*If you’re a mom and you work – full-time, part-time, outside the home, inside the home, whatever – please read through and give your feedback in the comments below or shoot me a message in the contact form at the bottom. I am working on a project and I need as many comments, thoughts, insights, bitches, gripes, whatever as possible! Looking forward to hearing from you all!*
Man, what a ridiculously redundant term.
Over the past 10 months, I’ve picked up a few more work gigs, so the idea of “working mom” has crept back up in my life, after taking a short sabbatical. Because, quite frankly, my life has become a complete bucket of randomness, as of late.
Besides dealing with the kiddos 657 hours a day (yes, that’s possible in my house, I assure you.) , I still write magazine articles, grants, devotionals, on top of some web design/maintenance, social media crud, and I am need to finish editing my book (eek! Procrastination!). This is in between volunteering and working at my church, small groups gatherings, etc… etc… etc…
Needless to say, things are busy.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining, because as far as I’m concerned, busy is good.
(Let’s be real. I’ve never denied being a glutton for punishment.)
A couple of weeks ago, I had a chat with my pastor on the subject of working moms. He mentioned how expectations for moms have flip-flopped over the past few generations. He even quoted a study saying over 80% of moms have some sort of paying job these days (whether working for themselves, a corporation, full-time, part-time, etc.), as compared to the past, when most did not supply any sort of financial income.
(I’m not sure exactly what study he quoted, I’m just sharing the main point of the issue. So take this as you will. Let’s just go with it by saying “most” moms have some sort of paid job these days. I think we can all agree to that, right?)
The point is a wife/mom’s day-to-day duties have changed over the past few generations. It used to be mom’s primary “job” was taking care of the family – raising kids, cooking, cleaning, sewing, blah, blah, blah… instead of also being a source of financial income for the family, alongside the husband/father.
Oh, but wait… that still is her job, right?
Let me rephrase – it’s still her job ON TOP OF whatever “real” job she has, bringing in a paycheck.
(I say “real” job in a loose sense of the term. I think by now, the mass majority realize that being a housewife and mother is, indeed, a REAL job. More “real” than most others could ever get.)
Now, for the record, I have THE most amazing husband (who happens to work from home – lucky him! Depending on what day it is…), so there are (many) times he and I tag-team the crazed, tiny hooligans living with us. It is TRULY a joint effort in our family on raising the kids. I also have an amazing mother and set of in-laws who will travel to Tennessee help us out when both Bryant and I are in a crunch and need help due to travel or just a random, crazed schedule.
(Can I get a resounding ‘HECK YES!’ for grandparents?!? HOLLA!)
But during the week, while Bryant is working, I take on the main responsibility of caring for the kids, the house, and the dogs. And then there are my work responsibilities and commitments outside the home, as well.
(Again, I’m not complaining. I’m blessed!)
But ever since Meda arrived… actually, wait… Since McKenna arrived and I was working outside the home, I’ve been plagued with guilt. Lots of it.
When I was working outside the home full-time, there was guilt. And those of you who work outside the home, I’m sure you felt it too. Guilt…
… for leaving our precious children every day for 8+ hours.
… for dropping them off at preschool and not being home to teach them new things ourselves.
… for relying on others to pick them up, or drop them off, when they have their own work to do.
… for missing first words.
… and for missing so many other firsts.
… for just not being there.
Now that I’m home full-time, but still trying to work and take care of outside commitments, the guilt has shifted, but is still present. Please tell me I’m not the only one. Guilt…
… for not having a clean house every day.
… for having their daddy bathe and put them to bed many nights so we can take our own showers.
… for having to say “NO” to playing or reading a book sometimes.
… for not having a fabulous, home-cooked dinner on the table every night.
… for plopping the kids in front of the TV (or iPad, or whatever) with snacks to distract them so we can get something – ANYTHING – done.
… for wanting, no… needing… a break.
… for not being Supermom.
The list goes on…
Let me be clear – I am not logging 40 hours per week, and would never consider myself a full-time paid employee (except to my kids! ha! That salary kind of sucks though.). I securely fall into the Stay-at-Home-Part-Time-Working-Mom category. I realize there are tons of people who work full-time from home with kiddos AND volunteer spare time at churches, hospitals, food banks, assist friends and family who need help, act as PTA presidents and room moms, etc..
What I’m saying, is I don’t know how any of us do it.
Raising children and managing a physically and emotionally healthy family is 168 hour per week job.
I especially have a hard time juggling when to turn ‘Working Mama’ off and when to turn her on. I would be willing to bet some of you do, as well. It’s a daily struggle trying to find balance between reading email versus storybooks, responding to my coworkers or kids’ requests, cleaning up marketing pieces or spilled Cheerios.
So where is the line and how wide is it?
Is there room to place my feet next to each other between each step?
Or does one foot always have to be in front in order to not tumble?
So all my fellow mama’s out there, my questions to you are these:
– Do any of you other mamas out there also feel overwhelming senses of guilt when it comes to work?
– What are some of the main things you struggle with being a working mom?
Work From Home Mamas:
– How do you balance being “Mom” and “Employee?”
– At what point do you decide to find some help – a babysitter, nanny, etc.?
– What is your biggest struggle working from home??
But above all else, please tell me I’m not the only one who struggles with this…
If you would leave a comment below or fill out the form, it would be MUCH appreciated!