The Hardest Choice a Working Mother Must Make

Feb 2, 2016 by

working mom

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I am a working mother and I always have been. I took only six weeks off after the birth of my first daughter (thanks to no paid maternity leave) and twelve weeks off after each of the births of my other two daughters (still no paid maternity leave but we were better able to manage). As a special educator I am lucky to have July and August off from work if I so choose although most summers I work at least part-time for either summer school programs or at another, flexible, part-time job.

I work to support my family, of course. My husband and I have always agreed that we would both work hard to provide financial support for our family (it may have even been in our wedding vows). I don’t even remember ever having a conversation suggesting otherwise. I have never planned to not work (and neither has he). It’s part of who I am, I love my career, and I’m proud to successfully juggle a career and motherhood. I read other blog posts listing various challenges of working parenthood and I usually feel as if I’ve got it all handled. My family has never known any differently and I believe my kids are thriving, my home is (mostly) under control, and I give plenty of my best effort to my career.

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I Don’t Have a Minivan and Other Reasons I’m Not the Friend I Wish I was

Feb 1, 2016 by

Dear Friends, Acquaintances and even Husband,

I want to help you. I want it all to be ok. And not just ok, easy. And wonderful. You mean a lot to me. It seems like I have a million reasons why I can’t be the friend/person/mom/wife I want to be (or used to be).  Here they go.

  1. My kid sleeps like shit. I can’t go “out” anymore if it means I will be up past 10pm. Sure, I can get a babysitter, but it’s a little expensive to have one stay all night. My three year is in a terrible phase when it comes to sleep. She takes a long time to fall asleep, often coming out of her room multiple times. She wakes at least once a night to cuddle (we don’t) and usually wants to start her day well before 6am. My nights are completely unpredictable all over again. I miss assuming I’ll get a full night of sleep. Boo-hoo. Woe is me.
  2. I don’t know what to invite you to and what not to invite you to. I’d love to have you come to everything, but there’s a few things even I’d be ok with missing. My kids absolutely adore you. I adore you! But will you kill me if I invite you to every school play for the next 15 years? I don’t want you to feel hurt if I assume you’ve got something better to do. (I recently cleared this up when one of my best friends – she says invite and she’ll politely decline if not interested – she’s so great!)
  3. I don’t have a minivan. I so want to be that mom who offers to help my mom friends on the daily. I’d love to offer to bring your kid home from school anytime you aren’t able or have my daughter bring your son to church so you can have a morning to yourself or with your spouse. But we don’t have a minivan and we can’t fit any extra kids in our car. Even though I can’t offer the daily help at this point, please know we’re here if you need us. We’ll find some way to help even if it means taking both of our cars somewhere.
  4. I’m a homebody. See #1. My family is away from our house for 5 days out of each week, not counting weekend activities. I’m so sorry that a pajama day is usually what I’d choose over a play date on a Saturday.

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Being a mom shouldn’t be an excuse to be a less present friend. Can I use it as an excuse for being a less physically present friend? Because between working and parenting, I am just beat. I know you are too. I don’t blame you, so why do I blame myself? I hope you know how much I care. I try to tell you all. Wouldn’t it be awesome if your nose really did itch each time I thought of you, or thought of something nice I’d like to do for you? I have big ideas but follow through much less than I used to. I forget plans I’ve made in my head to call you, text you, touch base, reach out, send a card for no reason. But sometimes, I don’t forget the nice thing I’d like to do and the stars align and it fills my bucket to fill yours a little. I hope the little things mean a lot to you. I’m trying, I promise.

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A Baby Story

Jan 29, 2016 by

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I was not one of those “glowing” pregnant women.  Not even close.  The only potential for glowing would have had to come from the millions of highly combustible particles orbiting my miserable, furious, fat head.

My pregnancy gave rise to the greatest joy of my life, but the months up to the arrival of my son were the most stressful I have yet to experience.  Little man is now turning 2, which I hear means I’m in for a world of hurt in the very near future.  As of this moment, however, pregnancy was the hardest thing I’ve been through, both physically and emotionally.

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Supermama Unmasked

Jan 27, 2016 by

As an avid reader and lover of books, I am often found with my son at the library or bookstore one to two times a week. Sometimes it is for borrowing or purchasing and sometimes just browsing. As I was browsing the discount aisle at my favorite bookstore I noticed a ton of planners and calendars being that the New Year had just started. They had a planner for everyone and everything! (Clever marketing indeed!). The one that I was most upset about by is pictured here. It showed a cute mom and her adorable cartoon daughter on the cover and says Do It All Mom Planner. I laughed and picked it up. I saw that they gave you stickers, To-Do lists, tear off shopping lists and other additional features.

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Growing Pains

Jan 26, 2016 by

My daughter exhausts me. She pushes me to my limits, tests my patience, and her whining can be maddening.

But I find myself wishing the weekdays away until Friday comes and I never want the weekends to end. Instead of trudging out to my car and going to work each morning, I just want to snuggle up with my daughter in her cozy room under the glow of Christmas lights that hang on her wall in the place of a nightlight. When I get out of work, I can’t wait to see her and listen to her chatter about her day. Even though the crush of rush hour grocery shopping, figuring out dinner, taking the dog out, and unpacking bags creates chaos and stress, there’s nothing I look forward to more than getting home with my Bean.

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