Good morning, dear. Happy Monday! Why do you work? Is it because you, like me, have to? I married a wonderful, but poor, preacher’s son, and my own parents were from farmers and one generation from immigrants-with-nothing. So I work because there is no trust fund and the mortgage must be paid. And daycare. And groceries. And shoes, always new shoes.
When this double life (I’m a mom! I’m a worker!) gets particularly nuts, I can find myself resenting my work. Wishing I could stay home and just take the kids for a picnic in the park. (*sigh* Doesn’t that sound lovely?) But here’s what I’ve learned: no one gets an easy life. No one. Because life is not easy. Whether you’re the working mom wishing she had more time with her kids, or the stay-at-home mom wishing she had more recognition from other grown-ups, there is no “easy” here.
But there is good.
So, yes, you run through the airport, looking like a fool, and drive like a maniac straight to the ballpark where you walk up the bleachers in bare feet, carrying the heels. But when you see your son tag the guy out at home – there’s nothing like it. All the hassle and stress magically don’t matter any more.
And yes, you get up at oh-dark-hundred to go for a run so you can please-God stay fit. And you plan out your business day around the need to be at school for the third grade “play” at 2 o’clock, wondering if you should just take the half-day off or if a stolen thirty minutes of “Little Red Riding Hood” qualifies as lunch maybe? And then your daughter steals the show as a hilarious granny and you laugh and wonder where she got her courage and you’re grateful she has it. And it’s so good.
And the work successes. And the 401K. And the knowledge that if, God-forbid, anything happened, you have a skill set that can keep you and the kiddos in the house.
These lives, Mamma, this working-mommy thing, it’s a mess. We can feel torn and stressed and like we don’t work enough and we don’t mommy enough and oh, husband, please be patient with me, I love you and we will have a date night soon!
But. There is beauty here too. Beauty and strength and courage and don’t you forget it.
No one gets an easy life. There is no easy. But there is beautiful.
See the beauty, Mamma. Give yourself credit for what you are doing well. Allow yourself to enjoy your work. Tell your kids about it, let them know what you do well outside the home. And allow yourself to value your family. Don’t pretend you’re not a mom. Life is way too short and way too precious to live under the fear of someone else’s opinion. To the best of your ability and opportunities, live life according to your rules and your values.
You go, girl. Monday it up.