When you’re a working mom, the struggle is real.
Do you know how much time I spent with my children today? Roughly two, maybe three hours tops. I needed to stay late at work, and because my husband knows how much I ache to see my children after spending all day away from them, he kept the baby up a little longer so I could see and snuggle her before she went to bed. Thankfully, my boys go to bed a little later, so I was able to spend some un-rushed quality time, but it’s never enough.
Even on a “good day”, after sitting in traffic for at least 30-45 minutes, I arrive home around 6 pm. Upon immediate entrance to my humble abode, the next two to three hours are crammed with dinner, preparing school lunches, homework, baths, teeth brushing, reading books and bed. That’s a hell of a lot of crap to stuff into a small window of time! Oh, and somehow in between completing all these tasks that help to keep our family operating, I need to carve out quality one-on-one time with my three children. How?
Coming off the heels of staying home with my littles 24/7, my comfort zone rests with spending an unhealthy amount of time with my children. It was constant, relentless, and exhausting. Sometimes it was also suffocating as I was drowning in the needs and demands of my family, but even in the ugliest of times, I was present in their lives. I knew everything about them from the activities and events that filled their days to what they ate to the latest and greatest funny phrase they recently picked up.
Now? I’m relying on a teacher and caregiver to update me on my childrens’ behaviors and habits. I’m left in the dark and some sick part of me wishes to briefly return to that old life. Always missing my littles, evenings and weekends are never long enough.
I’m a willing participant in my corporate gig and happy to finally resume my place in the workforce, but I still can’t help but to feel a part of me is missing while away.
When I was a stay-at-home mom, without a free moment to think or just be, I ached for sweet freedom and time alone – hell, I would’ve given anything for the rare opportunity to pee without an audience. The grass isn’t always greener and you definitely can’t have your cake and eat it too. However, you want to say it, it sucks.
I want to live in an alternate reality where I’m 100% present in my child’s lives while giving them the attention they need and deserve – all while fully enjoying a fulfilling role outside the home completely carefree.
We all know this perfect scenario doesn’t exist, but it still doesn’t stop us from striving to achieve this unattainable dream.
Lately, I feel like I’m involved in an unbelievably delicate dance desperately trying to strike a balance between my career and mom life. Everytime, I give one more attention or time, I feel like I’m failing my other role. I pride myself of giving my all to whatever job lay before me always resulting in success, but as of late, I feel like no matter how hard I try, my best attempt will never be good enough.
When I have to leave work early because my child is sick and need to take care of him, I feel as though I’m letting my team down.
No, I won’t be able to attend the scheduled meeting and no, I can’t join in that important brainstorming discussion. When I stay late to work on a project that needs to be finished, I’m letting my family down. No, I won’t be home for dinner and no, I won’t be able to tuck the kids in bed or spend some much-needed time with my husband. No one is winning – myself included.
After desperately trying to find that perfect balance of work and family life, I’m finally realizing the answer is there isn’t one.
Engaging in this ridiculous, stressful juggling act hoping nothing important falls through the cracks not only has me constantly second guessing my every action, but more importantly leaves me exerting precious time and energy on a hopeless cause. When feeling of insecurities start to creep in and overcome with self-doubt, all we can do as parents is remember we are all doing our best and perfection doesn’t exist.