A couple weeks ago I got an idea to ask some of the most amazing women I know how they balance being a working mom or control the guilt feeling. I asked at home working moms, moms who work 40+ hours a week downtown, moms who work part time, moms who own businesses, moms who went back to school….
And the response was so epic. Some made me laugh, some made me cry, and some made me nod my head and know I was not alone.
I will be sharing hopefully once a week a few responses I received.
If you read this and have something to add, please comment below or even email me your tips, stories, or questions! Let’s make this an open conversation to let each other know we got each others back in this crazy journey of motherhood. Moms supporting moms over judging each other is a beautiful thing.
This Friday I am sharing one that surprised us both. I love that it got her thinking and she added more after her initial response, and that it made me tear up a bit! Thanks Laura, you are amazing!
Being a mom, a wife and a business professional, there’s always a never-ending daily to-do list. The most important to-do is to take time for yourself every day because you deserve it! No guilt, no shame, no hiding-well, unless you want that last piece of your kid’s chocolate…
-Laura, Tax Professional
Mom to 2 daughters, ages 10 and 8
*On a side note, over the last year I have been working towards obtaining another professional designation that required four separate exams, countless hours of studying and sacrifice in all aspects of life. I was still expected to be a mom, a wife and hold down a full time job, working downtown every weekday. I spent nights and weekends studying at my kitchen table, the library or on the sidelines at my girls’ sporting events and activities, feeling horrible about putting myself first.
However, I knew that if I succeeded, my girls would see first hand why it’s important to never stop learning and never give up. Guess who were my biggest supporters? Guess who wrote me encouraging notes before each exam? Guess who kept me in line and made sure I studied? Yep, my girls.
Did I pass each exam the first time I took it? No, but I knew I couldn’t let them see me quit. So I kept at it, spending more time away from them to study than I had planned to and retook the exams I had failed.
When I found out I passed my last exam right before Christmas, I made sure I was home that day to get them from the bus. My first words to them were, “Thank you for your patience and love over the last year. I know it hasn’t been easy and I haven’t always been here.”
(Insert my oldest saying, “Did you fail this one, Mom?”) With a smile, I responded, “No, girls, I passed. I’m done!” and the looks on their faces were priceless. It was like the scene from Home Alone when Kevin realizes his family is gone-my girls ran around the house screaming and yelling. I joined them as well-it was a momentous occasion!
As concerned as I was that I would be “hurting” my girls by not being with them when I should have been and taking time for me and to further develop myself, if they were upset, they got over it. Their love was magnified by the support they gave me and more often than not, they wanted to talk with me about the event or activity I may have missed in more detail than if I was there.
As working moms, we force ourselves to fit this “perfect” mold and be 100% present and accountable in all aspects of our lives. It’s impossible and there needs to be give and take. Most of the time, we personally suffer as we feel the guilt of focusing on ourselves. Think about it- when was your last hair appointment, nail appointment, exercise class, shopping trip alone, hot cup of coffee, bubble bath? This list can go on and on… learn to say no without regret and do something for you! It’s taken me a long time to understand and act on this and I can only say I wish I did it sooner!
(A bit long winded, but you got me thinking and reflecting this morning!)