Parenting, no matter how you do it, is a hard job. Whether you’re a mom at home or a mom at work, each day is a challenge. Each day has a bunch of moving parts that we manage to hold together, even if just barely. Moms, we’re pretty much super heroes.
As a working mom, some months out of the year are exceptionally hard on our family, and no matter how much we prepare for it, it never gets any easier. I still question my sanity, I still feel like I’m missing everything important at home, and I still feel guilty.
That’s when the working mom struggles get real.
The other day I brought pen to paper just to work out my frustrations. Sometimes journaling helps me through a bit of breakdown. Since I’m trying to be more real and open here on my blog, I’m going to share that with you. Let me just say I’m not trying to fish for you to tell me I’m the best mom ever and I apologize if I am a complete Debbie Downer. The good news is life has slowed down a bit and I am enjoying having some sort of normalcy again.
So, with that being said…
I know that working mom struggle is real when:
- Seeing all of the stay at home moms picking up their kids at MDO and feeling like I stick out.
- I have zero amount of time for exercise, or any other sort of self care.
- A sleep regressed baby doesn’t care that your day is from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
- The baby has to come to a dress rehearsal past her bedtime.
- I’m always having to plan every single detail for two young children.
- My life motto is: divide and conquer. (The kids go to two different MDOs, it’s the nature of the game.)
- I feel like I don’t get to see Kennedy because Greg is in charge of her.
- I’m constantly feeling attached to my pump.
- I have to text my husband to ask when the baby eats so I know when to pump after school.
- I have to hide behind a costume rack backstage to pump during a performance.
- My deep freezer also serves as a personal breastmilk bank.
- I have to rely on family and friends to help with drop off, pick up, and watch the girls when Greg and I can’t.
- I get home late and 3-year-old cries into my arms without explanation – although I know it’s because she misses me.
- I forget to bathe (!!!) my children because I get home too late.
- I’m constantly worried that I’m missing something.
- I start to become bitter and angry when moms complain that they need time away from their kids.
- My kid is the only one who didn’t bring Valentines to pass out at the ice cream social.
- I’m counting down the seconds ’til spring break and summer.
I’m proud of my family. I’m proud of my beautiful girls and my amazingly supportive husband. We have a nice home, nice things, live within our means, and can afford to treat ourselves if we want. I have a great support system of family. Thank you, Mom, for always working your schedule around if I need your help. Thank you, Katie, for helping me with Caroline these past couple of months.
Overcoming these struggles are something I work on daily. Some things that do help when the going gets tough:
- Remember that everyone else has valid struggles. My life isn’t harder because I’m a working mom, my day was hard today. I can’t let my frustration turn into bitterness or a competition with others.
- I try to enjoy an extra five or ten minutes rocking my baby to sleep and really, really focus on her.
- Make sure to give Kennedy extra cuddles. She’s been wanting to sit in my lap a lot lately, and I am living up the cuddles. Going to bed 15 minutes past bedtime to sing a few more songs or read an extra book is totally acceptable, too.
- I will bring some take out home for Greg and me. Nobody needs to worry about cooking on those rough, late nights.
- Planning way in advance also helps. I pack lunch and bags for the next day right when I get home so that I get some relaxation in the evening.
Most of all, the biggest thing is to always remember, “this too shall pass.” This is all about perspective. It’s hard when I feel like I blink and my kids are huge, but the days that I am upset about how busy I am are the days I feel the worst. Accepting it for what it is and making the most of my day helps tremendously.
One day, these struggles will turn into different struggles, and I know what I’m going through now will help shape me into what I’ll need to be.