I think one of the greatest things Working Moms Against Guilt is that we are three different women who have three distinct personalities, as well as three different working situations.
I work full-time, out of the home, at an advertising agency. And I’m not like Sue. I don’t look forward to Mondays. I really truly do like my job, but if it came down to it, and someone said to me “TELA, YOU MUST CHOOSE—GO TO WORK THIS MONDAY OR STAY AT HOME WITH YOUR SON,” I’d choose stay at home with my son. (The question this person is asking me is in all caps because it’s supposed to be ominous-like. I imagine this person who would give me this choice to have a very loud, booming voice. It wouldn’t be scary, because he is giving me a really cool choice, but still, he’d be loud.) I’d choose to stay at home and be with my son because well, he’s my son. He’s the most important things to me in the world. He might make giant messes, and annoy me, and generally drive me batty some weekends, but I love him to death, and I’d give anything to spend more time with him. And at the end of your life, I’m never going to be the person who says “Boy, oh boy, I sure do wish I spent more time at work. Remember that meeting I missed on September 22, 2010? I have all sorts of regret about that one.”
Nope, I’m not that person.
And honestly if I’m going to choose to spend time with someone who makes giant messes, annoys me, and drives me batty, it’s going to be someone who is related to me and who I adore—not a co-worker. (I kid, co-workers, I kid. Sort of.)
But seriously, it’s an important designation. At work, I don’t get any alone time. When some people go to work, they do get alone time/time for themselves, which they want, crave, deserve, and need.
I’m not one of those people. At home I’m fulfilling the wants and the needs of my family, and at work, I’m fulfilling the wants and needs of my clients, co-workers, direct reports, and bosses. I might get a relaxing lunch or two during the week, but that’s rare. I’m more into making every work moment “count,” so I’m not stuck working past 5 o’clock. My alone time does not come at work–I work just as hard here as I do at home.
Not that I’m complaining. I’m not. Like I said, I do enjoy my job. And quite honestly, I’m lucky I have one, double bonus points that it’s one where I make enough that I can support my family.
I might experience some mild Sunday Night Syndrome from time to time, but I think it’s mostly because I work continuously for five days a week and only have two days to recover and get what needs to be done, done. It’s not exactly balanced.
And that, my friends, is what it always gets back to, doesn’t it? Balance. It’s what working moms so desperately need. It’s what I hope many moms can find—however they can find it. For me, it’s accepting that things are what they are: I work when I work, live my weekends to the fullest, and try not to don’t get stressed about laundry.