Every mama has a full-time job. That job might entail earning a paycheck working outside the house during the day. Or it might mean channeling all their hours and efforts directly into nurturing their children during the day. While these career paths look different and change over time, both of these paths include being full time moms. And they both include being working moms too.
Regardless of how wonderful your current situation is at home, kids take work. Tons and tons of hard work. And just when things seem to be smooth sailing with everyone sleeping, eating, and learning on track, a new challenge drops in to pull the rug back out from under you.
We are all full time moms, and we are all working moms. Simultaneously, and all the time.
I have the privilege of working outside the home and being the primary breadwinner for our family. With this privilege comes the loss of hours with my children. The intense sadness I feel on a daily basis for the moments that I cannot experience directly. These are the costs of my current career path. But even though I work hard for my co-workers and clients every day my work is not any less hard than another mom when I do get home. I don’t stop being a mom to my children when I am in the office, and if anything I am better at my job because of this. I struggle with the term full-time mom, as it is often implied that you are either a working mom or a full time mom but not both. Which is quite simply, not the case.
I am a full time working mom. I am a full time corporate leader. I am a mom.
I miss watching my daughters dance to the Raffi children’s radio station during the day when I am in meetings. I’m lucky I get to catch snippets through Snapchat or videos. But I get to hear my two-year old say “dance mama!” on Saturday mornings when we cook waffles together.
I do not get to see my little ones when they get up since my husband is on drop-off duty. This allows me to beat traffic to get to the office a little earlier and be as productive as possible. But I know what color socks they are wearing, since I laid them out. I know how my daughter’s hair looks (or looked) because we did it together before bed. At lunchtime, I know what she is having because I packed it. I am just as present in those moments, and they are always in the 2nd (3rd?) outfit of the day when I get home because of how much fun they had.
When my daughter gets sick at the nanny’s house, I call my manager and my back-up teammate at work to ensure they are briefed of my immediate tasks. Then I head straight to pick her up and dive into the trenches of illness, full-time.
I rush home in THE most ridiculous traffic imaginable every evening, and (usually) cause an eruption of tears the moment I walk in. But I also get to hear the running feet down the hall and the beaming “Hi, mama” giggles that I could not hear otherwise.
I feel lonely at work because I don’t always fit the mold of always available, happy hour-ing, loves to get a break from my kids, employee type. And I feel lonely at swim lessons on the weekends and at the park at 6 at night because I don’t always fit the mold of all-in mother like the moms who care for their children all day every day.
Cheers to you, Working Mama.
I have to remind myself daily during my morning brew of my “why” and my “what.” Why I commit to my career for the life I am building, and what kind of model I want to be for my daughters as they navigate this crazy world. It’s time we throw out the labels and the molds, and just be moms. Moms who work hard. Love deeply. Moms who strive to make this world the best world for all of our children. Cheers to you, Working Mama.
All the best,