By my late twenties I had been in exactly 5 different office jobs in my field. Working my way up the ladder from each role, I loved my career. Then at 28 I also became a mom and that number of jobs jumped to 537.
I loved ALMOST all of those jobs.
Until you become a parent you have no idea how many different kinds of roles you will have, while also working to make the dollar bills.
And there is no way to love 537 jobs, you are bound to hate some of them. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of working as Professional Lunch Maker, Toy Picker-Upper or Poop Cleaner.
Now that I’m in my 30s with two kids and more on the way, I can honestly say that when it comes to Working Mom titles, I have been every one in the book. I’ve held the title of Corporate Office Working Mom, Work At Home Mom, Mompreneur Business Owner, Full-Time Stay-At-Home-Mom and Sometimes Part-Time Working Mom.
I’ve worn all the hats.
I’ve worn all the different clothes.
I’ve worn the same clothes…for multiple days in a row.
And while I was in these roles, I gathered little bits of wisdom along the way. I forgot though, that life lessons aren’t handed to you on a plate, like the meals we so lovingly serve our children each day.
Sometimes these lessons were VERY apparent, and other times I had to stumble and fall a little bit to see what really mattered.
This is what I’ve Learned From Being Every Kind Of Working Mom:
Sometimes you don’t get to choose what kind of Working Mom label you have.
But, you do get to choose how to set a good example for your kids in that role, whatever it may be.
That’s all that really matters. Right?
Jobs come and go. Some you seek out, some seek out you. Some let you go, some you wish would let you go.
You always think the grass is greener on the other side.
It’s the same shade of greenish-yellow with patches of dirt peeking out. We’re all struggling with the work-life balance no matter how lovely momlife may look via Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook.
Making money isn’t everything, but it defiantly helps lower stress.
I watched this documentary
the other day on the Minimalism movement and it talked about the relationship between money and happiness.
Ironically, studies have shown even if you made more money you’d probably only be a little bit happier than you are right now. Throughout the many different Working Mom titles I’ve had the last three years I’ve learned to be grateful for my family each day, PayDay or not. Although, when it is PayDay I’ll admit it’s easier to give in to my kiddos request for milkshakes.
It is possible to run your own business and be a good mom.
I still question this lesson, all the time. It’s an evolving lesson. But,if you’ve been thinking about taking the leap and starting your own thing, I challenge you to do it. It’s not going to change your heart and the way you parent. It’s only going to change the way you approach your day. As I prepare to jump into running my own business 100%, this still makes me a little nervous, but without a little fear we’d never make progress.
Elizabeth Gilbert said it best in her book Big Magic
: “It isn’t always comfortable or easy- carrying your fear around with you on your great and ambitious road trip. But it’s always worth it, because if you can’t learn to travel comfortably alongside your fear, then you’ll never be able to go anywhere interesting or do anything interesting.”
It is possible to work the corporate life and be a good mom.
I have a handful of mama friends who have chosen this route and let me tell you, they have some of the most strongest souls. For about two years I was this mom and then life took a turn and suddenly I was no longer in the corporate world. I’ve tried to go back a few times and it’s never been a good fit. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I won’t be climbing that corporate career ladder during this phase of life.
And that’s ok.
Those women who are on that path around me are such an inspiration. You are all doing an amazingly good job. I admire you mamas.
You will always miss your children.
They could be standing right next to you begging for snack and your heart will cringe as you see the neighbor out the window say good bye to her daughter heading back to college. Or you could be sitting at your office desk scrolling through cute photos of your children on your phone, missing their baby giggles and wondering where the time has gone. Either way, cherish today.
You will want to take on a lot of things because Mama, you’ve learned to multitask like a boss.
Moms don’t just sit around, if they do that means they are possibly depressed and you should offer them a lending ear. Or a hug. Or a drink. Or all of the above. If you love taking on a lot of things, and some of us (myself included) thrive this way, ask for help when you need it.
No one is judging you or keeping score. Except yourself.
When you became a mom it’s like you automatically gained immunity in the life comparison game. Don’t fall into the trap of playing that game with yourself. Stop looking at other families, wishing to be more like someone else. You be you. Love the life you have.
Everything you’ve ever done as a working woman will come in handy at some point as a mom and vice versa.
Wiping bums, juggling phone calls, managing calendars, organizing activities, packing snacks, leading meetings, hitting deadlines. It all comes full circle.
Whatever your situation, you’ll make it work.
Maybe you get up with the rising sun to take your child to day care just so you can eat dinner together and see them for more than two hours before bedtime. Maybe you stay up until 2 AM working on a side project because you spent the whole day mommy-ing for little people. But you’ll do it, and you’ll kick ass at it because you’re a mom and you know how to hustle for happiness.
Don’t worry, it’s not forever.
This too is temporary. (See above)
The bits and pieces of silly antics captured on your phone.
The gem snapshot hidden amongst the 100 blurry images taken by a toddler.
Endless nights without sleep night because someone is still afraid of the dark.
Nursing a baby on a conference call.
Making snack for the 3947th time in one day.
Watching the pennies dwindle in your bank account paying outrageous sums of money for childcare.
Discovering your child is learning through notes sent home form the teacher.
It’s all fleeting.
As a mom, life will never feel balanced, calm or serene.
Being any kind of mom, working or not, has it’s ups and downs. The quest for balance is never ending. It’s what makes us wake up in the morning and keeps us going throughout the day. The hope that quiet is just around the corner makes it all worthwhile.
You can always call your own mom to feel better.
She’s wise, she’s been through it already.
Listen to her.
She may have worked while raising you or she may not have worked. Either way, she’s earned the title of Mom and now Grandma, so chances are she knows a thing or two.
Regardless of your current title I hope you remember how special that first job is, that job of just being a Mom with a capital M.
Mom is my first job and it always will be. What I choose to do as a second job will change over time, if I even choose to have a second job. I understand that now, having held the many Working Mom titles, I don’t care what my official title is. I’m ready to embrace all the roles I may have during this lifetime, as long as I remember that at the end of the day, the #1 job of Mom is what matters most.