I’m a firm believer that ALL moms are “working moms,” but let me start with a major kudos to those mamas who are workin’ it full time. Mamas who are rocking their careers, managing life at home, and making it look easy (or at least do-able). I know that this exists because I’ve seen it. Mamas who have found their groove are inspiring.
When my son was around 18 months I decided to go back to work full-time. I felt ready and an awesome opportunity fell into my lap. 6 months in, that “groove” was not my reality. I was at a job that was draining. Texts and emails started early in the morning and lasted until late into the evening hours. Work was seeping into the weekends. If my life was a pie, my boss was eating all of it.
I knew that it wasn’t working, and I couldn’t help but feel like a failure. I had plenty of examples around me showing me that I should be able to do this. Hey, moms are strong. Moms can handle anything. I can’t just give up. Moms don’t just give up. But, I’m here to say it’s OK if you can’t handle it all. I couldn’t, so I stopped.
I’ve never had much tolerance for complaining. If you don’t like something, you either deal with it, or change it. This time, I chose to change it. I left my job and took a risk so that I could work from home. It was an instant change in the mood of our family. Normalcy returned, our house was clean(ish), we were eating home cooked meals again, and our 2 year old was thriving. Needless to say, but this mama got her work groove back!
Every day is not sunshine and rainbows but life is too short to be unhappy. Instead of hearing my phone ding with endless emails emails and texts, I hear the sounds of little hands and feet making endless messes. This may not be an improvement to everyone, but for me it brings me joy instead of stress. Not everyone has the option to leave their job tomorrow, or would even want to. For a lot of moms, working makes them better moms. Their careers are fulfilling, and they enjoy going to work every day. I’ve met so many moms that have developed their own version of what work/life balance looks like, whether it be with a flex schedule, combining side hustles, working from home, or all of the above.
If you’re wondering if your work groove is out of whack, ask yourself:
- Do you ever feel a sense of dread when opening a work-related email?
- Are your feelings about work affecting other aspects of your life?
- Do you feel (mostly) passionate about what you’re doing?
- Have others in your life noticed or commented on how work is impacting you?
If any of those answers are yes, it might be time to check in with yourself.
If parenthood has taught me anything, it’s that there is no perfect way to do anything, but there is a perfect way for you. It might take some time to find. I’ve tried staying home full-time, working full-time, working part-time, and working both in and out of the home. Right now, I get to spend a lot time with my kiddo, and financially contribute to our household. The balance feels right and that’s really all I can ask for. I may be changing my tune in a couple of years when I pass into the next phase of parenting. To all of the mamas who are making it work, in whatever way that looks like, I applaud you.
Have you found your work/life balance “groove”?