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The Daily Grind

The Daily Grind: On Wednesdays, we watch the garbage truck.

The Daily Grind: On Wednesdays, we watch the garbage truck.

As the Director of a child care center, I was responsible for 13 classrooms of children ranging in age from 6 weeks – 12 years old. I had a staff of about 25 teachers and a long list of responsibilities on my shoulders. Of course, I had my usual daily grind tasks like touring prospective parents, managing my staff, enrolling new families, and so on. In addition, I had tasks set for specific days of the week. On Mondays I submitted payroll. On Tuesdays, I started classroom observations. On Wednesdays, I worked on writing the teachers’ schedules. On Thursdays, I checked billing. It was fast paced and very busy. I had a million administrative responsibilities, but was also responsible for spending ample about of time in my teachers’ classrooms. On top of that, chatting with parents and building relationships with the attending families was crucial. I worked really hard and I think I did the best that I could. Before having children, I devoted everything to my job. My husband and I both worked long hours because we loved what we were doing. And then, I got pregnant.

During the first trimester, I was so completely exhausted from the stress of my job and the tiny baby sucking the life out of me that I actually drove into a neighboring parking lot and slept in my car on my lunch break (on the days that I was able to take a lunch break). Imagine going through withdraw from caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol all at the same time. I’m sure I wasn’t the most understanding and caring boss during those months. Apologies to any of my former staff who might be reading this. I was so tired and nauseous that I probably looked like I had been out partying every night. When the second trimester arrived, I was so glad to be able to tell people that I was pregnant and not hung-over. I have to admit, I had a really smooth pregnancy and I was lucky to be able to continue working without any health problems. However, by the last month or so, trying to work 9-10 hour days carrying around 40 extra pounds was brutal. It’s a good thing my office chair had wheels because I was too tired to do anything but scoot my large, pregnant self from my computer to my printer to my phone those last few days. It wasn’t long after returning to my job that I realized that the daily tasks that used to be so important to me no longer mattered. I didn’t care if someone’s billing was incorrect. I couldn’t focus on issues with my staff. I was consumed by the fact that the precious little man who tortured my body for 40 weeks was down the hall in an infant classroom being snuggled by someone else.

And so, four months later, I made the transition into stay-at-home mommyhood. Now, my daily duties are much different than before, which brings me to the photo posted above. Everyday tasks include diaper changes, bottle making, book reading and art projects. On Mondays, we go to story time at the local library. On Tuesdays, we head off to work (nannying for two other children). On Wednesdays, we watch the garbage men pick up the trash. On Fridays, we have a half day from nannying and we usually take a trip out in the afternoon to someplace special like the pet store, the indoor gym, or to Best Buy (check out our field trip to Best Buy here ). It’s a much slower pace in some ways, but much crazier in others. There are days when I miss the adult interaction of working full time.

Sometimes, when I am reading Red Truck the 400th time, I am bored. But then, there are moments, like watching Grey wave to the garbage man, when I realize how amazing it is that I have the opportunity to spend this precious time with him. The highlight of my week used to be how many new enrollments I secured for the center. Now the highlight of my week is watching Grey laugh when the garbage truck honks at us as they drive away. And I feel so lucky for that.

 

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Comments

  1. As always, you sum it up beautifully. I was an editor at a newspaper when I got pregnant with my first, and I was sort of shocked, you might say, by how quickly I lost interest in that once my daughter was born. I still love to write, but I could never go back to that grind. Thanks for sharing!
    Melissa @ Home on Deranged recently posted…FTSF: I did something stupid once….My Profile

    • Isn’t it crazy how that happens?? When I first went on maternity leave, I was counting the days until I went back to work. I think I was on the phone with my assistant from my hospital bed 18 hours after my son was born. But as time passed, I slowly started to realize that my priorities were changing. Who knew??? Thanks for your comments 🙂 -Cait

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