I used to be the kind of person who answered emails super quickly. In fact, I used to be the kind of person who would have to wait before pressing send because getting a response in only 30 seconds makes you look too eager or weird or like you don't have much else going on. Now that I'm a working mom, though, it might take me days to respond to an email that's not critical. It'e never intentional, but there are so many reasons a working mom isn't answering your email.
Before I became a mom, I couldn't really understand how my friends could go weeks without answering my emails. To be fair, I'm the communicative type and some of my friends are most definitely the opposite. But seriously, how hard could it be to just shoot back an email? Well, as it turns out, I'll put my tail between my legs and admit that it's totally hard when you're a working mom. There are so many other things competing for your time and attention - work, kids, partner, sleep. And the first thing to go is answering emails from your friends.
Now that I understand what it's like to have to split my time and my brain space with raising a child, I owe my old mom friends an apology for my silent incredulity at their lack of email responses. I get it, and I'm here to spread the word about what's keeping me from my own email inbox.
Well, duh. But seriously, she's probably working all day, diving straight into kid-zone after work and then working or tidying when the kids finally go down.
She's Using All Her Brainpower (And Willpower) To Stay On Task
It takes all my attention and effort to stay on task all day when I'm working. I used to blog and craft thoughtful Instagram captions about yet another photo of my daughter at the playground, all while taking care of her all day long. Not so anymore. In order to get everything I need to completed in the day - and limit the stress of having to deal with it once she gets to bed, I cut everything else out most days.
She Deleted The Mail App On Her Phone
She deleted the mail app on her phone so she could download Elmo videos. Or so she could get that stupid notification to stop showing up - you know the one, that says you have no storage left to take any photos? There's nothing worse. Or maybe she deleted the mail app so she's not tempted to check in with the outside world when she really wants to be spending time with her kid.
She's Spending Time With Her Kid
I'm lucky enough that by the end of the week, I don't necessarily feel like I really miss my daughter. Even as I'm working over 40 hours a week, I get several hours with her each morning, and several hours each afternoon. But those hours I get with her have to be quality time in order to feel like I'm not missing out on her. If a working mom isn't answering your email, assume she's getting a little extra time with her kid - or at least hope for that!
She's Soothing A Sick Kid
Because that is often still her role as well. In some relationships that isn't always a given, but my job has more flexibility than my partner's, so I'm on deck when daycare calls and says my daughter caught whatever is going around this week.
She's Working Late So She Can Make The School Concert Tomorrow
The struggle is real, friends. The struggle to balance what your kids need and what you need to accomplish to fulfill (or maybe even exceed) your work obligations. This was me, even with a one-and-a-half year old, this year. When they announced there would be an end of year celebration at 10 a.m. on a Friday, I would have moved heaven and earth to get to it. And that meant working a little late earlier in the week.
She's Snuggling Her Partner
Or more? One can hope! In all a busy working mom's life, there's office life and kid life. Hopefully there's a little room in there for partner life as well, and sometimes that comes at the expense of some emails.
She's Netflix Binging
Because let's be honest, sometimes that's all your brain can handle after a long work+kid day.
She's Scrolling Instagram
Let's be honest, this is just about all I have energy left for at the end of a day of work and momming. Scrolling Instagram and probably watching @jengotch 's Instagram stories, until I decide I should read an actual book. At which point I read approximately seven sentences and fall asleep with the light on.