I hope you're sitting down because I have a major knowledge bomb to drop on you. Ready? Here it is: Sometimes parenthood can be tough. And for those of us who work, there can be downsides to being a working mom. If only this was common knowledge! Why isn't some writing about what it's like to be a working mom?!?! Seriously though, in an era where most of us (OK, most of me) only post on social media on the good days, it's easy to feel like other people have it easier than you (OK, again, me). But I would venture to say that there are a lot of things that are part of all of our days that take a lot more effort than it appears, and it's worth it to recognize it.
I feel a little bit silly talking about working mom challenges because I actually really like my job, and I know that can be a major part of the battle. That said, as thankful as I am to have work that I enjoy, it can still be difficult. Doing my job will never feel quite as awesome as snuggling my toddler, or hearing him say a new word, or watching him point to toes and his tummy when asked (why is that the cutest thing ever?). And so, I still sometimes have to play motivational mind games to get myself together and be productive, like when:
You Get Out Of Bed
With a toddler who appears to think 6:15 is sleeping in, I begin most mornings with a wave of denial, followed by adamant refusal, followed lastly by begrudging acceptance, all before my feet hit the ground. And no, I don't need a trophy; I know literally every able-bodied person in the world gets out of bed every day...but that doesn't mean it's easy (and yes, I probably should go to sleep earlier).
You Manage To Get Some Work-Related Things Done
Let's not ignore that fact that part of being a working mom is — ahem — getting work done. Whatever profession you are in, that means that people are counting on you and you are delivering, so high fives all around.
You Manage To Say Goodbye To Your Kiddo(s)
I try not to internalize the fact that my toddler is going through a phase where morning goodbyes don't phase him at all (afternoons, however are another story). It's definitely harder for me to wave at him in the morning than it is for him, but perhaps that's a good thing.
You Hold Back A Reference To Your Kids In An Otherwise Unrelated Conversatino
Being a mom is like trying to get over an ex: You are reminded of them constantly, and often at the most inopportune times. Like, those times when it appears that we're talking about paperwork and deadlines and meetings, but speaking of meetings DID YOU KNOW MY SON NOW PRETEND-ANSWERS HIS TOY PHONE?
You Tear Yourself Away From The Pics And Videos On Your Phone
I'm cringing while I share this you guys, but I have 707 photos on my phone right now, and over 100 videos. And well over 90% of them feature my son. I have a problem.
You Set An Example
Granted, he doesn't quite understand what it means when his mom's typing at a computer, or when I say, "I will play with you after I get this email sent off," but someday I'm sure he'll get it.
You Make That Money
I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the fact that your efforts, and the money you earn from them, are (I assume) directly contributing to purchases that affect your kiddo's well-being, which is not exactly a small deal.
You Overcome The Small Fears That We All Have When We're Not With Our Kids
I mean, good thing work gives us other things to think about because if I spent the entire time wondering how and what my son was doing at that exact second, I'd lose it.
You Lean In Like A Boss
OK, I know not every mom feels like her work is making a grand feminist statement. I can respect that this is a layered, and often personal issue. Still, my belief is that every mom who stays attuned to her career goals and aspirations is one small step for woman, one giant leap for womankind.
You Give Your Little(s) A Chance To Be Independent
Also, how else is my son going to make special art project gifts for me if he doesn't have a few hours under the guidance and tutelage of another trusted adult?
You Multi-Task Like Nobody's Business
Oh hey, have you heard that working moms have lots on their plates? Granted, ALL moms have lots on their plates (I see you, SAHMS who run the world), but working moms are often answering to people outside of their family who may or may not love them unconditionally regardless of their ability to get it all done in a timely manner.
You Don't Give Into The Mommy Wars
There are some, uhh, decidedly vocal folks out there on the interwebs who strongly advocate that moms should stay home and raise their kiddos. But guess what? You get to decide, not anyone else.