Being a mom is hard. Being a working mom is really hard.
I’m not saying that being a SAHM or a WFHM is not hard, I’m saying that being a working mom is a different kind of hard.
Here’s my day, Monday – Friday. The alarm is set for 5:45am. Snooze! I am not a morning person! I finally roll out of bed at about 6:15 while everyone else is still sleeping. I rush to get ready, make coffee, and am out the door by 6:50. I impress myself most days being able to get ready in thirty five minutes. I drive to my trolley stop about 20 minutes away and then sit for a 40 minute commute into town. I’m currently doing this now while I am writing. My commute is now my “me” time.
I’m at my desk at 8, where I will spend the next eight hours looking at two computer screens, barely making time to get up and use the bathroom. When’s lunch? Hoping I remembered to pack because buying lunch every day is starting to add up.
Then the clock hits 4:30, out the door so I do not miss the trolley. I start to make my hour commute back home.
From 5:30 to bed time the evening is usually a blur. It is dinner time, play time, and then bath time depending on the day. Then it is making sure he is being taken care of so I can jump in the shower myself. Oh, hello 9:00. Where did the time go?
Forget it if you throw in a dinner date with your best friend or an exercise class. Then I don’t see him until the following evening or maybe an hour before bedtime. While you are supposed to be taking care of yourself your mind is still wandering. Leaving your phone on loud just in case your son needs you to rush back home because he cannot go to sleep unless you are home, which never happens.
So as you can see there is not much bonding time for me and my son. Does he notice? He knows I have to work. This is his normal.
However, there are some days where he wakes up looking for me and I am not there. Talk about heartbreaking.
Mom guilt sets in. I do not spend enough time with my son. I am not there for him when he needs me. That is reality.
We have to plan our time on weekends. Weekends are precious. But, most weekends are also sometimes full of working a second job and running errands.
There is not enough time in the day for a working mom. Our lives revolve around planning, trying to fit everything in. From doctors appointments to house chores to daily responsibilities, the struggle to get it all done is real.
We also have to be a wife, friend, and coworker. We have the responsibility of many different roles and expect to be perfect at each one. That is not reality.
Some days the guilt consumes me. I question myself a lot all beginning with the words, Am I?
Answer: Yes, you are. Yes, you can have a career and be a mom. Yes, you can leave the laundry piled and grab take out for dinner. Yes, you can be perfectly imperfect.
Even though life is hectic, there are these little moments that make you squeeze your child a little tighter. You embrace the moment and make the memory.
Memories that are all a little more sweeter to me.
-Amanda, working mother of a two year old boy.