Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

The Balancing Act

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Show of hands — how many of you noticed that the I posted the weekly forum highlights yesterday instead of today? Drew noticed and my mom noticed, but did anyone who isn’t related or married to me notice? Part of me thought I could get away with that little switcheroo and no one would be the wiser; the other part of me knew all of you observant smarty-pants would probably notice but would hopefully not care. I just hope it didn’t ruin anyone’s morning when you thought it was Wednesday only to realize that is was, in fact, Tuesday and you were a whole extra day further from the weekend. (Sorry about that).

Anyway, now it really is Wednesday and I should be posting a column to make up for not posting one yesterday. And maybe I will. But it’s five minutes to nine and I don’t even have a letter picked out yet (and Joanie’s going to wake from her nap soon). In fact, I have several unread letters in my inbox and I’d like to go through those first.

What’s my point, you ask? I guess my point is that this whole mothering-two-small-children is catching up with me and my work is getting pushed to the back burner and I hope you’ll be patient with me. Yesterday was the first day in two and a half weeks that I had a few hours to myself to actually work (we had our trip to Florida immediately followed by Jackson’s spring break from school). (And if you’re wondering why we didn’t take the trip during the actual break, which would have made sense, it was because it would have cost nearly double and we figured who cares if a 4-year-old misses a few days of school.) So, for two weeks I was squeezing in work when I could — an hour here, 30 minutes there. Then yesterday I had a whole morning to work, uninterrupted — Jackson was back to school and Joanie was with a sitter for 4 1/2 hours — and you know what I did? Well, first I went to Jackson’s Black History performance at school. But, after that, when I could have gotten to work and had a column up for you by 10 and then written one for today, I farted around instead. I drank some coffee, talked on the phone to a friend for a while (she called asking for advice), bought a sweater online, did some research for a weekend getaway trip we’re planning with some friends this summer, and thought about what I want to do for my 40th birthday that’s still over six months away. (What should I do? All I really want is to be somewhere where I can sleep ’til 9 AM, not wipe anyone’s butts for about 36 hours, and maybe have a great meal or two. Oh, who am I kidding? I’d be psyched to sleep ’til 8 and eat a good pork chop for dinner.)

I hope this doesn’t sound like a woe-is-me post. It isn’t. I know how lucky I am. I’ve got two healthy kids and a loving husband who is a wonderful, hands-on dad, I get to stay home where I can more easily take care of my family’s needs, AND I get to do part-time work I love. I say this with all sincerity: There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for all that I have. But, you know, even in the best case scenarios, the balancing act for mothers — whether they work outside the home full-time, stay home full-time, or juggle part-time work — is exhausting. I can only imagine how much more exhausting it is for women whose situations are more challenging than mine is at the moment. Hats off to all of you who do this balancing act. It’s not easy, it’s pretty universally un-thanked, and it’s frequently invisible to almost everyone (even — or especially — the ones benefiting from it most directly). If you can, go ahead and take a morning to fart around — you deserve it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go look for a letter to answer…

24 comments… add one
  • honeybeenicki

    honeybeenicki February 24, 2016, 9:54 am

    It really messed me up because I was out of the office doing an in-service (which was AWESOME… I’ve never been to such a cool training) on Monday so when I came into the office yesterday, I thought it was Monday and then I opened DW and thought it was Wednesday and then someone had to tell me it was Tuesday and that I was supposed to be up in court. I also brought a pacifier with me in my pocket yesterday and somehow managed to stuff a stuffed Sophie la Girafe in my coat pocket and I didn’t discover it until I was on the bus.
    .
    We fully encourage you to take time to fart around Wendy 🙂 That’s what keeps you going and sane and able to provide great advice to those who need it. As for your birthday… I have no idea but I’m thinking something quiet in the middle of nowhere with no butts to wipe.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy February 24, 2016, 10:01 am

      Oh, no! Sorry to mess with your schedule!

      And, yes, it’s amazing the things you will find in your pockets after you have kids.

      The middle of nowhere with no butts to wipe sounds perfect.

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      • avatar

        GertietheDino February 24, 2016, 11:33 am

        I, too, thought I lost a day. I’ve been sick so it’s certainly possible.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki February 24, 2016, 11:47 am

        It happens frequently to me. I can’t count the number of times that I get terribly disappointed when I realize what day it is. There was one week where every morning Tuesday – Thursday I thought it was Friday. Until I got to work and my coworkers ruined it for me.

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  • veritek33

    veritek33 February 24, 2016, 10:09 am

    Maybe I just never know what day it is because I totally didn’t freak when I saw forum links lol. I figure it’s your site and you post what you want when you want (like a boss).

    And mornings farting around ARE THE BEST. There’s a lot to be said for self care. So do some of that. Because I know most women, myself included, are pretty awful at that.

    We’ll get the next column when we get the next column. No sweat.

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  • Lianne

    Lianne February 24, 2016, 10:12 am

    I didn’t notice all because I am on the road, again, for work and don’t know what day it is anyway! And I have a cold to boot. It started with a bad cough and has now moved into my sinuses. Exactly what you want to be dealing with while away from home, for work. Oh, and I am in Detroit where it’s currently a snowing, which should accumulate into 3-6 inches, and then heading to Warsaw, IN where they’re supposed to get 8-12 inches. So yeah, no worries on my end 🙂 Glad you got a morning to do you.

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      K February 24, 2016, 11:28 am

      Warsaw, IN?? The Bachelor Ben’s hometown! Haha.

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      • Lianne

        Lianne February 24, 2016, 12:27 pm

        Haaa! I would never have known that. Hilarious.

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    jlyfsh February 24, 2016, 10:22 am

    I never know what day it is anymore. This morning I woke up in a panic at 540 thinking I had slept through my alarm for class. But, it’s Wednesday not Tuesday.

