I often struggle with being a working mom. The balancing act is one you simply cannot describe unless you are living it. A working mom’s life can be described as, “living in a constant state of rush.” I rush to get ready in the morning so I can find some time to play with the boys. I rush through my work day so I can pick up the boys to get home and play with them. I rush to get dinner going and get them fed. Once dinner is done, it rarely leaves us time to play or go for a walk. Then we rush through bath, stories and bedtime. Although the latter part is when the day starts to feel less hectic and we can all enjoy the little things like splashing in the tub, reading favorite books and cuddling to sleep.
If we try to throw in a stop at the grocery store or an errand in, the daily “rush” amplifies. Errands are left for the weekend.
Growing up I always thought I would be a stay at home mom. I was a nanny and loved children more than anything. They brought me joy and reminded me not to take anything for granted; everything they experienced was met with a “WOW!” or “OOOH!” Sometimes we, as adults, need those reminders of just how amazing this life is.
Then I started the working world. After switching from Sales to Recruiting, I thought I found my niche. I quickly tired of the petty drama and fierce competition I experienced between women in HR. This led me to my next opportunity, Project Management. I fell in love. All of a sudden I saw my career being a never ending, daily challenge but in the best way possible. I LOVED going to work every day. I worked however many hours it took to get the job done and never complained. My interest in being at home began to change.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was thrilled for my husband and I! At the same time, I was fearful for my career. I knew I would not be able to put the same amount of countless hours into it. I had committed to something bigger, more important: being a mom. However, I knew I was not the “stay at home mom” material. My parents were often disappointed by that. They could not understand why I wouldn’t want to be home with my child. “How can you let someone else raise him?” I had to remind them that today’s family is very different than yesterday’s. And they raised a strong woman who enjoys her independence. But in the back of my mind, I had my doubts.
When Louin finally came I found the love of my life. I would (and still do) stare at him for hours. He is my everything. Somehow when Liam was born I was able to love him just as much, which I was nervous would be hard! It is incredible how the heart expands daily. But I struggled to find a purpose in the cycle of feed, burp, nap, repeat. I, personally, needed more. I took work calls on maternity leave (not many) and even went into the office a few times. I needed adult interaction. I missed making decisions. I missed being challenged. So much so, that I went back to work early from maternity leave because of these obstacles.
But work would never be the same. I would never again not be thinking of the boys. What are they doing? Are they happy? What made them laugh? Who are they playing with? What milestone did I miss?
I could not, and still cannot, imagine being home full time. But this constant state of rush is simply overwhelming. The constant feeling of “missing something” is overwhelming. It must get easier at some point… but then again, does it?
I guess my point is: being a working mom is a constant pull on your heart strings.