no right answer

Sometimes I feel like I’m giving 110 percent at home at 110 percent at work, but I’m not getting the job done at either place. Warning: work talk will follow. Sue me. Any Sex and the City watchers out there who remember Miranda’s struggle with what we call “work-life balance” in my industry?

We’ve recently made a rather large adjustment in our “communications platform” at work, which has drastically changed the nature of my job. Where I used to spend five percent of my days on technical, technological things, I now find myself going over html code; cropping, sizing, lightening and otherwise adjusting pictures; writing headlines and photo captions; and entering text into boxes for hours on end. I’m lucky if I have an hour or two at the end of the day for the reason I took this job: the creative stuff, the writing, the interaction with human beings outside this office building.

I used to at least be good at my job. Now I feel like I’m drowning.It’s been three weeks like this, including the trip to Nashville, and it’s starting to take its toll. I actually figured out how many working days until I vest (517 if you’re counting, minus vacation days and sick days). The thing is, I can work as hard as I can at this job, and I still make mistakes. And it’s not like it’s difficult work – a monkey could do it. It’s just easy to get careless and not very stimulating. And it takes  a lot of time.

At home, I still struggle with the fact that I don’t see R. very much. I try to be blasé about the fact that she’s started calling her babysitter “Mommy” while she now refers to me as “Mom.” I know she doesn’t mean to hurt my feelings. I know I’m doing the best I can, providing her with a great role model, blah blah blah blah blah. But it still rips my heart out.

One of R’s friend’s mother’s called me Saturday to tell me that despite the fact that her daughter received the chicken pox vaccine, she came down with the disease anyway. And the first thought into my head was – “Oh God, I can’t miss that much work.” Not “I need to check R for spots” or “I hope R’s cold isn’t a precursor to something worse.” What’s wrong with me?Once when I mentioned that worrying about work is what keeps me up at night, a co-worker said I was nuts. If I laid awake thinking about anything, he said, it should be about my daughter and her future.

The thing is, I don’t worry about that, at least not in the way he’s talking about. To me, R is beautiful and smart and curious and normal. Why would I worry about her? But I really don’t. And I can’t figure out if that’s a bad thing or not.

I haven’t even talked about how I feel I’ve neglected my marriage. That’s a subject for another day.

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8 Responses to no right answer

  1. Sarah says:

    The title says it all.

    (((((((HUGS))))))))

  2. Victoria says:

    Maybe it’s a sign from Above (or wherever you believe signs come from). If the job sucks, and the home life is suffering for it, then perhaps you should consider a change.
    In the end you have to do what’s right for you and your family, but it sounds like you’re lacking satisfaction in both areas of your life and that’s no way to live.

  3. skiplovey says:

    Wow that sounds really rough, hope things get easier for you soon. Tell your co-worker you can think about whatever the heck you want to at night, that’s lame for telling you what to worry about. But really, hope the worries cease so you can get some sleep!

  4. Here’s a hug for you. I imagine it’s the most difficult thing to accomplish–balance between work and home (when you have a child). I hope to offer advice soon enough but for now, all I know is, champagne helps me a great deal.

  5. Christina says:

    Well the smart planner in me says wait out the 517! Vesting is a big thing, which you well know or you wouldnt have a chain on your desk.
    There are a lot of issues here, one I think you can stop worrying about is R! You are right, that isnt something you should lie awake worrying about no matter what that person said.
    As far as home live vrs work I cant say what is right for your family all I can do is say you have been talking about that with “us” for a while. Can you do 517 more? Only for you and Dave to decide. I think its time to start talking to him, if you havent already. I know you want a 2nd child too, maybe if he needs a push (if thats what you decide) you can go in with the cost to have two in daycare?? I dont know- Just a though,
    I hope you can relax a bit, you really sound worn down. I mean that it the nicest way possible.

  6. marmagoo says:

    The same thing happens to me all the time. I do so much extra stuff for Noodle’s school and claim its for “her”, but most of the time it keeps me from “her” if that makes any sense. Its just so hard to know.

  7. Erin says:

    Big hugs hun! I know this must be so hard for you! Call/e-mail if you want to talk!

  8. Frema says:

    I’ll be going back to work in early March, and I’m already trying to figure out the best life/work balance. Thanks for being so honest about your feelings!

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