Goodbye to the Working Mom Angst?

by Ginger on September 26, 2012

in Working Mom

Sometimes it surprises me how little angst I feel these days about being a working mom.

I mean, I get sad at the idea of missing some things, and I get frustrated by the lack of options for activities that working parents can get involved in (yes, I’m talking to you gymnastics school that only has ONE session that is not between the hours of 10-3 M-F), and I get overwhelmed at times by the LOGISTICS of it all. And I’m sure those conflicts & those emotions will only continue as we get into the school years more.

But I don’t feel angst about it anymore.

Maybe it’s because I feel like I’m coming into my role of motherhood more, but I feel at ease with this position. I don’t question my ability to be a good mom and a good employee. I don’t feel worried about what my son is or isn’t missing by me being at work. And mostly, I don’t beat myself up anymore for the role I play.

It’s with all truthfulness that I say “I work because I am the primary breadwinner & so there is no other option.” But as Jackson has gotten older, I realize…I don’t really think I’d be a good long-term stay at home mom (omg, I’m not sure we would have survived two had I been at home with him), so my answer is also in all truthfulness “I work because it is right for me.” And I don’t feel bad about feeling that way, because I feel at peace with believing that I am important as a person, not just as Jackson’s mom.

Do I wish there was more flexibility in my job to be able to do more with my boy? Of COURSE I do. It frustrates me to no end that telecommuting is such a no-no in my company, and that we aren’t allowed to create a flex schedule, and that I still lose anywhere from 1-2.5 hours commuting. But even with that, I’m lucky in that my boss is very understanding of things like, “School drop-off took longer than expected, so I’m running late, but I’ll make up this 30 minutes by working from home tonight after the kid goes to bed.” I have less flexibility than I’d like, but more than a lot of people have, so I’ll take what I can get.

At the end of the day, even with my wishes & frustrations, I’m ok with my “working mom” title. I no longer feel a tug on my heart when I think about that, and being able to release that angst? Has helped me to be a better worker, and a better mom.

Erica September 26, 2012 at 1:36 pm

There is guilt and questioning in every path as a mom. Finding peace with your decision is so wonderful. Good on ya!

ruth September 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Yes and yes. I hated to leave my baby at first and, now that she is 3 and her sister is 5 months, I thank God every day that I get to work and do something that I love, it gives me a feeling of self worth. Their daycare is wonderful, loving and nurturing.

And we probably wouldn’t have survived 2, either.

Ginger September 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm

It was really hard in the early hormonal days, but now? I’m grateful that I have my place, and the my kid gets to be surrounded by so many other influences and people who care for him.

And that we all survived toddlerhood!

Jen September 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I feel the exact same way. I would be a terrible long-term SAHM. I truly believe some people are just BETTER at taking care of children, which is why they take up the profession of nanny or daycare provider or teacher. He has so much fun at daycare, more fun than I could ever give him at home, plus he is surrounded by other children, who inspire him and who are inspired BY HIM. That’s a beautiful thing. And I feel that I value the time we DO have together more because I know it’s at a premium. Doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes stare at the clock, longing to go get him early and blow off work. Just means we are both where we belong, everything in its right place and all that good stuff. 😉

Elizabeth September 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I’m a bit scared of law school because it will force me to face up to those issues myself, but you’ve done it with such grace–you’re an inspiration.

Ginger September 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm

You’ll find your way, I promise. It’ll be a weird transition, but I know you and know you’ll handle it all beautifully!

Erica September 27, 2012 at 5:29 am

After three years I am still working out my many, many issues with being a stay-at-home mom.

Reading (and chickens) September 27, 2012 at 9:32 am

What Erica said. I had lots of issues with being a working mom, and now I have lots of issues being a WAHM. SIGH. I think motherhood is, above all, crazy-making.

Ginger September 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm

I think it’s hard no matter WHAT way you go as a mom. Seriously, I swear my sanity got left in the hospital….

Classic NYer September 27, 2012 at 11:37 am

Seriously, what’s wrong with being a working mom? My mother worked and I came out okay. Mostly.

Ginger September 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Oh, you would be disturbed by the number of people who believe that working moms do irreparable harm to their children.

Which is a crock, but it can be tiring to fight that stereotype when you’re a new mom in particular.

oilandgarlic September 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I have nothing to add except that I am in the same place as you, mentally and in terms of the lack of work flexibility or understanding of telecommuting at my job. At the same time, like you, I do get some flexibility in situations like illness or school events.

Hope September 30, 2012 at 7:26 am

I am sooooo glad to read this. Because I’m only halfway through my maternity leave and I am totally dreading going back to work. I think my brain will probably need the challenge of working, but I am going to miss my little munchkin like crazy when I’m at work. It will probably be better for all of us in the long run, but I think it’s going to be pretty tough at first. I’m glad to hear that it doesn’t have to be awful. :p

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