I recently sent a shout-out to all the stay-at-home moms saying how amazing they are. And indeed, they are! I used to be a stay-at-home mom who taught part-time on evenings and weekends, and I cherished my time at home with my little one so much — although some days I went nuts without adult time. In the past two years, though, I went back to the workforce and am going through divorce proceedings, and so my life has changed so much. I've been both a SAH mom and a working one, and both have pros and cons, but for all my ladies working the full-time, part-time, and overnight shifts whether on location or at home, this love letter is for you!
Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves
Every time you bring home a paycheck, working mama, you are showing your children how crucial you are to not only making their lives run smoothly but also for keeping that roof over their heads! Sure, at age 3 they don't realize what bills and a mortgage or rent are, but when they're older, they'll understand that Mom isn't just the daily chef, cleaner, and entertainer. She's a moneymaker and quite possibly the breadwinner.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "The percent of the population working or looking for work — for all mothers with children under age 18 was 70.1 percent in 2014." That's a lot of working mommies! We are a huge part of the workforce, ladies. That's right! America's workforce relies on us. Pat yourselves on the back for contributing to our economy, not just your home's economy!
It's not easy being a mom, and when I went back to work, I realized how crucial for my sanity and my daughter's it would be to be on-point when it comes to organizing my life. Multitasking is a part of any mother's life, and when you throw work into the loop, it simply gives you one more thing to juggle. Working moms are trying desperately or not so desperately to manage their homes, their children, and their lives at work. It usually means sacrificing time with your kids and sometimes, certain career goals. Balance is unachievable in so many ways. Sure, we talk about it and put our energies into hitting that red bull's-eye, but it's rare to achieve for more than a brief period of time.
Working moms are the masters of multitasking. From home duties to school duties for the kids to work duties, we know how to shift gears and priorities like nobody's business.
Passion and Possibilities
When a mom heads out or hunkers down at home to work for the day, she is showing her kids what it is like to have a passion outside of her children. Sure, many women aren't working their dream jobs, but a lot of us are or at least reaching to make it to our career dream. By putting in the time at work, you're showing your kids what it means to want something for yourself so much that you put in the elbow grease to make it happen. This will encourage your little ones to reach for their own goals, even if they're difficult goals.
When you tell your child, "Sorry honey, Mommy has a meeting today and can't play," it stinks, but your kid is learning what it means to honor your commitments. This is crucial. So many people can't commit to anything whether it's a job, goal, or relationship, but you, my working mommy friends, show your kids every day that you have responsibilities and commitments that cannot be ignored.
Enjoying the Minute
When I went back to work, I started to enjoy the minute with my child — yes, the minute. Or minutes. My quality time with my child was drastically reduced, especially once her dad and I separated, and so time was of the essence. When I was at home, if the morning was spent cleaning, then at least I had the afternoon to play with her — but now that I work, I have set times to interact with my child. Suddenly, the minutes really matter. I put other things aside or I beyond multitask, which means that sometimes, the kitchen is clean but not as clean as I want, and occasionally, things get pushed aside.
Working moms cherish the time they're getting with their children because they know that once the weekend is up, it's back to work, and those park playtimes and craft sessions will be gone. We seize the day!
We Never Win, but We Keep Going
Because we have to be all things to everyone in so many ways — co-worker, perhaps boss, homemaker, mother, teacher's helper, etc. — we often find ourselves frustrated at what we can't do to the best of our ability simply due to limited time and energy. Despite that, we still keep on going and try our best even though we can never "win" at everything and we often lose — but is it really losing? I don't think it is. It's just that in our "mom minds" we view it as failure when really we're doing a kickass job!
To all the mommies: whether you're at home or hanging out in your office, you're doing a great job. It's not who the better mom is or who has it the worst — it's about supporting each other in order to raise happy, healthy kids while keeping our sanities intact.