A few years ago, I got a call from my daughter’s daycare that she had fallen and hurt her lip. “You don’t need to come get her. She’s fine. We just wanted you to know.” Good, I thought. I shall NOT raise little snowflake babies! No sooner had that thought entered my mind than I was in my car pointed right toward my own little swollen-lipped snowflake.
I venture to say each working mom reading this has had a similar experience. On one hand, we relish the opportunity to roar while at jobs where we feel like competent, fulfilled contributors to society and our families. On the other, we are still moms with our hearts beating outside our chests, leaving our little mini-me’s in the care of others.
It’s dangerously easy to sink into the working mom guilt rabbit hole. When you find yourself going there, consider how:
It benefits your household
Does your paycheck provide for date nights, beach trips and the ability to save for a rainy day? Financial flexibility is a huge perk of a two-salary household. Sure it’s stressful getting yourself and your kids out the door each morning, but I know a lot of stressed out stay-at-home-moms who feel guilty about things too.
It benefits your child
While The Source seeks to empower our generation of working women, it’s an added fringe benefit for the next generation to see. The lifestyle brand, Motherly, says: “you are providing the means to create a childhood where little girls grow up to achieve their dreams and little boys see their moms and sisters and aunts and future daughters as equals.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.
It benefits you
“All the honeys, who making money/Throw your hands up at me/All the mommas, who profit dollars/Throw your hands up at me!” Who is going to argue with Beyonce? Not I. Having your own money and your own place to put it (I happen to know a banker or two…) fosters a sense of independence in spending. You like Starbucks every morning? Get it! You work for it. Also, when I was out on maternity leave, I missed the interaction and critical thinking. Conversations with adults not related to me lifted the fog I under which didn’t realize I was living. Working outside the home clears the cobwebs in your brain, and that’s something we all need!
No matter where your guilt stems from, you’re not alone. Serena Williams recently admitted she cried after missing her baby Alexis’ first steps because she was training. Some of us work because we choose to; some of us work because we need to. Something we can choose is how we focus our time – on work while at the office and on our families while at home. No mom is a master at this, but since when is that a requirement? Let’s embrace the multi-tasking example we set and show our kids how to be present wherever we are.
Working moms, you’re doing a great job. Your kids love you and admire you, and they’ll turn out great.
Mary Straton Smith, Director of The Source