The Truth About Being a Working Mom
What kind of working mother are you? Are you a full-time working mother? A part-time working mom? A remote working mom? A stay at home working mom? No matter which of these scenarios describe you, one thing is for sure, we're all working mothers and momming is hard. There are many differences between our circumstances as mothers, but when we really take a hard look, we share a lot of similarities. We often feel isolated because of the daily grind. We miss our old friends, we crave work/life balance, and we never seem to be able to find enough "me" time. Does this sound familiar? Rather than dividing what makes us different as working moms, let's unite and relate to one another. There just isn't a perfect way to play this role -- not today, not tomorrow, not ever.
The isolation as a working mother can be heavy
In the early stages of motherhood, we spend our time in the throes of learning which diaper fits our baby the best, how frequent feeding times should be, how to get our baby to sleep through the night, how to keep our little one from catching a cold far before their immune system has been given a true chance. All of this learning comes at the expense of our sleep patterns, our health, our mind, our body, our soul, our spirit and we feel it. We feel it physically, we feel it mentally, we feel it emotionally and it takes a toll. I don't care what being a working mother looks like for you, I know it's work. I know that most days you're juggling more than seems humanly possible for one person. I know you're tired. I know you're weary. I know you're secretly celebrating the easy days.
I also think as our children age, our worries change, but our sacrifices continue. We just fall into a groove that gets to be our new normal and it's a hard habit to break. It comes at the expense of everything that once made us, "us." When we're not busy with our children, we say no to coffee dates with friends we only see twice a year, we feel guilty about spending money on ourselves so we stay home, we crave interaction, but we don't make it a priority, which leaves us feeling isolated.
Work/life balance is a challenge in an already hard season
I'm sorry, but I just don't think there is a hack for work/life balance. Believe me, my Google search history is FULL of searches about this very topic. Working moms, inside or outside of the home, I know you're struggling to make and keep that hair appointment. I know you're spending hours at night scouring the latest blogs for healthier meals on-the-go. I know you want to get to the gym, but WHERE IS THE TIME? I also know you secretly look forward to indulging when the children go to bed. You've put in your time, so why not?
A funny thing happens when you become a mother, time just disappears more quickly than it ever has and suddenly, we're up against doctors appointments, tight deadlines at the office, and limited help on a daily basis. This working mom thing, it's not easy. It's one of the most challenging seasons of our lives and a lot of times, we're doing it with minimal support and self-care.
Our friends become distant
No matter how hard we try, our friendships as mothers seem to take a back seat. Our friends without children rarely understand where all of our time goes. Our friends with children know where our time goes, but they are in this working mom season, too and it's hard. It's hard to make time for the extras. To be able to justify the time away. No matter how much it's needed. Being a working mom means that your family is always in the forefront of your mind. Being a working mom also means that when there is downtime, sometimes you just want to relish in the calm of the house before it erupts again. That's okay, too.
As we grow into our roles in motherhood, we may find it hard to socialize as much as we would like, or feel energized after a long day, but one thing is for sure, we are killing it being greedy with our time. We invest in the people and activities that build us up. We make time for the important things like family dinner and movie night.
"Maybe motherhood makes you lose your mind a little bit, but oh do you find your soul."
— Jessica Wilkins, Babies, Boardrooms & Ballgames
What is "me" time and where can I find it?
This may just be the age-old question. As working mothers, we want to make time for a hot quiet cup of coffee, we want to shower in peace, we want to watch Netflix uninterrupted. We crave more balance, but the periods of isolation, the impossibility of work/life balance, and lack of interpersonal interactions as a working mother inevitably result in little to no alone time when we've never needed it more. I do think if we can find the small times to reset, our families really hit the jackpot.
Whether we realize how much we need the rest or life forces us to realize it, I know we are better for it. Besides, do you know any working mother who comes back from doing something extra for herself and hated it? I don't!
We are ALL working mothers
If you are a full-time working mom, I applaud you. If you are a part-time working mom, I applaud you. If you are a remote working mom, I applaud you. If you are a stay at home working mom, I APPLAUD YOU. We all deserve credit for all of the work we are doing on a daily basis, the sacrifices we're making, the isolation we're facing, and the self-care we're sometimes neglecting. After all, this is the most important work we will ever do.