By Julie Borm of Everyday Happiness
People have good intentions. At least I like to think so. But sometimes, when trying to find common ground, or just without realizing it, people can say things to working moms that aren’t what we want to hear.
Like all moms, our worlds are freakin’ busy. And we’re doing whatever we can to balance our families and career. So when we hear these things, our minds do all kinds of spinning:
1. We offer classes for toddlers at 2 and 4 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Seriously, you can’t schedule ONE Saturday class? I’d love to spend my weekends with my son doing something interesting and engaging, but all the wonderful programs for toddlers always seem to happen during the weekday. Bummer! (Note: Since this happened, I have found several programs in my area offering weekend classes. Hallelujah!)
2. I could never leave my baby all day with someone else.
Ugh, I hear ya. I hate leaving mine, too. I think every mom thinks about her baby all day long, even when he or she is napping. We all want to be with our babies 24/7 (well, almost), and we all have other adult priorities to balance, whether it’s work, a house project, or paying our bills. Just because a mom leaves her child with a care provider doesn’t mean she enjoys leaving her child.
3. These years go so fast; you should make the most of every single second.
It’s so true – time is already going so fast, and I try to enjoy every second with Shepard. Every little thing he does makes me smile! But I have to admit, it’s hard to enjoy every single second. Sometimes Shep’s a real stinker, and other times I’m just plain tired and want to zone out in front of my TV watching Orange is the New Black. That means I’m making the most of about 99% percent of those moments, and the other 1%, I’m taking a deep breath.
4. Couldn’t you just work part-time so you could get the best of both worlds?
Working part-time is a wonderful option for some working moms. For others, like me, it isn’t an option and would mean a serious setback to where I’ve gotten in my career.
5. Do you have to work?
Isn’t this an interesting question. Would we also ask all working moms what their net family income is? I’m not sure why this matters, and I’m pretty sure we’d never ask a man the same question. I know lots of moms who have to work, and many who don’t. If we think all moms who don’t have to work shouldn’t, then we’d be out of a lot of very powerful, successful women in our corporations, government, schools, and hospitals.
6. Do you get jealous of your nanny?
I’ve read that it’s common for women to feel resentful toward their childcare providers. In my case, I’m so thankful for having a loving, caring, and inspiring woman who watches our child, who comes up with interesting crafts and learning activities, and who sends us pictures and videos all day long. It’s difficult to be jealous of someone whom we trust, admire, and count on. Childcare providers and moms have very different roles, and I know when Shep runs to me when I walk in the door, he’s thrilled to see Mommy. And he’s also had a blast all day with Sara!
7. Your mom stayed home with you; why don’t you do the same for your son?
Believe it or not, my mom stayed home with four children under four, and she’s the biggest advocate for me to pursue a career. She put her children first and gave us a magical childhood. But I think part of her wants us to be able to do something she didn’t – and because of that, she’s inspired us to strive for long-term career success. I know that if any of my sisters or I chose to stay home with our children one day, she’d support that too.
8. How do you do it?
I definitely am not doing anything miraculous any other mom isn’t also doing. We wake up, feed our children, do our best in our careers, soak up the time with them after work, then take care of the house, squeeze in some husband time, and do it all again. We all try to do the best we can every single day, at home, at work, and with our families. Some days I feel like I’m nailing it, and other days I’m a big fat failure. But I’m trying every single day to do the best I can, just like you are!
People may mean well, but sometimes, their comments sting. The best way to spark conversation with a working mom? Tell her she’s doing a great job. Everybody — working or not — loves that.
This post was originally published on Everyday Happiness.
About Julie Borm
As a new mother, Julie combines her love of writing and the adventures of parenthood on her blog, Everyday Happiness. Julie enjoys spending time with her husband, Clint, their son, an adventurous one-year-old named Shepard, and their dog Cooper. Stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.