Part of the Momologues: A Stream-Of-Consciousness Daily Diatribe
Somewhere between a stay at home mom and the office mom lives the mom who works remotely. That mom is me. Stay at home moms are forces to be reckoned with who truly deserve the SAHM acronym that bonds them. Moms that get up everyday, drop their kids at daycare or leave their children in the hands of a capable nanny to head to their version of an office (whatever that may be) are equally as badass. And then there is a subcategory where working mom meets stay at home mom and that is me, the work at home mom (WAHM?) who is sometimes the work at a coffee shop mom and also the drops her kid off at her in-laws to work from her phone in their driveway mom. This breed of mom is such a unique breed. I somehow can’t rationalize hiring a full-time nanny or dropping my kid at daycare and so therefore I spend my time hopping back and forth between my mom role and my career role. 5 minutes in one and 5 minutes in another – an itsy, bitsy spider singalong one minute and a conference call the next. I get to be a full-time mom while also having a full-time job and it’s wonderful and exhausting and crazy, in all definitions of the word.
Now, before I move on with my daily diatribe, I want to make something clear. If you have a child, you are a full-time mom – regardless of if you pay someone to watch your child. Once a mom, always a mom. You don’t forfeit that just because you head to work every day. Part of your mind and all of your heart is with your child despite proximity. So when I say full-time mom, that is not to say that women who choose to go back to work after having a baby are not full-time moms. They are just full-time moms with jobs.
Back to being a WAHM (is it catching on yet?) is the only experience I can speak to – so hear me roar. It is hard. It is the best of both worlds and the worst of all of them. I am hard-headed and stubborn and think that if I need something done, I can do it best. This is my approach to mom-ing. I can raise my child best, I can give her the best childhood – no daycare or nanny can replicate what I do (HA! I am rolling my eyes at myself). Yeah, it sounds arrogant but that’s just my mentality. So I put so much effort into setting my kid up for success: hitting her milestones, reading to her, playing with her, showing her things, taking her out, socializing her, putting her to bed, park, playtime, pause, repeat.
When you work for yourself, you set your own schedule. When you set your own schedule, everyone thinks they can be penciled it. And while I would love to pencil in everyone (well, most people) that’s far from the truth. I have a job I need to get done and not enough hours in the day to get it done. It means I can’t necessarily grab coffee with you or hit happy hour. It means I end up having to do the bulk of my work after my kid goes to sleep at 7:30. It’s a balancing act and one side always ends up getting more of my attention – some days it’s my baby, some days it’s my work and there is always guilt regardless of which way the pendulum swings.
I remember someone once telling me that you can’t be good at it all, it’s impossible. Of the main parts of your life between family, friends, career, and relationships – only 3 out of 4 can be thriving at any given time. So, there is always going to be something to work towards and something that you feel like you at failing at. It’s not fair, but that’s just how it is. When you are a mom, that same principal seems to shine through again. No matter how awesome you were yesterday and how great you will be tomorrow, you can still feel like you are failing today. And that is OK. Because nobody has it figured out, not even the people who lie and say they do. And being a working mom (which is, in fact, 100% of moms) is the hardest, most rewarding job on the planet. So, whether you work in an office or at home, let’s all agree to respect the work in its ebbs and flows and help each other work towards some semblance of balance – whatever that may be.
*Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse any typos.*