I went back to work for the last three months! It is so great to be able to feel like I am contributing to the household and for most of us, it is definitely something that we have to do to keep our homes and families afloat. Gone are the days of the middle-class family only having one parent in the workforce. We need two parents working in order to live comfortably. There are some great things about working, new friends, time to yourself, focusing on something other than your family, and your chores. Nonetheless, there are still some things that are super hard for me. Work brings on a whole new world of stress and vulnerability. It is hard to balance work life and mom life.
Why does it feel so good to work?
Who doesn’t feel a little better contributing to their household in a monetary way? It’s nice to be bringing home an extra paycheck before baby #3 comes home! I love being able to feel like I am contributing and feeling like we don’t have to struggle to get things that we need. It’s also nice to not HAVE to pinch every penny. Even though I love being thrifty and frugal.
The new people and connections that you can make through a new job feel AMAZING! Most mamas know the monotony of having only small humans to talk to, all day every day. Most of our spouses fall under that category as well. So getting to hang out with adults all day can be super fun! There is nothing better than finding a new work BFF. Even if your lives are completely different it is so great to feel like you have someone to connect with.
One of the other great things about working is driving by yourself. I missed being able to play MY music as loud as I want with no one requesting every child’s song on YouTube. I love being able to check my rear view mirror and not have to tell people to keep there hands to themselves. The other part that is GREAT is being able to drive in complete silence. I love unwinding and just driving home. Even though my commute is only 15 minutes it is the best 15 minutes of my day.
Why can it feel so hard to work?
Learning how to socialize with adults again can be a journey, it’s hard going from wiping booties and noses to shaking hands. My simple potty humor only effects an elite few. (The real MVP’s) It is different to feel to adjust to someone telling you how to do your job, and what’s worse is having it be okay for them to tell you what you are doing wrong. In the mommy world if someone gives you some advice you feel is shitty you wipe it off your shoe and move on without a care. Your co-worker tells you, you need to do something a different way you can’t blow them off shrug and continue. You actually have to take their advice and adjust to the way they want you to do things.
The other thing about working that is extremely hard is scheduling! If you do not have a solid work schedule how are you expected to be able to find care for your children while you work! The worst part is having a job where they don’t tell you that they are changing your schedule before they actually change it. It makes it extremely hard to find a sitter or family member last minute that can cart your children where they need to go and make sure they are being fed and taken care of. It’s so hard to get your employer to understand that your family is more important than your job and that they come first.
Being a working mom is a double edge sword. It is hard to manage. Just don’t pull off more than you have to. Try not to stress yourself out about what you have to do. Also, make sure you are talking to your supervisors and managers about what you need to make your work environment easier for you. Don’t be afraid to put your foot down and tell them no if you need to.