Bear with me for a moment as I state the obvious: A generally understood idea about work is that it's not always fun. That's kinda why people pay you to do it. If everything about it was totally awesome, they'd do it themselves, or people would do it for free, or they would pay to do the "job." Basically, if your job was all-fun, it would be a pizza party, not a job. That said, as a working mom, there are times when I love working and find work to be downright blissful, like it's the third best thing ever (after my family and pizza parties, obviously). That puts it ahead of coffee, ultra-fine point Sharpies, and fluffy infinity scarves, which are my kryptonite. But I stand by this ranking: Jobs are frequently amazing, and being a working mom is kinda the best sometimes.
OK, yes, it probably helps that I have a job and a work environment that I love, and I know that so, so many people don't have the luxury of working in a field they love, or doing a job that brings them very much satisfaction at all, but trust me, loving my job has not always been the case, so internet hugs to anyone currently fighting that battle. Still, I would venture to say that even when your day doesn't float your boat, there are some universal things about having a grown-up J-O-B that still apply.
I still struggle with working mom guilt on the regular, but I try not to let that get in the way of enjoying parts of it. When my son is old enough, I hope he'll understand how my work stretches a mental muscle that my family responsibilities don't, and the fact that both of his parents are creatively fulfilled is better for all of us, including (especially, actually) him.
Here are some little pleasures of being a working mom that no one else gets to enjoy:
Finishing A Cup Of Coffee
A super scientific case study for your review: I'm in my 3rd hour of work and enjoying my 3rd cup of coffee. No one has interrupted me during this time. My coffee did not get cold while rushing a tiny person off to the bathroom for the 4th time this morning. If this isn't living my best life, I don't know what is.
Not only am I able to pee in privacy, I don't have to worry about whether or not my little is climbing onto the couch and up to the windowsill while I'm doing so. ~HeAvEn~
Thinking Grown-Up Thoughts
Sometimes I hide my phone in my pocket and slide my headphone cord up my shirt so my son doesn't notice that I'm listening to thought-provoking podcasts while we play on the floor. When I'm working, I don't have to try so hard to keep my mind busy...it just happens.
I've tried to have conversations with my toddler about writing and sourcing images and time management, but he simply does not care in the least. He would way rather eat some cheese and do the motions to "Itsy-Bitsy Spider."
Dollar Dollar Bills
I mean, yeah, guys, I like money. Whatever. Anyone who tells you that having income is not a perk of working is not to be trusted.
Shout-out to those of you who don't work from home. You get to wear actual outfits as opposed to mismatched sweats, and you have a reason to pin cute style inspo to your Pinterest boards. Lucky ducks.
Being Productive AF
As satisfying as it is to check things off a to-do list, in my experience, the warm fuzzies just don't feel the same when those tasks are things like "change diaper" and "feed toddler."
One thing I do sometimes miss about working outside my house is the act of commuting. I tried to look at it like a mini-road trip, when I could bump some tunes (yes, I said "bump some tunes" and I meant it) and drive with one hand on top of the wheel and the other one leisurely dangling out the window. When you have kids at home, this feels very much like a spa vacation.
A Reason To Regularly Shower
Shout-out #2 to those of you who don't work from home. I know, I know, the stigma around SAHMs and people who work from home skipping showers is a bit tired. But damn it, it's true, so I'd be remiss if I didn't mention it here. At least we're trimming our water bills and soap/shampoo consumption.
The Fact That You're Setting An Example For Your Kiddo
Tried as I have to pretend otherwise (and then later realized that's insane and never pretended otherwise again), the fact remains that I love to work. I can't help it. As my son grows, I hope that one day he'll understand how much this means to me and how it's kind of a big deal (to me) that I've chosen to have a job away from my role within our family. Our situation's not perfect (is any?) but it's currently working for our family, so I'll take it. And I'll enjoy the hell out of ever piping hot sip of coffee that comes with it.
Images: HBO; Giphy(10)