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Life As A Working Mom : You Can Have It All
I’ve been a working mom for three years now. I went back to work when my first daughter was about 4 months old. I’m not going to lie, when I first went back to work I was excited to be in charge of myself (and no one else) for 8 hours. I was also a little relieved to know that someone else could watch my child. I had been with her all the time during my maternity leave and felt like we were attached.
Working Mom : From Excited To Distressed In A Flash
The relief and excitement didn’t last long though. It quickly turned into thoughts like, “Is this more important than being with my baby?” “Is it worth it?” “Am I doing the wrong thing?” “I don’t know if I can do this.” There were days of turmoil where I questioned everything. I realize now that most moms go through this. But when it’s happening to you, it’s anguishing. Looking back on it I think it’s healthy and normal. Of course I should question whether or not it’s the right thing to do.
I tried not to think about my daughter too much when I was at work. I wanted to focus on work while I was there. There were a lot of new moms at my office though so we talked about our babies a lot. Sometimes too much. It was nice to have people around me that were going through the same things with their kids. But sometimes I felt like we only talked about the problems. We didn’t talk enough about the amazing parts of being a parent.
Working Mom : Oh The Transitions
It was a hard transition to be a working mom and there are a lot of details about that time I just don’t remember. However, I do remember thinking at times that I was failing at my job, as a mom, and as a wife. I felt like I was failing at it all and I couldn’t get everything done. I was tired. There were so many more things I was in charge of. Dealing with child care, doctor’s appointments, having to leave work when my daughter was sick.
But we got through it and I felt like I was back in control for a while. I learned how to deal with all the added stuff.
Then when my first daughter was two, we had another baby girl. I stayed home with her on maternity leave for 3 months. I spent all my time holding her and laying on the couch reading. My older daughter continued to go to daycare the whole time.
I went straight from lazing around the house all day holding my baby to work. I didn’t do anything to prepare for the transition. It was rough, but not as bad as the first time. A lot of things were different this time around. The child care situation, the girls, the whole dynamic. I had already confronted all the questions once.
I remember initially I thought my husband and I were doing really well as a team. One of us would take over if the other needed to do something. Or if one of us was frustrated with one of the kids, we would swap.
Working Mom : And Back To Distressed
After my daughter was a year old though I realized I wasn’t enjoying my girls anymore. Everything was a chore. Everything was hard. I was too tired.
Our mornings are filled with getting everyone ready and getting out the door. At 1 and 3, you can imagine how long it takes to get shoes and socks on both of them. Not to mention sunscreen in the summer. So the morning is spent mostly “working” to get everything done. Usually I have a few minutes play with them. Then I go to work for a full day.
I come home, drop everything off and walk over to get the girls from daycare. I do it because that’s what my oldest prefers plus I love walking and being outside with them. However, it means pick-up takes forever. We get home, have some time to play, and then it’s time to make dinner. We eat and put the little one to bed. The three year old stays up a little longer. Then it’s her bedtime. A little time to relax. Then it’s time to go to bed and do it all again in the morning.
My girls go to bed early and wake up early. That means we’re “on” from 5 or 6am to 7:30pm. Sometimes 8 or 9 if our oldest takes forever to fall asleep. It’s a long day and it can be tiring. But it can also be so much fun.
Working Mom : Wait, I Love This
I’ve done some work on myself to get back to a place where I can really enjoy my girls and still make sure I’m taking care of everything else I want to take care of. I love my kids and it’s important that I enjoy them.
My husband helps a lot. I’ve also had to change the way I think about things. I’ve talked to other moms who feel the same way I felt. You let some things go because when you have that precious time with your kids, you want to just be with your kids. That doesn’t work for me. At least not anymore.
I do things as soon as I think about them and I set a reminder if I can’t. I have a certain time with them each day where I focus on them. But I take advantage of the time between putting the pasta in the water and straining it. I’ve learned about productivity and time management.
I’ve done all this because I believe as a working mom you can do it all. You can do everything you want to do. For me that’s keeping my house in order, cooking dinner every night, making sure my family has healthy food to eat, and playing with my kids. I believe that if I can do it all and be happy, so can you! I love my life. Yes, it’s hard. But it’s so worth it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do whatever you want to do.
By Rachel Bowman at Just Getting Things Done
Edited By Mummyitsok