Dear Working Mom

Dear Working Mom,

I’m proud of you. Back at it and it’s like you never left.  Same commute, colleagues and clients.  While many things haven’t changed, you know very well that you’ve changed.  For you, being a mom remains priority and working mom comes second.  In that first week, the working mom gig definitely had its perks.  Wearing heels, drinking hot coffee, engaging in adult conversation and your all-time favourite, not having to share your lunch.

However, as time went on, working mom became priority, but really the business was priority and you adjusted. Things at home were changing too. You were always the “go-to person” and the “expert” as the stay at home mom. Suddenly, that vanished and your opinion became secondary at times.

Luckily, hubby has a flexible schedule working from home 90% of the time. So, dealing with drop offs and pickups at daycare and the library wasn’t impacting you.  But it did, because at times you’d lose track of time and you’d be coming home after dinner and you’d walk into the house feeling like an asshole.  So, the next night out of guilt, you’d try to make up for it by leaving on time to come home, make dinner and somehow someone told the kids that they could eat cereal instead.  You bit your tongue, smiled and instead asked your kids how their day went.  Because you know that you couldn’t be an asshole two days in a row.

You regretted the decision to go back full time because you really missed the boys. Rushing home after work to eat dinner, to play a bit and to get them ready for bed really sucked.

But as the weeks turned into months, your whole family adjusted and fell into a rhythm. A village was in place to help care for the boys.  You found the right balance of projects professionally and still juggled to get “me” time in.

Did you feel guilty at times? Yes! Did you feel fulfilled at times?  Yes!  But when you spoke to other working moms, they assured you that these feelings were normal and that it was okay to feel both guilty and fulfilled.

Remember, I’m proud of you. You’re approaching one year of being back as a “working mom”. You work with a great team in an industry that falls in line with your values.  And, you’re working harder now than you had ever worked in your life.  You work harder to ensure that your boys remain priority even if that means getting to work late because of extra cuddles, sleep deprivation because you’re up late keeping up with the job or not cancelling the mommy and me date because you’re hella tired.

Shine2

 

Dear Stay-At-Home-Mom

Dear Stay at Home Mom (SAHM),

I’m proud of you. I know the arrangement to care for Maxwell and Brandon wasn’t ideal, but you put your all into it. And yes, I know you didn’t want to put the boys in part-time daycare because of costs, but it did bring you relief right?  Come on, just admit it.  Okay, maybe a little bit of relief?  You managed to enjoy a hot latte, read a book or squeeze in a possible workout, if lucky.  BUT, really you used those two days in the work week to clean the house, do laundry, grocery shop and prep meals to last throughout the week.

Oh yes, and your summer 2016 was amazing. Parks, picnics, day trips and play dates were on the regular and you got yourself a nice tan.  Taking the boys out on your own to fancy coffee shops was fun and you became surprisingly confident as a mother.  Even when your boys became a hot mess, you didn’t let it get to you.  You’re a paying customer and no one was going to stop you from enjoying that last sip of your latte (even if it was cold).  But it wasn’t always a walk in the park, was it?  You were solo parenting quite a bit and being a 24/7 mom was beating you down. It did put a “strain” on your marriage, or as your husband would describe, “it was challenging” because strain was too strong of a word.

Oh yes, and then there was the turning point, when September came around. Shorter days and longer nights.  While all families on your street were getting back into the school routine, those parks, picnics, day trips and play dates quickly faded.  Just like your tan. Hanging out at the mall was not your thing, your boys were beginning to fight more frequently and you were not living up to your name “Sunshine”.

All the working moms were telling you how lucky you were to be in a position to stay at home. And you nodded your head agreeing, but didn’t always feel so lucky.

But remember, I am proud of you. While this letter to you and your readers may come across as whiney or negative, it was your reality as it is for many stay at home moms who don’t feel appreciated and then begin to feel resentment. I know you adore your boys and that they’ve enriched your life. You take pride in knowing that you are grooming them to be young gentlemen, compassionate, curious and loving. You have a huge amount of respect for your husband, who holds the same values as you and you fall deeper in love with him when you watch him care for your boys.  And I know you count your blessings every day and you’ve told me that it’s a privilege to be in a position to be able to stay at home and raise them.  Because you know, that not every mother gets that privilege and you are incredibly thankful for that.

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