working mom

It’s nearly indescribable to define what it takes to be a working mom. The level of multitasking is insane. Not only when you’re with your child/children but when you’re in the office you’ve still got to have that vibe with them so it’s not lost. It’s like keep isometric energetic tabs on your child from miles away. Because the worst fear is to work days in a row and only see your child for an hour before bedtime and you lose that energy. You can tell in an instant.

I bet a lot of people roll their eyes when they hear someone start to talk about the challenges of being a working mom. My response is…I KEEP OTHER HUMANS ALIVE, do you? Whether you live with your partner/other parent or not, you have so much responsibility as a mom. Oh then don’t lose your job on top of that. In my situation I live in our house with my husband and son. My husband and I both work full time. I am so grateful to say I can work from home 2 days a week. But working from home and taking care of a child is not easy. Especially a 1 year old child who’s learning to crawl, walk and eat solid food.

We’re under appreciated. Why is someone else’s job more important than ours? My husband and I make almost the same amount in salary (me a little less, but he’s 6 years older than I am and further along in his career). But it always comes out that his job is looked at as more important than mine. My job takes a lot of intelligence and analytical skill. My husband’s job takes a lot of knowledge, experience, chef skills, motivation and physical work. They’re just different. One is not better than the other.

We’ve recently started leaving for work at the same time in the morning. My husband goes, “Are you working today?”, like he jokingly does often. It’s Thursday. Yes, hunny, I work Monday through Friday 8-4 and occasionally a couple of hours on the weekend or early morning if there are events I have to monitor via laptop. Using my laptop and sitting down for work does NOT MEAN I AM NOT WORKING! I am working. Working from home does NOT MEAN I AM NOT WORKING. Sometimes it’s slow and there is downtime because I’m a support person but when it comes time to complete a task it’s complicated and specialized. This is the disconnect with those who don’t understand and I’m over here trying to defend myself for no good GD reason.

You don’t always get the luxury of choosing the exact path you want in life. I’ll keep returning to my situation for a good example of what I’m trying to say. I had no IT experience prior to my first job out of undergrad in 2008 aside from Facebook, Blackboard and Microsoft Word. I worked full time as Admin in IT while I went to grad school for Anthropology. I paid everything on my own. I mean, I’m still in student loan debt but that’s a known fact. I took the opportunity to get involved in any project I could. After 3 years became an IT Financial Analyst. Then was so discouraged about hating the job and work environment for the past 4 years I left and became a yoga instructor because my well being depended on it. But I always go back to corporate IT. Now I’m writing scripts and working with databases, although still completely novice. This experience is awful. I don’t want to sit at a desk for work. Frankly, I don’t care for technology all that much. So skeptics that compel me to defend myself about my job and how easy and convenient it is can sip on that for a few and try to grasp the reality of what it takes to continue to do whatever it takes to get by in life. I could give up but I don’t.

I could give up but I don’t. My son needs me. But my son also needs me to provide for him. I want him to be able to get closer to picking a career and lifestyle that he wants not one that he doesn’t like and has to fight for despite his strong, strong dislike.

That’s the career portion. The postnatal portion. You won’t understand unless you’ve experienced it. It’s been 11 months and I can finally wear normal dress pants to work. Still a size too big but feels good! Pregnancy can be traumatic and postnatal can eradicate your hormones. Your hormones can effect your mood, your outlook on life, trigger depression and body image disorders, and make you physically feel yucky especially after a c-section. It took me 4 months after my c-section to be able to exercise/move freely. I had to lift my 15-20 pound baby with a relatively fresh incision across my pelvis AND returned to work after only 2 months postnatal. I’m sure many can relate in their own way. And you skeptics say that a physically demanding job ranks higher on the my-job-is-more-important scale.

Oh so this is a feminist rant and she’s angry. No, I’m discussing a real situation in a factual manner based on my subjective experience to point out that working moms should not be underestimated. Everyone has their thing. Everyone has experiences that they can share as an example to what they’re trying to say. The issue that arises is the judgement that other humans reading have. Yes, you may have had a worse experience. No, I’m not complaining. No, I’m not taking my good life for granted. BUT YES, I work hard for it.

Take the right action to do no harm to others. Lead your actions with compassion rather than hate. Be present and don’t dwell on past or future worries. Repeat.

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