If you are like me and work full time (or part-time) and feel overwhelmed by trying to balance everything, this post is for you. Because I’m pretty sure that you get exactly what I’m feeling. There are so many emotions that come from being a working mom, and at times these feelings can feel more negative than positive.
There is a different vibe that comes with a mother having to leave them to do her part in providing for her family. And I want you to realize by reading this that I know what you’re going through.
I get it.
Truth be told, I don’t hate working
And let me just be clear; I don’t mind working. My husband and I are in this together, and I understand that the lifestyle we are currently in doesn’t allow for us to survive only off one income.
I do (for the most part) enjoy working. It allows me to grow as a person, and to do simple things, like sit and eat a meal for 20 minutes without any interruption. I feel accomplished when I’m able to help others and do my job well.
But at the same time, there are a lot of times where I wish I didn’t have to work. Times where I feel horrible for leaving my kids and it breaks my heart.
I feel like as moms, we try our best to be “supermom” and be good at everything. And it’s hard to find the perfect work-life balance. We constantly have the urge to prove that we can “do it all, by taking everything that is thrown to us with a smile on our face. But to be honest, it’s HARD. It’s hard to leave your children in the hands of someone else, while you’re at work.
The Double Standard between Mom and Dads who work
I feel like there is a complete double standard when it comes to moms and dads in the workforce. No one will bat an eye that dad must work a full-time job and leaves his kids. In fact, it’s an unspoken rule that has been carried over through time. It’s usually the men who society believes is responsible to provide for the household.
But I feel like there is some judgment (maybe not even intentionally) when a mom leaves her children to go to work. If you are a mom like me, and you don’t have a choice, this can be tough. I also feel like mom’s that work (whether inside or outside the home) are expected to be able to maintain that balance flawlessly. And they must do so with a clean house and prepped meals for the home daily. There is the false expectation that it should be done little to no effort, yet we are judged for everything we do, including working and leaving our kids.
The MOM GUILT of leaving your child
I have so much mom guilt when it comes to leaving my kids to go to work. And it’s not that I doubt the caregivers I leave them with. I know very well that they take great care of my kids. But a lot of times, it’s frustrating knowing that it’s not me. That regardless of who they are with, at the end of the day, they will still always choose Mommy over anyone else. But it’s not up to them.
There are extra difficult times. When my 4-year-old will face time me on her iPad while I’m at work and ask me when she’ll see me or when I’m coming home. When my 1-year old screams bloody murder each time she watches me walk out the door. That’s when my heart hurts the most. Because in that exact moment, even if it’s temporary, I’m not there for them like they want or need me to be.
And when they are that little, it’s hard for them to grasp on why mommies need to work. They don’t understand the concept of money and finances. All they want is their mommy to be home, and that sucks. I really wish I could somehow do it all, be at home and work. That’s why I bust my ass in hopes that this blog will open bigger opportunities, and maybe one day at will.
Missing the moments while at work
I feel like a bad mom for not being there for them like I want to be. I find myself in envy of those moms that get to stay at home and get mad at the situation. Moms often complain about not having enough time for themselves. But I think that we as moms secretly take great pride in the fact that our kids have a hard time to do anything without us and need us so bad. And in a way, that’s what happens when we leave them; we are not 100% needed by them while we are at work and they learn to adjust without us for a portion of their day. And it’s tough because let’s be real, that’s the best part of being a mom! The feeling of being so loved and needed so deeply by our kids.
As parents, we know how fast time goes, and we always have this fear that we will miss something. Or the fear that we will blink, and they will be off to college. And If I’m being honest, there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m browsing through videos and pictures, even if they are sleeping next to me! And wishing so hard that I could pause time for a moment, and not let them grow up so quickly.
Not enough time in the day
I feel like being a working mom spreads my time thin. I try not to let my work interfere with my kids, and vice versa, but sometimes things happen. And it’s a hard struggle to maintain that constant balance. Although my work hours are typically 9-5, I am responding to work messages and texts way before those times. As much as I’d like to keep the morning times reserved for my girls, we have offices that work in time zones that are ahead of us so there are times where that’s impossible.
It does take away from family time, and I get frustrated with the fact that I feel like I’m giving the girls a disservice. Especially because it’s just me with them in the mornings because my husband has an early shift. More than half the time, I feel like I’m failing with my head barely above the water.
But there are some things that I’ve found have been more helpful in balancing work and being a mom. I started practicing these things daily and I truly believe it will help you as well.
How to have a great work-life balance
I try my very best to be present when I’m home with the kids, especially during workdays. Because I’m gone a good portion of the day, I know that when I come home it’s time to focus my time and attention to them.
One of the ways I found it helpful to be more present is to restrict the time on my social media apps to turn off from 5:30pm to 9:30pm (when they have gone to bed). If you have an iPhone, click here on how to do that. I’ve mentioned before that social media can be a big distraction. I don’t need to take away that time from them by aimlessly being on my phone for no purpose.
I also try to keep my phone away from me while I’m with them. I would leave it on the kitchen table while I’m playing with them in the living room. Sure, there are texts that will come from time to time, but it limits the time that I’m on my phone and forces me to remember to be in the moment.
Planned fun during non-working days
I always try to have something fun planned for the girls on the weekend. I want to give them something to look forward to and show them that family time is a priority for us. It doesn’t even have to be an activity that costs money. A visit to the park, the pet store, or allowing them to play outside with their pool or bubbles are some of the things that we do on the weekends and gives them something to look forward to.
Working sets a positive example
Remember that showing your children about work can serve them some life lessons. Sure, we work hard to be able to give them the world, but I want them to know that you must earn some of it.
They may understand it when they are young, but they will realize it as they get older.
Working reminds me that I can show my kids what I’m capable of. That you can be anyone you strive to be, and that hard works will pay off. That you will have bad and good days but that they can do literally anything that they put their minds too. That when things get tough, you don’t find a way out but that you keep reaching. I work hard to prove to them that life is what you make it. I try my best to stay positive through it all and I hope that one day all this hard work hustle and bustle pays off in the end. Doing this makes me appreciate that I can work and provide for my family.
At the end of the day, work is just a job
I currently love the company I work for and I’d like to say that I’ve had some great work experiences. But no matter what, I will always put my kids first. I’m lucky enough that the management I work with is very understanding with me when it comes to time, I may need for my kids to take them to their appointments and doctor visits. And I’m by no means insisting to not care about your job. But, don’t stress out too much. There should be no JOB in the world that interferes with the priority of your children. And knowing that will free your mind of unnecessary stress of deadlines and to-do tasks. Give your 100% while you are on the job, and then leave and give your 100% when you are home with the kids.
So, for all you working moms out there, I know it’s hard. Just remember to take it one day at a time, and you will be fine. Whether you are working because you need to, or because you want to, I see your struggle. I know you miss your kids. Don’t doubt what you are currently doing. As I always say, you are exactly where you need to be, and won’t be there forever. So, hang in there. Because no matter what your situation is like, your kids know who you truly are: superheroes.
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