I grew up with two working parents. In my mind, my mom was Superwoman. The lady got up before everyone, went to bed after everyone, had a successful career and raised three children.
I have pleasant memories of running errands with her and also watching her at work. My mama can do no wrong.
Well, when I became a mom, I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career. I wasn’t quite sure which career, but I knew the stay at home life didn’t suit me. I’ve now been a working mom for almost 7 years, and here’s what I’ve learned:
My kids will be just fine: I was a stay at home mom for 2 years, I’ve worked part time and I’ve also worked full time and I realize none of these three scenarios are better than the other. My kids adjusted to all of the three and even though I had days when I felt like I was neglecting them by working, they do not share the same feelings. My son enjoys going to school, he enjoys his afterschool program and he does not want to stay home with me.
I can juggle anything: Being a working mom, I have had my good days and my horrible days. It can be a nightmare scheduling vacations and caring for sick kids especially when I can’t take the time off work. But somehow I made it through. I used to get extremely panicked when I had to take my children for a doctor’s appointment or when they had school events, because there was always the fear of getting fired. Well, I never got fired.
I would feel like a failure when I couldn’t volunteer in the classroom or make it to every single school event. But you know what? I made it to as many events as I could. I try to truly be present when I’m with my kids and they know that I love them.
Guilt is real: The number one emotion that haunts me as a working mom is guilt. After guilt, the negative thoughts start. I start to tell myself that my kids will be sad or that I’m a bad mother or that my kids wouldn’t be well adjusted if I’m not there for them all the time.
Well, I’ve learned to flip the script. I now focus on what I can actually do, on the events I can go to and on the time we spend together. As a therapist, I know that every child has different needs. I am creating a plan to ensure that my children are happy and well taken care of. That is all that matters.
What have you learned from being a working mom?
If you struggle with finding your identity as a busy working mom, you can download my free Mom's Self-Discovery Guide. Just click here to download it.