My Part Time Job as an Uber Driver

(well, more like an Uber-mom driver)

UberDriver

For someone who works from home, I sure do a lot of commuting!

Between taking my son to school (he goes to a magnet school so he doesn’t have neighborhood bus service) and picking him up each day, plus running to math tutoring and other misc. appointments a few times a week, I can easily spend 14 hours each week in the car, plus another five or six hours waiting for him to do the things he needs to do.

That’s like an additional part-time job!

I couldn’t figure out why I have not been able to get everything that I used to do done. It seems like I am always behind on dishes and laundry. I’m having a hard time fitting in a good workout, and I’m always doing my writing projects at odd hours because their deadlines are looming.

And I’m wondering why I am so exhausted all the time!

I guess I just didn’t stop to consider that my mom hat was getting bigger. And until I realized how much time I was spending wearing it, I was feeling bad about how much everything else was slipping. Like I was losing my ability to cope.

Once I realized how many hours I was spending being an Uber driver for my son, it all made sense. If I had taken on a part-time job with that many hours, everyone in the household would have started to pitch in because they knew I was at my job. But none of us realized that I was working, just in a different way.

I think we all have seasons like this. Seasons where our almost-grown kids need us as much as they did when they were younger. And we take it on because it’s important. But we don’t realize that other things in our lives need to give so we can be there for our kids and not burn ourselves out in the process.

You may have realized this already. But I didn’t. Since I have the tendency to beat myself up for not being good enough anyway (I know…I shouldn’t but it’s a hard habit to break), I automatically went there when instead I needed to give myself a break because I had to do something different for a while. I also need to enjoy the time I have with him in the car. The two of us have some great talks and rock out to some great tunes.

I always tell spouses of deployed military families to go easy on themselves and lower their standards while their spouse is gone because it’s hard and they need to give themselves a break.

Sounds like I need to heed my own advice.

Do you ever look at how you are spending your time? Time management specialists recommend you keep a log of how you spend your day so you can identify places where you are wasting time. But I think at this stage in our lives, that we need to look more at how the way we spend our time is changing to meet the needs of our older families.

And then we need to give ourselves a break and readjust however we must.

And then we can make our family take us out to dinner tonight!

What do you think? How has the way you spend your time changed as your kids have gotten older? Are you busier? Please share your thoughts in the comments below! I really want to know!

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4 thoughts on “My Part Time Job as an Uber Driver

  1. Oh Alane, I have been – there done that or could easily say am there – still doing it! Honestly, the needs of your children grow as they grow. Their needs just change! My kids are 18 and 22 and I spent my entire weekend, including Friday “helping” with important papers that were due for them in college. My mind switched from a 5 page paper for Poli Sci 101 following a bill and the policy making process to a 1 page single spaced blog on Social Media and the effects on young women’s identities. I may not be “driving” them here and there anymore, but they still need me in stressful times. In all honesty – I love it! Feeling needed is probably a maternal instant that doesn’t leave once your child grows up. Thanks for reminding me that it is ok that the dished and laundry did not get done this weekend. The time I spent with my girls is not replaceable even if it is as dull as following a bill in Poli Sci. Take care and hang in there Uber driver!

    • I love it too, Carolyn! And it’s true, the dishes will still be there, but they won’t always need us as urgently. Isn’t it great having good relationships with our kids?!

  2. I was just sharing today how much time my teenager was taking as I tried to explain how hard it is to work in a work out schedule. I was on my way to pick my son up from school thinking he had stayed late to study. I get there to learn it was really to kick a ball around for fun. I also seem to be taking him to school each morning eventhough he can catch the bus. Then there’s the orthodontist, doctor’s, physical therapy, shopping, etc. My friend was saying how free I was going to be when he starts driving yet he’s already 16 and not pushing for his learners permit. Plus I’m afraid to find out how much it’s going to cost to add him to our insurance. And, and, and then a funny thing happened. I felt a twinge of sadness over how fast he’s growing up and how soon he’ll be gone. I told her he’s already so independent I feel like I hardly see him on the weekend (which is a stretch, but it feels like it). I guess I really want to be that Uber mom driver for just a little while longer though it’s certainly taking a lot more time now that he’s older than before. Thanks Alane for sharing. Your thoughts are always so timely.

    • My sister always said that driving them around when they are 15 and 16 prepares us for when they need to drive. I agree with you that the time we have with them is precious and we need to treasure every moment.