Sunday, July 19, 2009

Secret: Alice in Chains

As you have probably heard by now, I love my job. Really, I love being a pharmacist. I went back to school after being a lifetime student (so basically I was totally over-educated and not qualified to do anything). After pharmacy school I worked full time for a grocery store chain for a few years. It was a great company and I really enjoyed the people, it was the hours that killed it for me. During the week I wouldn't get home until 10pm most nights, plus I had to work every other weekend. One saturday I had to go to work early and my husband was out of town. My daughter (#5) was 11 or 12 at the time and was taking an art class at the local university. I drove her over there and walked her to the art building. I had a couple minutes so I went in with her and showed her to her classroom. There was no one there. So, we walked around the building for a little while looking for her teacher, and again, there was no one there. There was no one in the building. No one. Not a student, a teacher, or even a janitor. At this point I had 20 minutes to get to work (a 30 min drive) and I was frantic. Daughter was very brave about everything and told me she'd be fine and to leave for work so I did. And I cried the whole way. I couldn't believe that I was leaving my 12 year old daughter in an empty building at the university. I put in my notice the following monday.

Now I do relief work according to my own schedule. I decide when, where, and how long I want to work. Mainly it is for my friends who have pharmacies, thru word of mouth for their friends, and there is also a temp agency in the area that calls me. It's really the best of both worlds and I couldn't be happier with the way things have turned out.

However -- there's always a 'however' -- lately it's been just about killing me. Ok, that's a little harsh, BUT, I've been covering a maternity leave and it is 43 hours a week and I am sooo freaking tired. Serious poopedness going on here. I like to work about 20 to 30 hours, so the extra hours are really taking their toll. I know, I know, many of you full time workers are thinking 'what a wuss' and I'd say you are so right. I am a total wuss and I know it. It's been 7 weeks now, and I am desperate for the next 5 to go quickly. 

My question is this: How do you do it? How do you find time to clean the house, do the laundry, go to the grocery store, make dinner, drive kids around, etc etc? I leave for work in the am and get home close to 11 or 12 hours later. When the hell am I supposed to do everything else? When do you do everything else?

Sometimes it just feels like I am chained to the pharmacy counter...

15 comments:

kristine said...

i work a lot. but i have no kids, no husband, and a cleaner to do my laundry and....um...everyhting else. And the truth is, while i might sound like a spoiled brat, it can still be hard sometimes (i guess NOT having those things makes for challenges in different ways) - so i dont know how i would ever manage with a big family like yours!! so all i can say is...well done. keep it up. and dont ever forget that your health and well being is always more important than your work. right?

The Fragrant Muse said...

I was SO sure this post was going to be about your secret love for heavy metal music. Never judge a post by it's title!

My advice on how to cope? Lower your standards then delegate delegate delegate. Put those six young ladies to work!

Cyndy said...

Oh, how I relate to this secret/story/post!

A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to work for someone else (I had my own business for 15 years and wanted something new). In the end, it was a miserable experience. I loved the job and most of the people, but I missed having the flexibility to be a mom, a community volunteer, and a good wife. I, too, could not see how other people did it. I refer to this time as "my sabbatical," where I learned that the life that I had ~ and now have again (one of working with my husband for our own business with flexible hours but one which uses my skills and experience) ~ is exactly what I needed. And I have learned to be thankful for it ~ everyday.

Perhaps it is because we have such large families (a full time job in and of itself, for sure). But I also believe it is because we both like our work and like to work hard (I'm guessing this about you, but I sense it). We do not just sail through the day; we give our all (it's the only way we know how). And when we do get home, there is no rest for the weary.

Polly said...

You're so lucky that you love your job! I like mine, but am getting fed up with it and I'm dreading the future when I wake up on Monday morning and have work related suicidal thoughts...

I'd love to know how to combine work and hobbies with having to keep the house tidy and shopping done. It seems to be a Holy Grail of housewives, it doesn't exist.

B said...

