To The Working Mommy: You’re Doing a Good Job
Hi Working Mom. You probably left for work late today. You probably forget to do something at home, and you’re probably going to have to leave work early today because of your kid.
You never feel like you can fully commit to either: your kid or your job, because you’re torn between two places.
Being a working mom means dividing yourself in half, and hoping you can multitask enough to make sure both of the plants are watered properly, so to speak.
I used to be at home, most of the time, and I miss it very dearly. I love using my brain and writing for a living, but being away from the home sixty hours a week makes me feel as if I can’t possibly be doing a good job at home.
People think working moms have it all: we have an income, some independence or total independence. We’re role models, and we use our mind. We get lunch breaks, and time off from negotiating bratty preschool behavior or changing dirty diapers. We’re not making major meals or huge DIY projects for our kid’s school, although some of you may. We’re the women our feminist mothers dreamed of: doing it all.
But it’s not all sunshine and kittens.
Being a working mother means missing out on moments with our kids that we will never get back.
Working means entrusting one or many people to care for our child, and for me, no one can do it like I would or can. Working means not being the class mom in most cases, and stressing out when our kid is sick.
Who will watch the kid? What happens if we have to take off from work? Will my boss be mad?
We can’t please anyone, it seems, the working mother.
The boss is mad we left early or arrived late. The child is mad because we are not there.
The family is mad because the mom can’t make dinner or help out with a school fundraiser.
Projects around the house go by the wayside.
Sleep is limited.
As a SAHM, I thought I didn’t sleep much, but boy was I in for a shock: working means getting less sleep than I did. Working means I rush around like a chicken with no head in the morning, desperate to get out the door in five minutes as I do my hair and eat breakfast at the same time.
Working means I have to hope that the school, the father, the grandparents, will carry out my wishes for my child, and knowing that no one is doing it the way I want them to, exactly.
To the family of the working mommy: you are doing a great job when you support her. You are doing a great job when you pick up her slack, and forgive her for needing so much help sometimes. You are showing your child/children that a woman’s role in the world is more than just domesticity: it can be anything.
Working means I can work hard, but an employee without a kid is always staying later than I am. Always doing more it seems.
Working means I leave in the morning with half of my heart somewhere else, and wondering if I matter to my kid anymore.
For the working mommy, we are everyone and no one, saint and sinner, fuck-up and dream maker. Guilt and worry.
To the working mommy: you are doing a great job. You are doing everything as best you can, and yet still, your child’s needs come above everyone else. You are a role model and pillar of strength.
You are the best you can be.
You’re leaving a mark on the world, and it’s one your child can follow throughout life.
Are you a stay-at-home mom? Read this.
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