Being a busy working mom is not for the faint of heart. Daily, I am faced with guilt—both self-imposed and slung from society—about my choice to pursue a career. I am not around for every class party, I do not stay up late making handmade Valentines, and every lunch my children eat is not packed with my own two hands.
It’s a difficult thing to realize that I simply can’t be in two places at once, and therefore, I truly can’t do it all. There are times when I have to put aside my work before playing My Little Pony with Ruby or chauffeuring Matix to basketball practice, and truth be told, it sometimes hurts. But the reality is, I love what I do. I love to work. I love that I crawl into bed every night exhausted from pouring my heart into every single thing I do. Is it completely ideal? Maybe not for some. But for me, being a working mom really is the only option, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I am an extreme extrovert and LOVE being with people, so working has always been so natural to me. With the demands of my new norm, new co-parenting, and my own schedule, it’s easy to be paralyzed with guilt at the amount of time I am away from home and sometimes have to drop everything.
Workings Moms: Top Ways to Find Inner Balance
But that’s not an option, so I have decided on a few things that help balance our home life and work life to keep my guilt at bay. First, it’s very important to me that the kids have every opportunity for consistency and success in their own lives. Just because I may be traveling a lot doesn’t mean the kids should drop everything and go all of the time too. They each have their own activities they are committed to, and I want them to have the best opportunities to succeed. So when I travel, they stay home and are in the BEST care of hand-selected family and friends I trust! And when AT ALL possible, the kids come too!
Embrace your own “normal”
I also understand that the life I lead can be a bit crazy, but it’s also filled with SO many incredible opportunities for the kids to learn as they travel! My kids have been amazing and have adapted very well to the “flow” of our new normal…which isn’t the same “norm” as everyone else. And why should it be? If no two people are truly alike, our lives shouldn’t all be mirror images of one another. It’s the differences that make everyone, everything, and every routine so special.
So, to all you moms out there, I want you to BELIEVE that YOU CAN make a difference in this world OUTSIDE of your home at the same time you are making a difference INSIDE of your home. You CAN be the example for your kids of how to treat others, how to love unconditionally, how to give selflessly, and how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Stop the comparison
Don’t compare yourself to anyone other than yourself! It’s way too easy to see other moms on Instagram seemingly doing it all better than you think you are doing yourself.
You’ve got to remember that comparing yourself as a mom or a person to someone on Instagram is like comparing your reality to someone’s highlight reel—it’s like comparing apples and oranges. We are all human, and we all have struggles—some are just better at hiding them than others.
Let go of “Mommy Guilt”
I feel like too many moms these days live with “mommy guilt” and are too scared to accomplish their own dreams outside of the home out of fear of neglecting their in-home responsibilities. I want all moms to know that not only is there a way to accomplish both (fulfillment in the home and for YOU personally), but it’s necessary. Because, hey…if mama ain’t happy, NOBODY is happy. There is nothing wonderful about a home lead by an unfulfilled, sad, and depressed mama. Moms MUST take care of themselves and their needs FIRST, and then they are better able to take care of others.
Make your kids part of the conversation
One of the best decisions I have made recently is to TALK to my kids about the new norm and just being a working mom. I ask them questions like, “How do you feel when mom is gone?” Or “Do you feel like I miss a lot of your school activities?” Or “What could I do more of that would make you happier?” Obviously, my kiddos LOVE to have me around 24/7 (ok, maybe not the full 24/7), and their emotions can’t dictate every move, BUT if they know they are HEARD—and that I truly listen—we can avoid bigger issues later! I think the guilt of being a working mom paralyzes some moms into not even bringing it up with the kids at all!
So, GO! Decide today to accomplish something new. It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking, just something simple that you are proud of. And one more note of advice if you don’t mind me saying…cut yourself some slack and know that you are doing everything as well as you can! You are perfectly imperfect—and good enough JUST AS YOU ARE!!!