The Idea of... A Working Mom

Ahhh, the life of a working mom. It's really glamorous. I get to rush from one place to the next... Rushing to get to the office on time to squeeze every moment of productivity out of my day and then rushing to get home so I can squeeze every minute left with my kids from the evening.

Trust me, I'm not complaining. But there is this fantasy that you get to dress nice and someone brings you a latte when you sit down at your desk and then you have lunch at some fabulous place while discussing important things and running into other fantastic people you know... Maybe that's someone's reality - just not mine.

I know I have it good compared to a lot of working moms. And I do love my job, which is something very few people can say. Since having W I've had the flexibility to work from home a couple days each week. I try to keep my calls to within the hours I have a sitter, but sometimes a volunteer or donor calls me back after my sitter leaves and I have no choice but to answer and apologize up front for the screaming children they might hear in the background. Or the clanging of pots as I try to get dinner together while discussing whether a corporate sponsor would be upset if we accept sponsorship from their competitor (we agreed they would).

And, you know how it is... Your kids see you on the phone and decide that is the exact moment they need to talk to you, have you pick them up, are STARVING, etc. etc. etc. I sound really professional as I'm shushing kids while switching on and off mute. 

It's a constant juggling act. How cliche is that? But, it is. I check my email while the kids are happily playing or eating breakfast. I bring work home and do it from my couch after the kids are sleeping for the night. I fill in my days around these two things. It doesn't leave room for a ton of other stuff. And because I'm now part-time I don't have that awesome, reliable sitter who helps make my world go round. So, my kids still like to throw fits every now and then when I leave the house in the morning or hang onto my leg and wipe their yogurt-covered-hands on my just-cleaned-sweater in protest as I try to sneak by them. How's that for glamorous?

This post was inspired by the novel The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson. Allie thought she had the perfect husband, until she finds him and another woman in a compromising position in their own apartment. Join From Left to Write on April we discuss The Idea of Him. Join us for a live chat with Holly on April 3.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


Laura @ the gluten-free treadmill said...

It definitely sounds tough, but I'm in awe of what you do in a day! You're kids are lucky to have you and I'm sure you are providing an amazing example!

Stacy at The Novel Life said...

I remember the days when I was starting a non-profit with a 2, 4 & 5 year old at home. I, too, loved my job, most every second of it. And I would get frantic calls in the evening from volunteers with issues that {to them} were a matter of life and death and would have to try to shush my kids while dealing with the crisis. Now that my children are 18, 20 & 21 each one of them is involved in a non-profit. My son works with a hospice program, middle daughter with battered women's shelter and oldest daughter with Rape Response. I say all that to encourage you in what you're doing. Your children see it and will make you immensely proud in how they internalize your helping nature. . .I daresay they will be the next generation's helpers.

Alicia said...

I'm 55 now and my kids are all grown up but I remember the glam of the mom job all too well...lol. I can't imagine doing it now and keeping up a blog and social networking!

Janin said...

It's been one year since I stopped being a stay at home Mom and my boys and I are -still- adjusting. They were so used to my being here for anything and everything...and now they're learning a bit more self-reliance. Some days I miss it, but others, I have to admit that I'm glad that my boys are pretty independent.

Savvy WorkingGal said...

I just read Debora Spar's book Wonder Woman and had an aha moment when she wrote about those perfume commercials from the 70's. The one where we were going to bring home the bacon and never let you forget you are a man.
All without a hair out of place. I really bought into that ideal and thought my life was going to be like that. Your post is the perfect example of how that isn't the way it is. The premise of Wonder Women is instead of trying to be perfect to just do what we can. And it sounds like that is exactly what you are doing.