door in the morning and then trying to get to work on time. I think of getting them from after school care and juggling homework (ohsweetbabyjesusonapony) with dinner and house stuff and and and… Between 9am and 3pm my brain is dying to work; it’s just those end cap hours that are jumping onto the ulcer bandwagon.

The terror would be greatly reduced if I wasn’t so worried about A. He does not react to change well and he has barely adjusted to the move. He’s happy I now have a job, but I don’t think it’s occurred to him just what that means for him. It means he has to somehow get a lot of homework done independently at after school care (oh, hi there ulcer). It means he can’t lose his shit on me in the middle of the day (go away, ulcer). It means that he, somehow, has to find a way to even out his emotional asynchrony and (oh God forgive me for this) suck it up and deal (I shall name my ulcer Oscar).

We used to laugh in music school that we got more done simply because we had so much to do. When you have the same amount of studying as every other student plus have to practice several hours a day (also finals and performance juries), you just get it all done. A lot gets sacrificed in the process, but it gets done. I don’t know what’s going to end up on the sacrificial alter, but I pray it’s not my sanity. I have so very little left as it is.

But I need this job; the economy has been mean to us, and moving was not much kinder. I know my worries are First World Problems (and frankly, most of my worries are FWP), but that doesn’t make it any easier.

One week. I can do this.

Right?

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14 comments

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  1. Erica

    Congrats on the job! And no, I don’t think it can be done. I’ve been trying for 8 years. It seems like other people do it – perfect kids (clean clothes, brushed hair, always polite and well-mannered), all homework is done, straight A’s, house is immaculate, family dinner every night. I don’t think those people are real. Aliens maybe? Spies?

    What might make it marginally doable for me is having someone clean my house. Every week. But I can’t afford it, so my house is a wreck. Also, absolutely no extracurricular activities. Did I mention that “those” people also have a kid in soccer, another in dance, all in music. Not to mention being active in church and volunteering. Maybe one of them can give you advice on how it is done!

  2. /ei

    Sure you can…and you’ll probably learn to love it. Just remember to take it easy on yourself. Like sometimes school hot lunches are your friends. Sometimes socks that are a close enough match no one will no unless they are nose to ankle with you (and why would they be) are wonderful. Sometimes you just say “No, I can’t make cookies this time, but I would be happy to send in some juice boxes.” Be flexible 🙂

    Congratulations on your new job!

  3. /ei

    Know…no one will know. And sometimes homonyms are also our friends (eyeroll).

  4. ChiTown Girl

    CONGRATULATIONS! I’m so happy for you. Yes, it’s gonna be tough, but eventually you’ll find your groove, and things will fall into a routine. Will it be perfect? No. Will you figure out how to make it work? Yes. You, my friend, are a goddess. I have complete confidence in you!

  5. Angela G

    Jen…I know the anxiety you are feeling. I feel it too, when I try to envision myself working a *real* job. Luckily you have landed a job that seems somewhat flexible.

    One bit of advice, is just don’t let all 3 of your boys slide into expecting you to be the same mom come dinner time. All 3 of them will need to step up their duties as well. It doesn’t have to all be on your shoulders. But maybe on your shoulders to delegate who does what now. Not how YOU are going to do it all! You’ll be sharing your paycheck, so you should be sharing new household chores for all.

    Good Luck! You’ll be fine once you find your groove!

  6. trish

    Congratulations on the new job! Preserving your sanity is non-negotiable, so when something has to give (and it will, at some point) let it be something else!

  7. Suzan

    You are going to do well. It may take a bit, but you’ll get there eventually. And besides, what’s the big deal about sanity? Just kidding! You’re going to do great! Congratulations!

  8. Missy | Literal Mom

    Congrats, girl! You’re going to do great. Think about the balance to your life it will bring! Hurray, you!

  9. Chelle

    Of course you can do it. Congratulations!

  10. Benoit

    Congratulations ! 🙂

  11. My Kids Mom

    I’m in the same boat. I made the kids sort and fold laundry on Saturday. On a weekend! I made them! Sort AND fold! Creative solutions will show themselves and you will be happier (a year from now?) for doing it.

  12. cursingmama

    Congratulations on the job! It’ll be tough, but you’ll find the balance it takes to handle it all…or at least the things worth balancing, just wait & see!

  13. Amy

    Wow, I’m a little behind on my blog reading. Congratulations Jen!! I’m so happy for you. YES, it’s definitely challenging. Somehow you just make it work. You eventually get into a routine. Honestly, I have NO idea how I did it for 8 years while working downtown. I feel it’s so much easier now with the job close to home. We could still do a lot of things better, it’s a slow process, but we’re doing okay and the kids are well adjusted. Good luck!!

    And we still need to get the families together sometime soon!

  14. kim/reluctant renovator

    Wow, have a missed a lot in our life. It sounds the the first week (or so?) has gone okay. What a lot of changes you all have had in the last year! I’m glad you found a job, and it sounds like is some flexibility, so that’s good. Paychecks are fun! Nobody “has it all,” we just have to make do, the best we can. Good luck!

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