Moms who have jobs outside of the home are faced with the challenge of balancing two separate lives: work life and home life. Sometimes the two intertwine whether you'd like it or not, and can provide hours of humiliation and/or entertainment to those around you. I think there are embarrassing moments every working mom knows all too well that won't be left out of those break room conversations any time soon. Fortunately, if you've been through any of the below, you're not alone.
One of my most embarrassing moments I experienced at work wasn't when I'd walked around all day with my zipper down (that's too easy) but, instead, when I'd unknowingly sat on a piece of my son's chocolate, leaving a giant stain on the back of my pants. Yes, it looked like I'd soiled myself. This was, of course, at the start of my shift, so there was no way to avoid it and no way to pretend it wasn't there. I did the only thing I thought to at the time, which was to tie my jacket around my waist like some "cool mom" (or something) while simultaneously dying a little on the inside. How many people saw it before it was pointed out? After that, I tried to make a habit of checking and re-checking myself before work. You know, just in case.
To all working moms who've been embarrassed by something similar, I offer you my sincere solidarity (and, yes, a few giggles). In order to keep it fair, here are some of the things I've done, too. Because, well, kids.
You Show Up To Work With Something On Backwards
I can't tell you how many times I've gone to work wearing something backwards. Shirts, pants‚underwear; you name it and I've completely ruined it (and probably my reputation, but oh well).
Recently, I didn't notice I'd walked around all day with my shirt on backwards until my 10-year-old pointed it out before bed. By, then again, who cares?
Food Stains Are Abundant
It's time I start investing in products that make life easier, like food-repellant clothes (that's a thing, right?). I could wear state-of-the-art, maximum resistance clothing and whatever my kids ate that day would still be the biggest, brightest stain on me. It's usually something even stain remover can't get out, and that now-forever stain will probably be on my favorite shirt.
On other words, this is why we can't have nice things and why, for the rest of my life, I'll be known as "the food web."
Leakage Happens When You Least Expect It
Listen, you can't help when and where the breast milk decides it's ready to gush out of your body. You could be in the privacy of your own home with your baby, or you could be fitting someone for running shoes when suddenly there's a big wet spot on your shirt. There's no dignified way out of this one, I'm afraid. Just go with the flow (literally).
Stickers Are Everywhere
My 5-year-old "toddler" is in preschool, so everyday he comes home with a new sticker of some sort. He doesn't really want them so, inevitably, he presses them onto whatever I'm wearing — and sometimes my face — and I usually forget they're there. This is especially true when I used to work at a running store. I never noticed the little smiley faces until someone mentioned how many where on my butt.
Mismatched Is Your "Normal"
Forget wearing your clothing backwards; there were times my clothes didn't go together at all. My daughter's socks (I have small feet), my partner's over-sized shirt (I thought it was mine), and the pants meant for the donation pile with the hole inside the thigh? Yep, I'm wearing those, too.
To be fair, this has always been me so why would I change after becoming a mom, right?
You Forgot To Wear Deoderant
I take pride in the fact that I usually remember to wear deodorant to work, however, the times I did forger were probably the busiest, hottest days of the year. So, of course, I probably smelled bad with the pit stains to prove it.
All I could do was apologize to anyone and everyone within an arm's length, and swear I'd never forget again.
Your Child Needs A Video Chat ASAP
My kids only want to video chat when they're staying the night at their grandparent's house or when I'm working. There is no other time and, usually, they'll want me to sing and/or dance if they're feeling down. At work, sneaking to the back room wasn't always possible and even when it was, my voice still carried through the store.
You Forgot There's No School
There's little that's worse than realizing on a day you're scheduled for work, your kids will be home from school for whatever holiday or teacher conference day you forgot about. Since my partner works full-time with little flexibility, it's always — and I mean always — on me to figure out.
Thankfully, I'm a work-at-home mom now and don't have to stress so much when this inevitably happens. Besides, there's not many things less fun than dragging a child to work (except dragging two of them).
You're Caught Pumping
So you finally find a moment to slink back to the break room or bathroom or your car to pump breast milk for your little one(s), only to be interrupted by a fellow employee or worse, your boss. Good luck looking anyone in the eye after that moment, my friends.
As a mother, we have many roles to fill and if you're a working mom (outside of the house), surrounded by other professionals every day, some of these "embarrassing" moments are unavoidable. The good news is, you'll probably endure more mortifying times as a parent at some point, so take heart in the fact that whatever everyone is talking about today will soon be forgotten.