For you, working mom.
Mom who stays up late with a sleepless toddler, who gets up early with a nursing babe. Who finds time to shower because she’s about to walk into a client meeting and needs to look her best to win the deal.
Here’s to the moms who spend thousands of dollars to be away from their children - so that they can provide for them a better future than they had.
To the moms who are returning to work and getting passed up for promotions because somehow being a parent makes you less of an ideal employee. Even though being a parent gives you a level of responsibility and discipline and dedication that nothing else can come close to demanding. And when you rise to meet the challenge and you successfully parent, you’ve proved yourself in more ways than one.
To the mom who, like me, begs for pictures throughout the day so she can feel like she’s not missing out on every moment. And also, like me, the mom who relishes the peace and quiet of the office before anyone else comes in. Who feels like a failure as a mom because she can’t be with her kids all the time, and maybe because she doesn’t want to.
For the mom who feels like a failure in her business because she is no longer motivated to work sixty hours a week for someone else to get a bonus. Who broadened her perspective when she had children and realized that their time together is really limited and that it’s the most important thing in the world right now. That no client meeting or urgent demand could ever match it.
To the mom who looked forward to that first day back at the office because she feels most successful and accomplished and in control when she can be recognized for her hard work. That she can continue to grow a career that will make her children proud.
And to the mom who packs lunches for everyone, including herself.
I see you.
I feel the same struggle.
I wish I knew the secret to making it all work together, and to being the parent you want to be.
The secret to making all the parts of your life fit together without any gaps, bending to accommodate each other without breaking.
Going back to work after my son was born was extremely difficult. It was heart wrenching to be away from him - to feel like I was a failure because I was unfocused at work and because I wasn’t the one teaching my child and spending time with him and pouring into him. Instead I was pouring into projects. After my daughter was born, I struggled with postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression. I had a panic attack days before I was supposed to return to the office.
I’m still working. I’m trying to figure out how to fit my life together and how to be a woman my children can look up to. I want them to believe they can pursue their dreams because I am pursuing mine - to feel confident in running after what makes them feel proud and accomplished.
I’m trying to find a balance between that example and the example of being a present parent who cares for them and loves them and provides everything they need to grow up strong, and smart, and kind.
I should put a disclaimer on this - I’m not going to claim being a SAHM is easy. At all. It’s hard. But the two are different types of hard. Being away from your children to be in the workplace is one type of difficult. And being confined to your house with your kids all day without a break is a totally different kind of difficult.
Whatever you choose to do, you have my sympathy. If you go to work - even if you love your job, even if it makes you feel fulfilled - there’s going to be moments where you wish you were with your kids instead. And that’s totally ok.
It’s also completely ok to push through those moments and keep working. And it’s ok to understand that, when your heart just isn’t in it anymore - maybe it’s time for you to walk away. Maybe you can be truly fulfilled if you accept that your new job is being with your kid. That maybe, it’s not the one that you left before maternity leave.