tau·tol·o·gy – the saying of the same thing twice in different words, for example: working mom.
When I was little, I remember always having the desire to be a mom. I thought about how many kids I would have and what their names would be. It never crossed my mind to be a stay at home mom. My mom worked. Most of my friends’ moms worked. So I just figured I would work.
For eight years, I have worked full-time. Now that I’m a mom of two little kids, that hasn’t changed. Despite that, my hours, days and weeks are different. I miss out on early morning snuggles, daytime play dates and story-time at the library. My day is filled with emails and computer staring. Of course I think about the kids during the day and love getting pictures. But I enjoy working – the routine of a work day, the organization, the accomplishing tasks. It’s work that doesn’t include kids.
I breathe and think alone on the drive home. Then my job at home begins. Most days when I come home, my one-year-old wants me as soon as I walk in the door. He’s still slightly going through a separation anxiety phase. My two-year-old asks for juice. As parents of little kids, we are always needed for something. We cook dinner, eat dinner while making sure the baby doesn’t choke and the toddler doesn’t throw food anywhere. Because I’m still freaked out about the baby possibly slipping and breathing in a mouth full of water in the bathtub, I bathe the kids separately. My husband reads the bed time story, which is more like a full-blown play with the various animated voices. By 9:00, we’re kid-free – and exhausted. We talk/catch up on shows/clean/write or sometimes just fall asleep on the couch (usually me). This is my life.
In no way am I complaining about the two roles I currently hold, however tiring they may be. I love it and savor the time spent with my family. Just thinking about it made me realize the term “working mom” really means so much more than its appearance. Yes I work “outside of the home” and I’m a mom. Being responsible for raising tiny babies to become functional human beings is work. The words “working” and “mom” essentially mean the same thing to me. As moms and parents in general, we are constantly juggling – paychecks, meetings, work-related thoughts, emails, paperwork, grocery lists, dinners, schedules, bedtimes, activities, potty training, etc. Sometimes it resembles a shining America’s Got Talent act where Simon doesn’t roll his eyes, and other times it looks like the audio fail during Adele’s performance at the Grammys. We may juggle different things and at different paces, but we all have off days. Here, there are no judges and no scores, but lots of hugs and kisses. Luckily, “mom” doesn’t also mean “perfect.” You’re doing a great job. So breathe whenever you get the chance, and pass that on to the next mom.
Great article Jenny! You hit the nail on the head with this one. So many women out there need to be reminded, they are not alone! Until my youngest was born I was a full-time working mom, outside of the home. It was hard. It was absolutely just like working two jobs. There was no unwinding after a stressful day at the office. Now I am self-employed and able to be home more. I get what you are saying about having that moment to breathe or just have a moment of silence, alone in your own thoughts…because as soon as I get to the door, it’s non-stop until they are asleep. Thank you for reminding us that however we do this thing called “parenting” we are good enough and we are doing a great job!
Thanks Rachael, that means a lot!
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