I did a post like this five years ago, when I originally started this blog. I'm revisiting the topic today because I've been thinking about it more often lately, and because my life has changed a lot since then. But my conclusion is the same: I just do not have the time and energy that a child needs and deserves from a mom.
Here's what a typical day looks like for me nowadays:
5:45 AM: Wake. We live out on Long Island now, so we have a long commute and have to get up really early. I shower first since it takes me longer to get ready than it takes my husband. Shower, blow out my hair, put on my makeup, get dressed, feed the cat (the closest thing I'll probably ever have to a child.)
6:30 AM: Out the door.
6:45 AM: Onto the train. I have an hour train ride into the city. I use it to read the newspaper in the morning, usually, and if I'm really feeling motivated possibly do some reading for school (I'm in an MSW program at the moment.)
7:45 AM: Arrive at Penn. Subway to work.
8:15 AM: Get off the subway. I'm in the South Bronx now, where I work as a social work intern for a legal advocacy organization. This allows me to use my law background, but still satisfies my internship requirement for social work school. It's a tough job. Our clients are poor, mainly people of color, and face many problems including mental health issues, substance abuse, lack of housing, etc. I hear a lot of sad stories. I'm also running around a lot during the day -- it's a very mobile job, from the office to court and back again a lot, as well as doing home visits and the like. So I'm usually totally sapped by the end of the day, physically and emotionally.
8:30: Arrive at work. Work all day long. I'm supposed to get an hour lunch break, but we're so busy that usually doesn't happen. I'm lucky if I get a chance to eat some balanced, healthy food while on the run (I usually have to pack it with me to make this happen, so I'm not relying on buying it somewhere.)
4:30: Leave to go home. I negotiated an 8:30-4:30 schedule, instead of 9-5, so that I can be at Penn by
5:30: To take the train home with my husband. Another hour of reading, for school if I can manage it but honestly I'm so tired by this point that I usually just crash out, lean on my husband's shoulder and go for something comforting: chick lit, or whatever novel I'm reading. Or I play Words With Friends with my mom.
6:45: Arrive home to cat. Cat thrilled to see us. Usually we've picked up takeout on the way home -- I cook on weekends, but during the week it's just too much to contemplate. We settle down in the basement, watch some TV and eat dinner.
8:30: Usually by this point I'm starting to yawn. I'm tired ridiculously early these days, and I usually try to listen to my body because if I don't get enough sleep I'm useless at work the next day. I go upstairs and get ready for bed.
9: Write in my journal. I do this every day.
9:30: Either pass out, or read for 15 minutes and then pass out.
Rinse and repeat.
All my time and energy right now is going to my career and my marriage. I don't have any left over for a kid. What's left goes to taking care of me: reading, journaling, and getting enough sleep so I can keep getting up and doing this every day.
There is just nowhere for a baby to fit in here.