Welcome to the latest #TakeOverTuesday blog post! This week’s post is from Lexie, a working mom who loves spending time with her family, coffee, yoga, pilates, wine, and making lists. Her work as a professional stage manager taught her to manage anything – objects, people, time, money, you name it. A stage manager is always responsible for “calling the show,” and these skills are often extremely helpful when handling the curveballs that parenthood throws your way. Part of the fun of both live performance and parenting is that you never know what could go wrong!
By: Lexie @mommyhomemanager
Before I had my son, I had a vision of the kind of mom that I would be – the career mom who was able to do it all and make it look easy, the kind of mom that had it all together all the time, with systems and checklists at work and at home. I knew that I loved my career and I was going to love being a parent, so the two should come together just fine. In reality, I quickly learned that none of us are able to be that mom. There is just no way to do everything that we want to do both at home and at work, and that’s ok! The hard part is the jealousy that come along with the things that I am missing out on.
When I am at work, my little guy is with someone else doing the things that I would much rather be doing than sitting at a desk. This can be particularly hard for me because my husband works less weekdays than I do. He has more days to spend home alone with our son, and I envy that alone time. I wish I also had more of those down days to just be together and get stuff done around the house. On the days that we both work, Peanut goes to an in-home daycare. He is being loved by another family, and I love that he is so well taken care of. It is still hard to know that someone else has the time that I want to have with my baby.
There are some things that we all can do to help relieve the working parent jealousy. Here are just a few suggestions:
- Enjoy the time you have together
When you are at home, make time that is just for your child or your family. Put down the phone, turn off the outside world, let the chores go undone, and just be together. If you are anything like me, you will spend all day wishing that you were with your child and then go home to find yourself ignoring him to cook, clean, and check things off the to-do list. Yes, I prefer his company while I do these things, but this can’t replace our quality time. My house can stay a little messy if it means time for giggles and belly kisses.
- Plan your check-ins
Instead of wondering what your child is up to all day or having your work be interrupted by cute pictures, plan some check in times. Send a text home or to daycare while you are on a coffee break. Request a picture or ask how their day is going. It’s ok to miss your little one – it’s not ok for it to distract you from your own activities.
- Remind yourself of how hard it is to take care of your child
This one sounds funny and super negative, but it works! Being home all day with a child is a whole different brand of work. It is exhausting dealing with diaper changes, feedings, cleaning up after yourselves, entertainment, and chasing a little one around. Don’t let yourself romanticise what it is like to be at home. If you are picturing sitting on a couch snuggling all day instead of going to work, of course you aren’t going to want to be there! Remember the reality and enjoy the ability to go to the bathroom on your own.
- Plan special activities when you can all be involved
Your spouse or the babysitter may get more of the day to day, but include yourself in the family fun. Plan a trip to the zoo, a walk in the park, baking cookies, or any fun activity for when you will be home. Make memories that your child will remember better than the day-to-day moments while you are away.
- Remind yourself of the example that you are setting
You are showing your child what a hard-working adult looks like. He or she will remember that you went to work for your family everyday, and follow your example. Yes it’s hard at times, but your child will grow up understanding that if you want to be well taken care of, you have to work for it. You are teaching work ethic from the beginning.
In the end, yes being a working mom can suck sometimes. It hard and it is tiring, but remember why you do it. We all have different motivations for returning to our career after baby. Some women love their job, some women love to get out of the house, some women just need the income. Whatever your reason is, your child will appreciate your sacrifice and appreciate their hard working mommy.