Motherhood looks different for all of us. I’m not one who believes there is one “right way” to parent. No one method, theory or tactic rears the perfect child. Every mom is different. Every kid is different. And whether you are a stay-at-home mom, full-time working mom, part-time working mom, multiple job working mom, or, like myself, a work-at-home mom (WAHM)…some days are just plain hard.
Every “type” of mom faces different challenges. Because I happen to be a WAHM, I know the unique hardships that face our minority group in trying to juggle being at home with a little one all day as full time mommy AND trying to get in a full days work before collapsing in bed at the end of the day wondering if you did any of it justice.
I think it is often assumed from the outside looking in that WAHMs have it all. They get to have a career they are (hopefully) passionate about, maintain interaction with the outside world and bring home a paycheck…all while spending the whole day at home in their sweatpants interacting with their kiddo(s). Right? Wrong…
Today was not an easy day for this WAHM. Little Bitty didn’t want to be anywhere but in my arms. After a rough morning, I gave up the fight. Before I know it, I will long for these days.
The thing about being a WAHM is that you have to be everything to everyone all the time. There are no “office hours.” You don’t get to walk out the door in the morning and put on your “professional hat,” leaving the beautiful mess of motherhood behind for an 8-hour day. You are simultaneously and perpetually a meeting organizer, tickle monster, lunch maker, strategic planner, book reader, marketing manager, etc., etc., etc. In between answering e-mails and conducting conference calls, you are changing diapers, cleaning up messes and singing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” hoping your little one will buy into the song’s antics. Without fail, your sweet babe will be a perfect angel, self-entertaining and happy as a clam…until the phone rings and it’s someone important. Suddenly, screams disproportionate to the size of your tiny human will echo through the entire house so there is no corner or closet you can hide in to finish the call with dignity. Your brain is in a constant tug-of-war between professional and playmate. I’m telling you…this gig is not for the faint of heart.
Today was a “mommy survival mode” kind of day. At one point, I was pumping, feeding Bitty with one hand and answering e-mails with the other. Because somehow, it all has to get done.
Some days, in the pursuit of “having it all” as WAHMs, we question our sanity for thinking we can balance the businesswoman with the booger wiper. Today was one of those days for me. I was forced to enter mommy survival mode – using any and all tactics to survive until daddy’s 7 o’clock ETA. At which point, my fussy little firecracker transformed into a smiling, cooing, squishy little bundle of happiness. Of course.
So to all my WAHM friends out there – I get it. It’s ok if some days are just about survival. Because the sun will come up on a new day. And before we know it, our babies won’t need us like they do today. And we’ll long for the chaos of playing peek-a-boo while proofreading.
WAHM with Grace,