I knew it wouldn't be easy. I knew there would be lots of tears and sleepless nights, some missed memories and milestones and more than a few lessons learned... motherhood is a journey.
And being a working mom is really really hard.
Being a mom who works overnight is just plain crazy.
I have enough seniority to work a regular 8 hour day shift, or a 12 hour day shift... but I chose to work a 12 hour overnight shift for a few reasons... better money, less time around the boss, more time to study and most importantly... more time with my little girl.
This sounds like a great idea in theory, but in reailty, it just doesn't seem to be working out quite like I had planned.
Truth be told, lately, I feel like I am failing... or coming dangerously close to doing so.
When I come home from work, all I can think about is sleep. I try to nap when Kennedy naps, but it is never enough. When she wakes up from her nap, she is so happy to see me and excited to play with me and I am just... exhausted. I spend my days just wishing the time away until her next nap. I put a movie on the iPad, hand her a few toys and try to close my eyes. "Just five more minutes" is my mantra as I beg her to sleep, to be still or at least to be quiet while I try to sleep just a little bit more. I drag myself down the stairs and heat up a cup of coffee, often reheat it 4 or 5 times before I actually manage to drink it. Most days I doubt a coffee IV would even be able to perk me up after a short 2 hours of sleep.
The days are flying by in a sleepy haze and I find myself wondering...
Is it worth it?
I mean, I really have no choice but to work and I have come to terms with that. But my schedule. This crazy 12 hour overnight schedule... is it really working for us? True, I technically get to enjoy more days off... but in a matter of quality vs quantity I'm torn. Do the extra days off really count if I can barely stay awake enough to actually enjoy them?
I don't want to wish away the days of my daughter's childhood. They are already flying by way too fast as it is. I want to enjoy every single sleep deprived moment... but that is easier said than done when you are chugging along in zombie mode with 7 hours of sleep over 3 days.
I'm not complaining. I'm really not. I'm questioning my decision. Did I make the right choice? Am I doing ok? Am I failing her? How can I possibly make this work? (Overnight mamas feel free to help me out here!) CAN I really do this? Heck, can I even make it through today?
In my sleepy stupor, I hear her tossing books around her nursery while I curl up on the recliner chair and struggle to keep my eyes open. I hear the Evil Puppy toy sing in between moments of dozing off. I wonder if she would be better off, be happier if I worked days and she spent her days at day care like other children with working mommies and daddies. Would she learn more? Play more?
Then she climbs up on the recliner chair with me, curls up on my lap and just sits. Quietly. I kiss her forehead and she gives me the biggest smile.... and I know that I am doing the right thing. I can sleep later, when she grows up, but right now... whether I am awake or barely hanging on by an undercaffienated thread... I am here with her. And that is what matters.
God I love this kid.