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Mom of the Year

Before I write this blog post, I want to say a few things. By its nature, this post is exclusive. It is about one thing and not about other things. But it is not meant to say that one thing is better than another. It's just not about all those things.

All of us who are parents are doing the best we can. I respect and admire those who choose to stay home with their little ones full-time. You're doing hard work, and it's a great thing. 

I see a lot of posts from parents who stay home with their children talking about how they love it and it's the best thing. They can't imagine not doing that. Wonderful! I see posts that get shared that extol staying home full-time with your children. That's great, too. 

But this post is specifically for the mom who works full-time outside the home. I don't see much for those of us who do that, so this is for us. I know "working mom" is a bit of a misnomer since all moms are working moms, but for clarity's sake, that's how I will be referring to moms who work outside the home in this post. 

Now that all that's out of the way, here we go.

Sometimes I feel like an utter failure. Do you?

On the one hand, I worked hard at my degree, at the jobs I worked at during college, and the jobs I've worked at since. I love that I'm using my education and learning more skills, mentoring others, and getting to grow in my career. I love it. I can help provide financially for my family. I don't have to worry so much about leaving the industry and trying to get back in after taking a long leave of absence. (In my field, that would be a BIG deal).

I also love my family. I love them more than anything. More than my career. And if it came down to a choice, I'd choose my family every time. But life is usually not a zero-sum game. You do not usually have to sacrifice one thing completely for another. You can have both.

Sort of.

In a way.

The truth is we will probably not be able to do everything all the time, and it won't look like it does on TV or Instagram. (Case in point) We won't pose in perfect pictures with our families, showing off our new Ralph Lauren outfits that Nordstrom sent us because we're such amazing influencers with thousands of followers who want to be just like us. We probably spilled our coffee on ourselves this morning. We probably smell like baby food (or worse!). Our hair is probably in a ponytail. We are exhausted, and we're doing the best we can. And here's a little tidbit: I apologize a lot. To Jeremy. To my kids. When you're in a hurry, you get short with people and snappy and rude. It's a struggle to remember to be kind.

Here's a sample day in the life of me right now:


  • 6:45 - wake up, feed Bastian, get him ready, (Jeremy getting Alice ready and giving her breakfast). We make everyone's lunches, I (hopefully!) make coffee. We both get ourselves ready. 
  • 7:30 - Jeremy takes kids to daycare/school and then goes to work, I finish getting ready and go to work
  • 8(ish) - We both work
  • 5(ish) - I get off, get the kids, go home
  • 6(ish) - Jeremy gets off, comes home
  • Sometime between 5:30 and 7 - We split duties of cooking, feeding the kids, putting dirty dishes from lunches in the dishwasher, bathing the kids, getting them ready for bed, and enjoying time as a family. This usually involves a lot of making messes and spraying laundry to get baby food stains out of clothes! Also a lot of "Alice, sit on your bottom. Eat your dinner."
  • 7 - Bastian gets bedtime bottle, usually getting the formula all over himself and me in the process. Ha!
  • 7:30 - Bastian goes to bed
  • 8 - Alice gets a story, we pray with her, and she goes to bed (usually there's some Mickey Mouse or Pokemon in there first!). 
  • After that, Jeremy and I get to relax, get lunches ready for the next day, and do whatever until we head to bed. I shower at night now because... yeah that's not happening in the morning. Sorry... ponytails, it is!
  • 3-4am(ish) - Bastian wakes up for another bottle
Why did I post that? Because that's our life. It's real. It isn't a Pinterest-perfect life...

but I love it. 

And while I generally have a rough idea of what we'll eat during the week, usually around 3 or so I'm sitting at my desk wondering what we're making for dinner! Shocker: I do not cook and freeze meals for the week every weekend. That... just doesn't happen. And often, Jeremy or I am making a quick run to Publix because I forgot something that I need for a meal! Or diapers. Can't live without those! And sometimes, we just resort to takeout or pizza because that's the kind of day it is. 

Sometimes one of the kids doesn't get bathed. Sometimes neither one does. 

On days when Jeremy has had to work later or go somewhere and I am doing the evening things alone (which is rare, thankfully!), a ball always gets dropped. Always. Something will not get done because everything *cannot get done. I am so thankful to have a partner to do these things with. Single parents, I salute you. You are amazing. 


Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Is it crazy and overwhelming? Absolutely. I know a lot of you working parents can relate. 

We don't have it all together. We don't have time for all the things. We worry that something will suffer - our sanity, our kids, our work... We have deadlines to meet, but we want to stop and cherish the moments with our kids. We enjoy our work, and we want our kids to see us working and be inspired to know they can do anything! We hope our kids know how much they're loved. We adore the time with them in the evenings and on weekends. But sometimes by Sunday night, we're secretly excited that tomorrow they go back to daycare/school! Please tell me you can relate to that! 


When I had a daughter first, I knew the stakes were high. I knew that I wanted to show her how to be independent and strong and kind and vulnerable. I want her to know that she can do anything! The first time she went to daycare at 8 weeks old, I cried. I thought I would be so excited to go back to work, but it was so hard to let her go. And then, it got easier. And I saw her thriving in her environment and making friends. I saw her pushing herself to do things, from walking (at 8 months!) to "reading" to herself, to going straight for the highest things she can climb. She is fearless. And when I see her doing those things, I don't feel like an utter failure. I feel like maybe... just maybe... I did a few things right. And God will take the mistakes I make (and the ones she will make!) and use them to make her a better person. 

(And I hope the same for Sebastian. He will go so far, and he'll have a big sister to help him, and a fantastic dad as a role model!) 
As I saw my kids thriving and enjoying daycare and school (Alice started K-3 this fall... what?!), I have peace that I'm doing the right thing for our family. I am not a "slave" to my job. I enjoy it. It's ok to enjoy it! And I love my time with my kids. We are not suffering. We're living! 








Comments

  1. laura-i'm tearing up as read this remembering how hard it is to juggle everything with little ones! They will remember the feeling of being loved and feeling secure, not all the details of every day crazy! Keep up the good work-you have a beautiful family!

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