Initially I posted this, then chickened out and marked it as “private.” The urging of some friends gave me the boost of confidence I needed to re-publish it for all to see. I hope some other women out there can relate to it.
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Every morning at 5:20 sharp, my treadmill starts. Left, right…left, right. One foot in front of the other. The hum of the treadmill belt is deafening.
Finally, sometime between 7:00 and 7:30 PM, the hum starts to quiet. Slowly, the belt slows to a halt. For now, my journey is complete. If I’m lucky, I’m on the treadmill on a Friday – that way, when I hop off, I have respite for two glorious days. If I’m not so lucky, I’m on the treadmill on a Monday and still have four more days to go.
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I get less than an hour to spend with L in the morning before we drop her off at daycare. In the evening, I get an hour and forty-five minutes with her before she goes to bed. Two hours and forty-five minutes of time with my daughter during a 24 hour period. This kills me. It’s not enough.
We’ve looked at the budget and tried to cut back – we’ve called our cell phone providers to negotiate a lower rate, refinanced our mortgage, considered selling our car (not financially feasible right now). We’ve gone over and over it in our heads and on paper, but we can’t make it work right now on just one income. It’s not enough.
I look at the clock often during the day and wish that there were more hours in a day. I wish that we lived closer to our jobs so that our commute wouldn’t take almost an hour each way every single day. I wish that I could figure out a way to multi-task to fit more in during a 24 hour period. I think about getting up earlier in the morning, or going to bed later at night. I still know, deep down, that it’s not enough.
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Despite our best efforts, sometimes it feels like we’re holding on by the skin of our teeth.
I get angry that our society doesn’t seem to value the family unit and mothers anymore, and instead values the almighty dollar and the number of hours put in at the office.
I get angry with politicians (regardless of political affiliation) who say that they’re going to change things but don’t - we’re still in a terrible economy with high unemployment, people afraid to lose their jobs because of how bad things are.
I get angry because although we play by the rules and are responsible adults who are doing things by the book, we still feel sometimes like we’re scraping by. I know things could be much, much worse (and I’m so thankful for everything that we have) but I also think that things also could be much, much better….not just for us, but for everyone.
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I know I’m not alone on the treadmill – millions of others are right there with me, plodding along each and every day. There has to be a better way. Left, right…left, right. The hum of the treadmill belt is deafening.