All it takes is a big milestone to hit you right in the face to make you wonder “am I present enough?” and “am I doing this mom thing right?”
“Am I a good mom?”
I truly applaud the moms who are stay-at-home moms. That job is not easy and needs to be appreciated more. I just can’t do it because I am the best version of myself when I am working. But am I?
I’ve worked multiple jobs and also had a full-time gym life since my oldest was born. My oldest is attending Kindergarten this fall, and that milestone hit me like a ton of bricks. I had an out-of-town event to work on his last day of Pre-K, at a school he grew up for years at.
I could’ve been more present, but I had to rush to a work event.
According to a Forbes article, one reason is that women are under pressure to balance work and childcare, leading to disproportionate stress levels. According to the annual Women in the Workplace report from McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.org, the gap between women and men who report feeling burned out has nearly doubled in the last year. In the study, 42% of women and 35% of men reported feeling burned out in 2021, compared to 32% of women and 28% of men the previous year. Not only that, but one-third of women surveyed say they have considered downshifting or leaving their jobs altogether. In another study, 88% of working moms say that they’re more stressed now than before the pandemic.
After five years of being a full-time working mom with multiple jobs, I’m still learning how to balance it all. What has helped though? Don’t be afraid to ask for help, take time for yourself, and practice self-care techniques like deep-breathing or mediation while driving. How can mom truly be the best mom if she isn’t the best version of herself either? For me, my self-care practices are having the occasional girlfriends’ night out, working out five days a week, coffee in the morning while I pray, and smelling lavender occasionally.
Although I make sure I am the best version of myself, I still can’t help but wonder if I am present for my family.
I don’t like to compare myself to other moms, but how do other moms show up to every school event? Sometimes I can’t attend events, or I’m the one rolling in with hair that hasn’t been washed in a week, a cold cup of coffee, and an airpod in my ear listening to a work call. When I am at these events like that, I’m thinking “well hey! I made it!”, but when I look back, I realize I wasn’t present.
On my oldest boy’s first day of Kindergarten, I won’t be crying because he is getting older, I’ll be crying because of mom guilt.
Am I the only one?