Working moms are some of the most compassionate, helpful and non-judgemental people. They are doing their best, but barely keeping their head above water, so they know how important it is to give grace. And lots of it.
We each have different talents, personalities and skills. Some women are called to give their talents inside the home, and some are called to give theirs both inside and outside the home. Some work out of financial necessity. All are valid reasons in which there should be no judgement.
Still, working outside the home is harder than it should be because:
Society gives women conflicting expectations once they become mothers.
We are told to invest in an education and develop skills that will be lucrative when we get into the workforce. Once we are in the workforce, we are expected to have a strong work ethic and quickly establish a career path.
Once we have a child, however, the expectation is immediately different. We are told to put our wants and desires aside for the baby, and give 100% of ourselves to being a mom. Of course we do this; we love our child more than anything in the world. But after a while, we lose ourselves and feel ashamed to even talk about it. What everyone needs to know is that even after having a child, our core identity is still the same. We still have personal goals. We are still ambitious. We are just trying to figure out how it all fits together. And we need encouragement in that decision-making process.
The traditional workplace model isn’t working.
We have technology that connects us 24/7. The days of physically being “in a seat” at the office are changing. There should be more employers that offer part-time or work-from-home jobs, as well as offer flexible hours. Once this begins to take off, companies will regain the enormous talent base they’ve lost.
Also, working moms need managers who understand we are juggling two full-time jobs. We may need to take a two-hour lunch to run errands, but we will make up for it. We might not have every detail of a project committed to memory, but we have it written down. We would like to take on additional responsibilities (because we know we would slay them), but sometimes we have to refrain because we know quality is better than quantity.
We are doing everything we can to maximize our time at work while also arranging childcare, appointments, school events, field trips and more. We miss a lot due to work. We only ask for your understanding.
Pressure from our peers and the generations of moms before us.
It is a struggle to get from point A to point B for working moms. We often cannot make class parties or make cute lunches for our kids every day, although we would love to. We need scheduling flexibility from the schools and from other parents. We can drop off party supplies before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m. We can make PTA meetings if they're at night and not during the day. We can do Saturdays. But we cannot do Tuesdays at 10 a.m.
The generations of moms before us often pass along the guilt they received from their own mothers for working outside the home. Our mothers had it worse than we did. Remember the working girl boom of the 80’s? Can you imagine the conversations with their moms?
This could either be self-imposed or a manifestation of all the above. Either way, it's up to us to cut ourselves some slack. No one else is going to do it for us. Try to turn down the volume of guilt and start choosing joy instead. Believe in yourself and be content with what you are doing. Our kids deserve happy moms.
I consider myself fortunate that I can personally manage my three kids' schedules full-time, take them to all appointments, playdates, and pick them up from school. Many would love to do this, but do not have that option.
Let's be kinder to working moms, extend flexibility when possible, and grace always.
This article originally appeared on Best Kind of Life Blog.
Hi, I’m Carli! Wife to Chris and mama to Baylor, 7, Loxley, 5, and Wells, 1. I’m a former working mom turned stay-at-home mom and live in Birmingham, AL. I'm the author behind Best Kind of Life Blog, a lifestyle and motherhood blog that focuses on family, fashion and home. As a busy mom, I'm always thinking of ideas that will make life easier and more enjoyable. I show our real life, as it happens, and focus on the beauty in each day.