How is it possible that in one day I can swing from feeling like a pillar of confidence and competence to feeling like the slightest negative comment from C could completely undermine all the self-work I’ve been doing?
Work went well today. I was pulled into the Creative Director’s office and offered a staff position. The conversation basically went like this: “What would you need from us to come onboard?” And then I described my ideal job situation (flexibility, capped hours, low responsibility, work-from-home days, and mix of creative opportunities) while they nodded and talked about the ways this could all be negotiated. It was exhilarating and when I left, knowing that I would likely not take the offer regardless… it was empowering.
I know I’m doing a good job for this agency, working less than 40 hrs/week as a freelance AD but giving them more than 40 hrs of value. I work fast, I lead well, I provide confidence to the team that the work will get done and done well. I know I kick ass at work.
At home? Another story.
The drive home is often me steeling myself against C’s moods and psyching myself up to be 100% present and connected with two very demanding, busy 3yos in spite of feeling tired.
Tonight, like most nights lately, I arrive home after 1hr+ strenuous rush-hour commute, to both boys piling on me the instant I come in the door talking simultaneously at 100mph, requiring interaction “Mommy, put Theodore (frog puppet) on!” “Mommy, look I’m doing cannonballs on the couch!” “Mommmmmy, excuse me… listen to me!!!!” “Mommy, make Theodore sing the Poopy song!” (This continues non-stop through their bedtime 1.5 hrs later)
Also fighting for my attention, both dogs are circling and nosing me excitedly especially “my” dog, Miles, who likes to not-so-gently nibble at my hands until I pet her. C is trying to get a word in edgewise, and I haven’t even set my bag & coffee mug down yet. I take over the boy care while C heads off to scroll Facebook and drink bourbon in the kitchen. Dial in to a 3yo mentality (lots of poop jokes), connect, laugh, snacks, baths, then books/bathroom/bed. After boys are down, C and I have a bit of a standoffish half-hour in proximity to each other before he went to bed.
I may be succeeding at work but I often feel overwhelmed with the demands of home – not the least of which is my marriage which feels like it has been failing a lot lately.
Quitting has already had a huge effect on my self-confidence, and ability to cope at home and at work, but it’s a lot tougher at home.
PS. All the kid chaos, I love. I totally love.