Open Letter To A Working Mom
Let's start from the beginning.. Isn't it amazing how in all the years while you were growing up, all of the years through high school and college, when people asked "What do you want to be when you grow up? What are you going to school for?" you never once said, "A Stay At Home Mom." Even more, I bet you also never replied, "A Working Mom."
The new reality
You went to school, met some friends, made it through high school, managed to turn into enough of an adult to survive college. Somewhere along the way you met a guy and by the grace of God found a job. Then this tiny little miracle came along. Of course you had thought about kids before; you have had long talks about kids, how many you would have, what their names would be. You imagined if your daughter would be in dance or play soccer. You imagined your handsome little man looking just like his daddy. Then suddenly all of that dreaming becomes a reality and it's everything that you always thought it would be and more.
That reality is also a lot of things you never imagined it would be. The sleepless nights are long, the early mornings come quick, the feeding schedule is chaos. But it is something you would never, ever give up. Being a mom is something you fall into naturally and yet you have to adapt to all at the same time. You start to enjoy this new routine, this new schedule you and your little one have fallen into. But those two to three months at home pass by in the blink of an eye. Now you are returning to work. Now you are returning to a schedule where everything is the same, yet nothing is the same. Now you are returning as a working mom.
The new normal
Those sleepless nights are suddenly even shorter as those early mornings come even earlier. A whole new level of chaos has been thrown into your finally established feeding schedule. Instead of enjoying an early morning with a cup of coffee and your squishy babe, you're suddenly scrambling to pack lunches, find the diaper bag, and gently wake your little one so you can whisk them off to the sitter before you find your own way into work. You have been thrown into a "new normal." Those first few weeks are the hardest. While it never gets easier, you get better. You learn to adapt - you develop a new schedule, a new routine.
The perfect mom
The truth is, being a mom in general isn't easy. It is amazing and wonderful and so incredibly hard all at the same time. What is important is that you are doing the best you can. So you served peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner last night, everyone is still alive, right? Whether you work 9-5, 7-7 or whether you work from home during early mornings, nap time and late nights, what matters is that you come home happy. There will be some days that are perfectly easy and some days that are incredibly hard. There will be some weeks when the house is clean and sparkling before the sun sets on Friday, and other weeks when Monday morning is right around the corner and you feel like you managed to accomplish nothing all weekend. Some days you will wish with all of your might you were at home, other days you gladly escape to work for a short break with adults and civilization away from your world of little people.
Either way, the years will pass quickly. What matters during it all is that you are happy. What matters is that you walk through your door each evening with a smile on your face and the satisfaction in your heart that you are doing the best you can do. Working mom or stay-at-home mom. You are super mom. You are setting an example and paving a road worth following. Those little ones are always watching, always learning and they are better for the hard work you put in. They are going to turn out just fine. Whether you're at work or at home, you are their mom. When you are at work, be at work. You were a person before you were a mom. You worked hard to get where you are. Keep reaching those goals. When you are at home, be at home. Have fun, relax, smile and live. You can live a life you are proud of. You are their mom, the perfect mom.
XO - Jen