    I love mornings doing nothing. Sundays are my day for that lately. I love making coffee at home, I can’t wait until it’s nice enough to sit on the porch again! Today we’re actually supposed to have crazy weather, the same system that was in LA and other gulf states over night. They closed schools so buses wouldn’t be on the road (our area has a lot of very rural places) when the storms hit.

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  • MaterialsGirl

    MaterialsGirl February 24, 2016, 10:25 am

    I did think this morning was Thursday.. oh well

    Yay for farting around!

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    Vathena February 24, 2016, 10:27 am

    I totally noticed and I thought it just meant I need to get a life and some other hobbies. Ha! You deserve some down time, Wendy. Running this blog is probably a thankless task sometimes, so it’s no big whoop to tell everyone to talk amongst themselves while you recharge. And it’s not like you’re ever really on “vacation” when you travel with small children! I’ve spent more time sitting on the floors of hotel bathrooms than I care to recall. Thank goodness for box wine!

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  • othy

    othy February 24, 2016, 10:35 am

    I’m currently on vacation from work and I go back Thursday. I was worried I was a day closer to work and was relieved when it wasn’t!

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    Snoopy128 February 24, 2016, 10:36 am

    Ha, I did notice, and it did make me question what day of the week it was (especially because I thought the weekly forum highlights come out on Thursday….), but it made no difference to me!
    I’m glad you took some time to putter.
    Sorry you won’t get a break from wiping multiple butts a day for a long while. Perhaps when you are potty training Joanie, you and Drew can have “___ hours/days since I’ve wiped a butt” whiteboard. Ha. That could go on mugs or shirts for nee parents. We did one for cleaning up an indoor pee for our puppy. It’s all about celebrating the little things!

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  • avatar

    Ale February 24, 2016, 10:38 am

    I noticed! But I didnt mind, I knew there was a valid reason and I was right!

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    Hannanas February 24, 2016, 10:45 am

    I was actually sure it was Wednesday all day yesterday and couldn’t figure out WHY. I thought I was just getting old…
    Thanks for this piece, Wendy. This couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m a mother of an 8 month old girl and I work part time. The past few days (okay, weeks) I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed with juggling every aspect of this (fairly) new life of ours. At the same time I felt guilty for feeling this, because I know I have a lot to be thankful for.
    Having said that… Running a household is ROUGH, man.

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  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana February 24, 2016, 11:00 am

    I cleaned the shit out of my house last night, I live in a relatively small apartment, and spent the entire night cleaning, like basically 3 hours. The entire time I kept thinking “how the hell did my mom do this in a house 5x this size, have 4 kids, a full-time job, cook dinner every night and be a wife and travel for work” I mean that shit is hard for me and I have the time to dedicate to actually doing it, and I really don’t get how my mom or any mom/dads do it and have so much respect and admiration for those who even attempt it.

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    Taylor February 24, 2016, 11:11 am

    Hah! I thought it was Wednesday when I saw it, knew it was Tuesday at least some part of the day, and apparently can live in a world where a day is simultaneously Tuesday and Wednesday without realizing that’s not possible =)

    Three cheers to playing hooky from work, it’s so satisfying!

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  • kare

    kare February 24, 2016, 11:27 am

    I noticed, but didn’t care. Actually earlier today I was thinking “wow I’m really lucky Wendy posts as often as she does because many bloggers go down to posting once a month after they have one kid, much less two”. You’re entitled to personal days 🙂 (but I would like to hear more about this sweater you were shopping for…)

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    Anonymousse February 24, 2016, 11:33 am

    Ha! I didn’t notice it at all. I wish it had been Wednesday yesterday. My husband is away for work for a few days and even though I’ve got some friends to help me out at crucial times during the day..it’s still a lot.

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  • mylaray

    Mylaray February 24, 2016, 12:20 pm

    Ha, I didn’t notice. I’ve been taking a lot of time off work to take care of myself while I’m undergoing some serious health issues. I feel like a stay at home mom on those days I’m at home, cleaning the house, doing laundry, cooking dinner, running errands, and doing everything that needs to get done. We don’t have kids yet and I’m exhausted just thinking about how much harder it will be when we do. I have a lot of respect and appreciation for moms and dads who can do it day after day.

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  • FireStar

    Firestar February 24, 2016, 1:43 pm

    I didn’t notice. I figure Wendy posts what she wants when. It’s all good reading. My husband is away for 6 months on contract in Washington state so my balancing act has gotten tight. I have my toddler, two karelian bear dogs, our 140 year old house and my law firm to look after now with no husband to pitch in. Sometimes something has to give. Usually work. Today was freezing rain and sleet and snow. So I walked the dogs, shoveled my walk and my neighbours’ (husband is an alcoholic and left the wife and two kids – so we pitch in whenever we can) skyped so my husband can see our munchkin and then decided I’m working from home since I was soaked. I’m lucky I have my mom helping out but I don’t want her bearing the brunt of things and try to keep her time with my daughter fun. Man is life work. You steal you moments of sanity when you can. Never feel two ways about it Wendy!

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  • avatar

    Amber February 24, 2016, 6:38 pm

    I noticed, but I just though you had decided to change it from Wednesday’s to Tuesday’s.

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    theotherbarb February 24, 2016, 10:54 pm

    I got on the site so late last night (here in Sacramento it was midnight so 3 am – or would it be 4? – in NYC) that I just figured you’d gotten the jump on Wednesday – SO efficient!
    Oh, and also…when you said you were going to “look for a letter….” I immediately flashed to one of the “alphabet series” which I had just re-read, somehow getting to it clicking through your other writing. I had forgotten those, and now I’m missing the others, and will have to hunt through the archives. They would, indeed, make a terrific book – maybe when both kids are in school, huh?

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