Sometimes when I’m feeling particularly down it helps to write it out- isn’t that the whole purpose of a blog? Sort of like an online diary that you can share your feelings in?
I guess blogging has become a bit more of a “look at this cute outfit I had professional pictures taken of and my perfect kid who is hitting all of his milestones and my perfectly decorated house.”
I love that part of blogging, I really do, but today, I just need to get out some feelings.
|Taken after my very first day back at work after maternity leave|
I’m really riding the struggle bus lately. I was having lunch with one of my great working-mom friends the other day, and I just had to ask her, “will I ever stop wondering if being a working mom is the right choice?” But here is the thing, it really isn’t a choice. Mama stops working, the mortgage stops getting paid. So that means missing out on a lot of stuff that you really hate missing out on.
I don’t want to sound ungrateful. Jake and I have a situation far more fortunate than most. We both make great salaries at jobs that are very flexible to working parents. We live down the street from BOTH of our parents who care for our son during the week along with a nanny who loves him to death. We have help. It’s not like we’re struggling through this alone, but I gotta tell you, it’s not the late nights or early mornings that make being a working mom difficult, it’s all of the little things you don’t get to experience through the day.
My dad and I were chatting over gyros the other day and I broke down crying trying to explain to him how heartbreaking it is to me that every Sawyer smile that happens during the day isn’t a smile for me. And every time he learns something new, if we’re being honest, it wasn’t me who taught it to him. My mom texts me tons of pictures through the day, and as much as I love them, more times than not I have to run off to the bathroom to dab my tears because the feeling of missing out is so strong.
I struggle daily worrying that Sawyer will start to prefer his caretakers during the day to me. I worry that I am missing precious days and moments and years that I’m never going to get back and the anxiety it causes is downright awful. Honestly, Monday-Friday are just days we’re trying to survive. I wake up at 5:30 and go to bed around 11:30 and there isn’t a moment that isn’t go go go go in that 19 awake hours. Everyone tells you that children make the years fly by, and it’s exaggerated even moreso in this stage of life because we’re literally living for the weekend.
Lately I feel even worse because I have such a deep-seeded jealousy for my stay at home mama friends, that I am starting to feel like I can’t relate to them in the slightest. This isn’t to say that I don’t think being a stay at home mom is hard, I know that struggle is just as real! It’s just a struggle so very different from a working mother. When I hear fellow bloggers snapchatting about how busy their day is going to be going to the park and music class and waking up at 9:00 with the baby, I have to practice slow-breathing to keep from completely losing my shit ;)
I’d love to tell you that my job is so fulfilling and I’m being a super-mom feminist by having a career and raising our baby at the same time, but the truth of the matter is, my job helps to pay our mortgage and allows us a bit of financial freedom, but nothing fills up my tank like hours spent with my son.
There are some perks to being a working mom, I’ll say that for sure. I eat breakfast and lunch in peace 5 days a week. With a fork, and it’s warm too. Sometimes, I treat myself to a middle-of-the-week pedicure, and now and again I get to go to homegoods and browse for an hour in between meetings. It’s not a bad gig, ya’ll. I recognize that. But in a world where it takes so little to be considered a shitty mom, it’s easy to get down on yourself and down on your life decisions when you see such a picture-perfect morning of cuddles on the couch and walks around the neighborhood on Instagram, while you’re staring at a computer screen and your kid is having fun with someone who isn’t you.
To my stay at home mom friends, I know you have more struggles than I can even begin to understand. I completely, completely get that the grass is always greener. Please know that I think you’re amazing for doing what you do and in no way do I believe the hardships of being a working mother outweigh the hardships of staying home. I just don’t know what it’s like to stay home full-time so they’re hardships I can’t speak to.
To my working mom friends, please just know, you aren’t alone. Know that Instagram is a highlight reel and no one is quite as happy as they like to pretend they are. You’re good enough, you’re an amazing mom, and your baby will always love you most. Repeat this to yourself daily if you have to, even if it starts to sound like you're trying to convince yourself more than anything ;)
Hang in there, mamas. No matter which side of the fence you stand on, raising tiny humans is hard work. The day you bring a child into this world it leaves an open wound in your heart so huge and raw that sometimes you feel like you might just die from all of the love you feel, and we’re all just doing our very best.
Thanks for reading my long-winded rant, I feel better already. Happy Monday!
Until Next Time,