Nov 2, 201510:43 AMOh, Bother
Working mom in a Pinterest world. I mean well but I usually fall a bit short in the execution. You'll see.
By Meagan Feeser
The Working Mom Struggle
If you follow me on Instagram (which you totally should, btw), you’ll see a mix of photos, from what I’m eating for lunch, to Holdy’s outfit of the day (#whatholdywore):
To photos like this:
As Marketing Director for Downtown Inc in downtown York, it’s pretty much my job to tell everyone about all the fantastic things going on in our town. A lot of time that requires me attending those fantastic things. Other times, it requires me planning them. So that means, basically, that I work a lot. But I love it. As my boss says, “it’s not a job; it’s a lifestyle.” And I really believe that to be true.
That does mean, however, that finding a work-life balance has some additional challenges for me. Whenever possible (and appropriate), I love to include my kids in my work. But most often, the events or meetings scheduled in the evenings are not appropriate for two toddlers to crash, so I either have to decline or reach out to my small pool of babysitters, who at this point are mostly family friends because the process of introducing someone new to the crazy just seems daunting. And when I’ve used up my “babysitting capital,” I have to bring the kids even when it’s not appropriate, like when I cart around in a wagon on First Fridays when I’m working.
I have to flex my hours to take my kids to doctor appointments and make sure to leave work right at 5pm to pick Holden up from preschool on time. If I have an early morning board meeting, I have to ask my dad to come to my house at 6:30am so he can get both kids up and in the car to drive Holden to preschool.
The working parent struggle is real. The single parent struggle is real. The guilty parent struggle is real. When it comes down to it, there is always going to be judgment when you’re a parent. And there’s always going to be the self-inflicted guilt… no matter whether you’re working or staying home; whether they’re in daycare or family members are watching them; whether you send them to public school or you homeschool. You’ve got to get to the point where you feel confident and validated in how you are raising YOUR family.
I raise my family one day at a time--or, more realistically, one hour at a time--and I do it to the best of my ability that day or that hour. We’ve all got our ridiculousness, and we all deal with it in our own ways. I break down on the regular. Sometimes I hide from my own children in my closet just to cry for a minute. And then I stop, wipe my eyes and go back into the fray. Because that’s what we do.
In truth, I’m doing all of this for them: working to build them a town that they can be proud of and will hopefully want to come home to. I hope I’m setting a good example for my kids, my daughter in particular, on what a capable strong-willed woman can do. Sometimes I do a better job than other times, but we’re all just doing our best. And that’s a good example to set too.