Hello, fellow mommies and readers of various other persuasions! I’m so excited to be a part of this awesome blog and community of working mothers.
Since I’m the new mommy on the block, I’d like to start by introducing myself.
I am a 28-year-old mother of two wild little ones and I also work as a senior copywriter for an international hotel company. Balancing being a wife, mother and career woman is very difficult…in fact, I’m fully convinced that there is no such thing as a solid “balance” when it comes to work and family, but I’ve learned to be semi-OK with that fact.
Some days, I feel good about how much quality time I’ve spent with my children. On those “I’m a good mom” days, I am there to feed them, bathe them, play with them, witness one or more bowel movements and kiss them goodnight. There’s always a bit of chaos in the house, but hey… that kind of thing comes with the territory when you have two kids under the age of 4.
On those precious days, when I’m covered in bits of food and my arms are sore from carrying around a combined weight of 70 pounds, I worry that I haven’t done my due diligence at work.
Should I have gotten a head start on that big project?
Should I send an email to my team about that big meeting tomorrow?
Although being a mother is obviously the most important priority in my life, I also really enjoy my job. I love the creativity, the adult interaction and the excitement. I find myself dealing with a constant battle of loving going to work…and feeling guilty that I DON’T feel guilty about being there sometimes.
Of course, the traditional working mom guilt rears its ugly head when one of my kids gets sick and my ever-supportive mother ends up being the caretaker instead of me, but I’ve gotten very used to coping with that feeling. The fact that I love my job and feel awful for actually enjoying time away from my kids is the guilt that I have no idea how to cope with.
Shouldn’t I be jealous of the mother who is posting on Facebook about how she got to take her toddler to Story Time at her local bookstore, cleaned her house from top to bottom and cook a wholesome dinner that was ready just in time for her husband to get home from work?
I’m not (on most days).
I actually feel very fortunate to have a career that I love. I became a mother for the first time just two weeks before my 25th birthday. I was still finding out who I was in my career, in my marriage and in my life in general! I never expected to become a parent at that age. I originally planned to wait until (what I thought was) a more “reasonable” age of 30 or 32.
I guess fate had other plans…and I’m glad it did!
As a working mom, guilt is my biggest, most fearsome foe. It’s always there, looming over me like some sort of rain cloud waiting to erupt at the slightest provocation. Whether it’s my daughter having a rough time saying her goodbyes in the morning or my son running a fever, the guilt comes raining down on me, and I feel like the world’s worst mother for not spending every waking moment with them.
I combat the guilt the only way I know how: my kids. I make every moment count.
We get silly, we make messes, we go see kids concerts, and we laugh until we cry. Making the precious time I do spend with them special is my weapon against my extremely resilient guilt, and it’s time all working moms find their weapon of choice so that we can all defend ourselves against our personal guilt-monsters!