Dear Working Mom,
I sense you feeling all sorts of mom-guilt for putting your little one in daycare. I’ve seen the stress in your fake smile as you try to buckle a baby in a car seat, balance your coffee thermos, fumble with your keys and carry your giant purse full of papers for work while not breaking an ankle in your stilettos. I see you looking at your watch anxiously waiting to pick up your little one from the sitter, only to go home and cook dinner leaving 2 hours or less for quality time with your little one before they go to bed. I hear you crying in the shower so no one will see. I hear the cheering and encouragement you give to your little one to take their first steps so you can be there to witness it. I know the pain you feel, because I too am a working mom.
I have cried all the way to work after dropping off my crying child that is clinging to me screaming “No No Mama!”. I have been five minutes late to work for two weeks straight just because I wanted that extra five minutes of sleep. I have had to decline play-dates because they were during the day when I was working. I have felt simultaneously proud and depressed when my toddler said a new word, named a new color, and counted to ten – knowing I wasn’t the one who taught him that.
However, I have also brought home a paycheck for my family. I have worked hard to earn a salaried position that offers healthcare. I have purchased toys for my child because I worked hard to be able to afford them. I got more than one of my articles published in a magazine. I have had a press release featured on the front page of the newspaper. I have accomplished quite a bit of things while still being an awesome mom – if I do say so myself.
As a working mom it can be so easy to get down on yourself for what you are missing out on or unable to do due to your work schedule. But Momma, take a look at what you ARE doing. You are contributing to your family financially. You are creating a better life for your kids. You are still your child’s safe place. You are still their most favorite woman on the planet.
My dearest working mom, you know what is best for your family. You have a vision of your future and you know that in order to reach that vision you must work. Working works for you and that’s okay. Next time there is a school holiday party and you miss it, just know that you won’t be the only one. There are so many working moms out there that are also missing out. Don’t forget about your support system. Dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins are all great family members to step in whenever possible. It takes a village. At times, you may feel like you are doing it all on your own, but don’t think for a second that you are the only mom that has ever felt that way.
Shake off the mom-guilt. Kiss your little ones as much as possible. Make the most out of the mornings and evenings you get to spend with your kids. As adults, they will look back on their time with you in their childhood and will fondly describe you using words like “hard working, dedicated, devoted and self-sacrificing.” So keep hustling, mama! You aren’t alone, you aren’t doing the wrong thing, and you are creating a great life for your little one. I am proud of you and proud for you.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to other working moms (especially new moms) and lean on one another for encouragement and reassurance. You can work, be a mom, drink enough water and text your friends back. You CAN do it. It is not impossible. You’ve got this!
The Full Time Mom, Wife, Employee, Friend, Blogger and Content Creator.
P.S. Shout out to my stay at home mom friends. I’m jealous of all of the quality time you get with your babies. It is always a working mom’s secret goal to be a stay at home mom. So please, do not take this letter as an offense. I love you all.
Photos by Melanie Lee Photography