Working Moms: Hurricane Irma
This past two weeks have been a roller coaster. I live in Central Florida and we got hit pretty hard by Hurricane Irma. Don’t get me wrong, I count my blessings that we were lucky enough to keep our power and avoid significant damage. I’m grateful we were able to find water and nonperishables at the last minute (it’s hard to find time to prepare for hurricanes when you’re working all day and have to rush to get kids).
I’m also beyond grateful that we are alive. I know many, MANY families that are just now getting their power back. My ex-husband and older kids are still without power. We just got internet and cable back Thursday.
The thought of what could have happened scares the crap out of me. We lost our power Saturday night for a few hours and I was going insane…. I don’t know how these families managed it without power for almost a week. My heart hurts for them. However, the “what-if” thoughts pop in my head. What if we hadn’t been so lucky? What if Irma had caused more damage?
The storm itself was scary enough. We live in my MIL’s mobile home. We have two boys, two dogs, two cats, and my MIL to consider, so traveling north or finding a shelter was out of the question. Our only option was to ride out the storm.
Some moments were really, REALLY scary. The house shook so much, I was convinced I would be another Dorothy, and would be lifted through a twister into a magical land filled with munchkins and evil witches.
My Poor Dogs
Our cats couldn’t care less, our boys really weren’t too concerned, but our miniature greyhounds were terrified and had to sleep with us. My poor girls couldn’t even sleep in the bed with us, they were stationed under the bed, and no amount of coaxing would get them to come up with us. Not even their doggy treats.
Because we were in a mobile home with so many people/animals depending on us, we didn’t get much sleep. Our only comforting thought was that this time next year, this wouldn’t be an issue… our new house will be built. None of the houses in our new neighborhood experienced any damage…we checked.
Work was another story. We’d agreed that we’d keep the office closed last Monday and Tuesday. My husband and I drove by Monday (once the curfew had been lifted) just to make sure the office was in one piece. Fortunately, it was.
However, I went into the office Tuesday morning to start putting the office back together. We’d packed all our computers into trash bags, and put everything possible up high, in case of flooding. I arrived around 6:45am… no power. I’m a candle-addict, so fortunately I had about five candles I lit and was able to get almost everything back in place.
One of my co-workers was still up north, but I told the other one not to even bother coming in. She lives about 45 minutes from the office and it was pointless for her to come that far for nothing.
Wednesday, we fortunately had power… but no internet. As you all know, in this day and age, EVERYTHING is done online. We were REALLY limited on what we could do. It was beyond frustrating. Fortunately, my MIL was watching the boys, but I hated being away from them and I hated that I couldn’t help much at work.
Working Mom Challenges
I’m not saying SAHM moms didn’t have it worse (they were stuck at home with no power, no internet, and littles that were probably bored out of their minds) … but it was still really tough. Working moms have certain challenges that SAHM moms don’t. We have families at home that need us, but we also have customers that need us as well.
Most of our customers were going through the same hurricane recovery efforts as we were. I work in the funeral industry, so not only are they dealing with power outages, damaged homes, and lack of water… but they’ve just lost a loved one.
Hurricanes are stressful for everyone, it’s a traumatic event no matter what their circumstances. For all of the people in industries such as these (funeral, law enforcement, medical, emergency, power, cable), I’m saying an extra prayer for you all. Our customers/families may seem demanding at this time, but just send them a little prayer and don’t take it personally. They aren’t trying to attack you, they are just dealing with way too much at one time.