Dear Working Mom: I See You

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Dear Working Mom,

Remember what is was like to have a career without kids?

Ha ha, me neither. *rubs temples

I wish I could say we’re #TooBlessedToBeStressed, but goodness, there is so.much.stress.

Why?

Because we’re simultaneously greasing the wheels of the world and raising warriors within the walls of our homes.

Yet, to this day, women are often expected to work like we don’t have children, and raise children as if we don’t work.

And, while I feel fortunate to work in an environment where I feel seen and supported, I know that’s not necessarily the experience you might share.

Being a working mom is like having two full-time jobs, which drains you of energy but gasses you up on Mom Guilt.

Speaking of Mom Guilt, I see you missing out on school plays, award ceremonies, field trips and class parties.

I’ll never forget relying on my sister to send me the video of my daughter’s pre-k graduation because I couldn’t attend.

These missed-moments are often the hardest.

When others don’t see your silent struggle, I do.

I know you were in the fight of your life this morning, coaxing sleep-drunk littles awake, packing lunch pails, filling out forms, and chauffeuring children to school.

I’m painfully aware that you low-key lost your salvation on the drive to work, because rush hour affords a special kind of fury.

You looked so polished today, but I know you secretly spilled coffee on your blouse during the hustle from the house.

I also see you counting calories in an effort to lose the baby weight, so you can fit into your old suits again.

I understand having to step away and take calls from teachers, as well as the struggle of leaving late to pick up kiddos, and running in heels in between.

I see you successfully being “on” all day, despite being up all night with a sick son…

Choosing a drive-thru because you’re too tired to cook and clean the subsequent mess…

Powering through 6th-grade homework with a headache.

New mamas, I see you battling the balance of breastfeeding, and I can’t help but recall when I was a new mom, too.

I had to pump on public toilets because our male-owned office didn’t facilitate such a thing. This level of discomfort and embarrassment influenced me to dry up early and turn to formula with my first child, something more common than people consider.

Pregnant mamas, I see you working through morning sickness and exhaustion, and I remember that too…leaving meetings to throw up and then return as if nothing happened.

Charades like these are the hallmark of working mothers – smiles on the outside and 37 mental tabs open on the inside.

With every closed tab, two more pop up.

And you’re tired.

You’re overwhelmed.

But you’re amazing.

So work it, mom.

Your journey may be the least seen, but it’s the most powerful.

Because people forget that, when turned around, an apron can be a cape, too.

XOXO,

Meredith

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