Wednesday, October 24, 2012

When Work and Family Conflict

I feel the anxiety creeping in...slowly taking over.

 I have trouble falling asleep. 

 I am jolted awake with a sense of panic. 

 How am I going to do THIS and THAT? 

 I am not trying to do it all. 

 I am just trying to get done what I can -but sometimes that even seems impossible.

The families I work with depend on me. I am helping them navigate the system. Helping them get a carseat. An immigration physical. Applying for Medicaid. Taking them to a food bank so they have enough to eat until their food stamp benefits are approved. Providing parenting classes in hopes they will get preschool children out of foster care and back into their homes.

My own family depends on me. To pack lunches and get them to school. To help with their homework and read together. To make dinner and drive to piano/jumprope/soccer practice. To wash clothes and sign permission forms.To be there when they need me.

 I love the flexibility of my job. For the most part I work when I want. Much of the planning, paperwork and data entry can be done any time of day or night. I make home visits when it works for me and the families I work with. 

This means I can take my kids to school, attend PTA meetings at noon (really who schedules PTA meetings at noon?), volunteer in the classrooms, serve as Room Parent. I can schedule a root canal at 9:15 on a Tuesday without getting anyone's approval.

However there are some meetings, trainings and other appointments that I have no say in scheduling. I am told when and where and expected to make accommodations. It is the trade off for the incredible flexibility. And when that happens I am screwed. 

Big Yankee has a fantastic new job-an hour away- which means he can't run and pick the kids up from school or take an early dinner to take StinkBug to soccer practice.  His hours are non traditional and as the new kid on the block he can't exactly start asking for special treatment. 

I am left trying to manage juggle all the balls without any back up. Our nearest family is a ten hour drive and we don't know our neighbors. I'll be gone for a four day conference in November-only 2 of those days fall on Big Yankee's days off. I get knots in my gut trying to figure out what to do with the kids and where to turn.


Stacie @ Snaps and Bits said...

You are amazing! Hope you keep the anxiety at bay. It's hard to be away from family and not know people. After two years, I'm over the hump in that I can call in favors from other kids' parents but that first year was so hard! Good luck!

AnnMarie said...

I wish I lived closer to you to help you out. I know that feeling of how in the world are we going to do it all. Congrats on Big Yankee's job!

Shell said...

I hope you can get it figured out!

Robbie K said... is so hard until you really meet people isn't it? I am not so great at asking for help but the first person to offer help.

Robbie K said...

Aww thanks I'd love to have you for a neighbor! We're excited about his job but it is yet another adjustment we all are still getting use to.

Cat Poland said...

((Hugs)) That's all I've got for now.

Hope Reid said...

WOw! I feel your pain. We share a lot of similarities. Everything will work out fine. Found you on SITS...Following:-)

misssrobin said...

You'll be in my thoughts and prayers. Please take a minute (sounds like that's all you've got) for yourself. Read a scripture you love. Color with crayons. Walk around the block. Just something to let you breathe and remember that you matter, too. You're giving so much to so many. If you don't fill your well you'll have nothing left to give.

Praying for peace for you. Happy Sharefest. Have a great weekend. Breathe.

Robbie K said...

Thanks! I definitely haven't missed this stress of two working parents.

Robbie K said...


Hugs are much appreciated.

Robbie K said...

Thanks you. You are right it did work out fine. I found someone I know from a local group who was more than willing to pick up my kids and have them play with hers for a few hours until I was finished with my training.

Robbie K said...

I really appreciate the reminders to take care of myself...and I LOVE to color with crayons :)