Being A Working Mother Is Impossible
Updated: Mar 11, 2021
I've lived with the guilt of feeling like a failure as a mother for months, hiding away my life like some shameful secret.
When you’re a working mom in the middle of a pandemic, you’re always juggling at least 3 balls MINIMUM and it’s IMPOSSIBLE to keep them all in the air.
(We’re not even gonna focus on the other balls of "marriage" and "me time" because there IS no time.)
You are constantly trying to play catch up. You are constantly trying to not drop balls. And yet you realize…those balls are hitting the floor despite your best efforts. I’m here to tell you that it’s NOT YOUR FAULT.
The thing is, no one talks about this publicly because of the shame. I have felt SO much shame over not having it all together. The shame that you’re a bad mom and you’re not like all the other moms who seem to have their stuff together. This even came up in THERAPY for me - why do these other moms all have their hair and makeup done and have time for the gym and Starbucks and cute pics with their kids while I still have my dang Christmas decorations up?
But in the hushed tones that come between secret confessions between friends…I learned a close mom friend I really looked up to was going through the EXACT SAME THING. I was FLOORED.
And then I shared some of my struggles on Instagram and the outpouring of SAME and THANK YOU took me by surprise.
Wait, wait, wait. So I’m not the only one struggling? I’m not the only one feeling less than or not good enough because I couldn’t keep up? I’m not the only one not understanding how I LITERALLY WORK FROM 5:30AM - 10PM and my house still looks like a disaster zone?!
Are you telling me…THIS IS NORMAL?
So now I refuse to feel bad about it anymore or be MADE to feel bad about it anymore. While those moms on Insta who make the cute snacks in fun kid-friendly shapes for her kids…exist, it feels like that’s all you see and that everyone is doing that. And if everyone is doing that...where does that leave you? Falling far, far behind your peers.
But here's what you don't see online. If she’s a working mom, she probably has help (and there is NO SHAME in help at ALL! I envy those moms - but it’s not always possible for all of us!)
So, I wanna drop the veil. THIS IS THE REALITY.
I got the dishes out of the sink first time in months but I had to work all weekend to do it. And then my garbage disposal broke and we couldn’t use the dishwasher and now they’re all dirty again.
My laundry overflowing despite me doing 2-3 loads a day and me always wearing the same 5 outfits.
The trash cans have been sitting out in driveway all week because I don’t have time to grab them.
Cardboard boxes from deliveries are piling up because I don’t have time to take them to the recycling center.
There are kid’s toys in the couch cushions - it’s a permanent state. They live there now.
The junk drawer has become the dining room table.
So WTF am I doing with my time?! STAYING AFLOAT. Handling the CONSTANT problems when they come out of nowhere nonstop. Doing my job. Cooking for my family. Playing one-on-one with my kiddo so she gets good engagement during the day. Looking after our dogs. Doing all the million little tasks and things that make up being a mom that no one ever thinks about because we silently just HANDLE it. They are SO routine to us that we don’t think about it, but those tasks take up time, my friends.
So no more feeling ashamed because working moms - we are busting our asses for our families, even sacrificing time for ourselves to do it.
So whenever you’re down, remember that this is the actual reality of our lives:
There are only so many hours in the day.
You are doing your best.
Your kids are happy, healthy, and well-cared for.
YOUR JOB IS GETTING DONE.
Some non-parent people might be reading this and thinking “well, the end of the pandemic is in sight. It’s almost over, you guys!”
But here’s the thing: for moms….it’s never over. The juggling never stops. And it’s time to drop the veil and be REAL about everything we’re carrying on our backs, from the small tasks to running the household to the emotional labor. Our mental load matches our career work load matches our at home work load and it is borderline IMPOSSIBLE, and yet we expect ourselves to be able to do it all, and societal expectations don't make it any easier.
So it's time we shed some light on the reality and come together to change the narrative.
I see you, mama. And I’m there with you.