I've debated writing about my experience as a working Mom and haven't quite known how to tackle it. I want to be honest, and I'm also not quite sure how to put my thoughts into words. So I came up with some of the things I've learned. I hope you'll join in with some thoughts, whether your a working mom, a stay at home mom, a work at home mom or any other hat-wearing variation of Mom. But please - leave the judgement at the door - this is a supportive zone!
Things I've learned as a working mom:
It's hard. Like probably the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Balancing a job with a lot of responsibility, a home to take care of and my most important role as a Mom can really take its toll. I question myself daily.
Every moment matters. Other working Moms used to tell me it's the quality of time spent, not the quantity. I couldn't agree more, and though I often wish I could bump up the quantity, I ensure that every moment that I'm with my daughter is an important one, that I'm focused on her and not my phone, that I'm soaking up every second and giving her all of my attention.
I'm not missing out. One of the things that first bothered me about working full time was the fear of missing out on things with Penelope. I think that's a natural fear but one that has faded with time. I'll always be Mom, whether I'm with her 24/7 or not and to her, I'm irreplaceable.
I like going to work outside of my home, working hard and having responsibilities and a creative outlet separate from my family. It keeps my mind sharp, my being energized and excited for every day. Having my own bank account to spoil P as I see fit is pretty great too.
Bedtime time is more of a guideline. I get such little time with P at night that an 8:30 bedtime rather than 8:00 once in a while isn't going to hurt anyone.
It's ok to not do a 30 minute bath time every day. Every other day will suffice.
I think I'm a better mom because I work. This of course isn't the case for everyone. I'm ambitious and choose to work and find fulfillment there and it makes me happy. But it's a double edged sword for sure.
Sunday nights really suck. It's anxiety-inducing and I rarely sleep in anticipation of leaving my baby the next day.
Having other working mom friends is the key to my sanity most days. You know who you are and without you, I'd feel really alone.
It's never easy to leave my daughter but the absolute worst time is when she is sick.
I can do a lot of things and carry a lot of weights. Many more than I ever thought possible.
There is no joy quite like that of the moment of daycare pick up; a face of pure happiness at the sheer sight of my being there. A smiling face running toward me with open arms - there is nothing better in life.
There is no dread like seeing the daycare center phone number light up my phone screen.
I'm so very lucky to have a job that I love, that inspires me and that I'm happy to go to each day. This would probably be a very different post if I didn't.
Every day is, on some level, a struggle. To get myself up, leave the house in semi-working order, get Penelope up and ready and out the door on time. Some days I just want to get back in bed with her and watch Dora the Explorer on loop and pretend that's our only priority for the day.
I feel like a lot of my life is spent trying to catch up or to get ahead and never quite feeling like I have enough time.
But it all makes me feel like I can do anything.
And I'm proud of myself. I hope that Penelope is too.
PS: why i hate mom judgement