I guess I just want to think out loud and vent and see if anyone else has insight. Before having a baby it was really important to me to feel competent in my work and get a lot of validation and feedback. I feel as though I'm doing less now than I was before but am less competent at what I'm doing. I feel exhausted and scattered but I only have one kid! Am I being a wimp?
I am a FTM of an active and awesome nine-month-old. I am in my mid-thirties. Before having kids I worked full-time in a demanding job as an arts administrator (among other things). For part of that time I was also in grad school full-time, a caregiver for elderly family members (mostly helping coordinate medical care and financial stuff), and active in my congregation. Right before I got pregnant I initiated a major life change that involved quitting my full-time job, shifting careers to focus more on my own creative work and teaching, and moving house. I wanted to be able to spend more time with my daughter during the early years and not be as stressed out as I was before.
Right now I have childcare for about twenty hours a week while I work doing consulting for an archive and teaching at a university. I have a sitter twice a week and my MIL cares for my daughter the other two days. This arrangement usually works out, but sometimes it doesn't and I have to figure out alternate care at the last minute. Most weekdays when I'm not working I'm alone with the baby. It's important to me not to rush her around and make her feel my stress so I try to spend at least some time playing with her, dancing, listening to music, taking short walks with her, etc. every day. Depending on what's going on, I have between 5-20 additional hours a week of work to do at home. This includes grading, planning, writing, and a little admin stuff like email. I cook just about every day, make food for the baby, nurse, do housework, laundry, weekly grocery shopping. I used to be able to read and do email while nursing the baby but she's too active and wiggly for that now.
We do have a cleaning lady (that we can't really afford!) come clean every two weeks because otherwise the house just gets super dirty. My faith is a big part of my life and I take the baby with me to congregation meetings/activities about three times a week.
Our income has decreased considerably and we really can't afford more paid childcare, so sometimes my husband will take care of the baby so I can get work done. Other times I work while she's sleeping. Often I am behind with work and miss deadlines. My husband has a demanding job and is at work 12 hours a day and part of the time on weekends. Like probably most moms here, I haven't had more than 6-7 hours of unbroken sleep since the baby was born. I generally feel OK but I know I definitely miss the sleep.
I have ADD and since having the baby it's gotten worse. Rhodiola rosea supplements used to be a great help to me but there are no studies to prove it is safe to take while breastfeeding and I don't want to risk it.
I LOVE, love, love being a mom, and I am much happier and calmer in my "new" life. I have the balance I wanted for so long. But I feel soooo scattered and tired and less competent in my work. I'm late for EVERYTHING. Since having the baby and then selling our old place and moving, our finances and all my "organizational systems" are out of order. I waste a lot of time (for example, on the internet!!!) because I'm tired and can't concentrate. I feel like I have so much less of a workload than mothers who work full-time or mothers with more kids--why am I struggling so much? I don't miss my old job but I do miss feeling accomplished.
Do I just need to suck it up and just organize myself better? Or is this normal?