I have a full time job, but I don't have kids! The secret is prioritizing... or as TFM puts it, lowering your standards. I only clean/do the laundry/iron/cook when strictly necessary. There is always something more important to be done! And as someone said once, nobody has died wishing they've spent more time cleaning, have they?

otin said...

Make the kids clean the house, cook dinner, and do the laundry! LOL! I have 43 hours by friday morning and then I have to work all day friday and sometimes all day Saturday, you don't see it affecting my blogging do you? HAHA!

otin said...

I see Stacy came by! Very nice! As Hit 40 would say!

Michel said...

Dude! I would die or KILL to work a 40 hour week. It would be like a vacation! We have soo many dinner and weekend functions working in an embassy. And no, you can't sleep in the next day if you're out late. Nobody cares.

My secret: Housekeeper and cook. Oh, and no life outside of work. There is that.

My life sucks. i want yours. It sounds all glamorous with the drugs and part time work!!

K13 said...

I want to know who takes these pictures for you and how hard are they laughing? I love this picture. Hilarious!!

I'd just like a 40hr/week job, vs my 20hrs since I have no freakin' money.

Stacey said...

I think buying into the lie of "having it all" is such a tragedy! Something has to give, and I find myself doing too much and none of it well! I agree, either lower your standards, or simply do what needs done as the moment arises. And as soon as possible, get back to that career you created when you knew you needed the time you carved out for yourself! You were extremely insightful there...

Fidgeting Gidget said...

I'm with you! When I wasn't working, I was so bored that I couldn't motivate myself to do anything, but now that I'm working, I can't seem to budget my time to do anything to the extent it needs to be done. It's very frustrating and I feel like a domestic failure, and I don't even have kids! I hope that you and I both can find a balance.

Esmerelda said...

The short answer is: you don't. Balance is overrated. You basically shirk what you can (cleaning and cooking) and enjoy everything else you cannot (children and laundry).

PS - Can't afford cleaner or cook, but husbands do help with cooking and cleaning in a pinch. Be prepared for constant griping. I prep a lot of the foods on Sundays so he just has to dump everything in a pot and heat. Oh, and no life outside of work helps too.

Medora said...

I work full-time, and am also completing my doctorate, which means a lot of research and reading/studying for comps, and I write on the side - I also teach Sunday school and help at my daughter's school library. I discovered the hard way that you do what you can, and if the toilet doesn't get scrubbed today because you had the chance to go swimming with your kid, well, no one is going to die because of it. I do a little bit at a time with big cleaning jobs, or they would never get finished. I never have large chunks of time to do anything, so this method works with everything. Eventually, it gets done. As long as we all have clean underwear, something to eat, and everyone is having a moderately good time most of the time - and we are together - it's all good. My kids aren't assigned chores, but they never say no when I ask them to do or to help me do something. They know I am busy and that helping out means more time with them, doing something fun. I'll be damned, though, if I am going to be washing a dish when I could be watching Foamy videos with my son, late at night when my daughter is sleeping. Plenty of time for that when my kids are grown.

rxBambi said...

First of all I want to thank everyone for your comments. I'm sorry that I'm not addressing each individually, but A. my email link doesn't work and B. I am lazy. Besides, I think the gist of most of the comments are that I need to love the kids cuz the bunny monsters will wait. Which I totally agree with. The girls will clean -- for money. Doing something just for the sake of helping me out is out of the question. As for the cleaning lady, we dropped her about a year ago. At first I really missed having someone there to clean up, but then I realized that she wasn't really doing that good a job. I'd rather do it one room at a time the right way than the whole house shabbily.

And for all you with little kids: Try to listen to the others that have commented. By the time they are teenagers, they don't want to hang out and show you unconditional love. You need to enjoy it while you can cuz one day it's not going to be there. Well, at least not quite as showy as when they are little. they'll still love you, but at a distance. And sometimes that sucks.

Optimistic Pessimist said...

Well when I had a home and family to take care of I often skipped cleaning and doing the laundry and then take an entire weekend out of a month and get caught up!