This is for the do-it-all, 365 days/year, soccer and business meeting mom. Working is hard. Raising tiny humans is hard. Doing both? Well, it’s no easy task.
The constant juggling of kids and school, home life, practices, meetings, playdates, deadlines, it can be overwhelming at times. It’s often an endless cycle of to-do lists that never get finished but only added to, of color-coded white boards with back-to-back activities.
Working moms are tough. Their days start before they even get to work, trying to load the dishwasher and get an extra load of laundry (or maybe just re-wash the load you forgot about two days ago). They might work for 8, 10 or even 12 hours before they can see their sweet little babies again. They have a lot on their mind while away from their kids all day, everything from returning e-mails to baking cupcakes for the school bake sale, and everything and anything in between.
We get home from work after a long day, and even though we are beyond excited to see the bright and smiling faces of our kids, sometimes we are flat-out exhausted as well. We don’t want to cook dinner. We don’t want to clean the bathroom. We just want to sit, for a minute, in peace and quiet. This doesn’t mean we love our kids any less. But sometimes Mommy just needs five minutes before watching Paw Patrol for the 12th time and digging Play-Doh out of someone’s nose.
Walking out of my door every morning is the worst part of my day. I sneak into my kids’ rooms, kiss them on the forehead and just watch them for a few minutes. They are my everything—my world. Everything I do is for them. I am working to help support our family and to make sure they have everything they should. I don’t use my vacation days at work for actual vacations. I use them to help out at preschool, to go to their Christmas concerts, and to take them to their doctor’s appointments. I hate that I miss things, that I cannot drop them off every day and watch them run into school, so happy to see their friends, or that I cannot be there to let them cling to my leg for a few minutes if they are too nervous to go in that day.
I try to do it all, to give 110 percent, but some days it just doesn’t work that way. I make it a point to truly give my best every day for my kids. I want them to know that even though I work, it doesn’t mean I love them any less than if I stayed at home. I want them to know that they are more important to me than anything else, and that’s one of the biggest reasons why I do work.
Working moms are great multitaskers, awesome schedulers, amazing organizers, and super tough. But you know who else is all those things as well? Stay-at-home moms. Yes, they are equally tough and great. So let’s stop judging our fellow moms so much for their choice to work or stay at home. The next time you are talking to a mom and she is discussing how stressed she is because she had meetings all day and deadlines to meet and still has to make a Pinterest treat for 29 little kids, don’t judge her for not having time for her kids. Applaud her for doing it all. And the next time you are talking to a stay-at-home mom who is complaining that she is so exhausted because her 6-month-old was up five times last night, don’t judge her for not being as tired as you are because you work. Applaud her for doing it all. Encourage her.
I’m not sure when this concept of “I’m a better mother than you, because I work/stay at home” came about, but let’s try to put a stop to it. At the end of the day, all of us are doing the very best that we can, sometimes holding it all together by a thread.
I am a working mother, and I am tough. I am strong. I am smart. I am exhausted. And I love my kids more than they will ever know.
And if you are a stay-at-home mom, you are all of these things too.
So let’s do this. Together.