The Working Mom Juggling Act
Updated: Jan 18, 2021
Writer’s note: While the pandemic has changed the landscape of what work life looks like, I still wanted to share this article during “The Month of May is for Moms.” I hope it ministers to the women who need to hear it.
I was on my way into work and I called my sister, saying, “I feel like I’ve already completed an entire day and it’s only 8:10am.”
Indeed. By that point I’d fed three kids breakfast, gotten my preschooler ready, grabbed lunch boxes out of the fridge, double checked homework and library books were in the right backpacks, ran upstairs to get myself ready, went out to the bus stop with my older two and waved goodbye, loaded my 4 year old into his carseat, drove him to his preschool, parked the car, trudged through the muddy driveway in my work flats, and checked his items into his cubby. We shared a big hug goodbye and I got into my car for the 20 minute commute to work.
At which point the office workday then began.
Does anybody feel me? 🙋♀️
Last week I offered a poll where people could vote on which mom topic I cover next, as we declare that the month of May is for moms. The votes are in, and the “working mom juggling act” was one of the next topics you requested me to write on. (Don’t worry - I’m covering all ends of the spectrum here because I’ve “done” all ends of the spectrum.)
In similar fashion to my other mom articles this month, I will simply write from the perspective of “I see you” with the hope that you feel known and recognized for all you are doing.
So. Where do I begin? I guess I’ll begin with what I see.
I see you hustling. I see you working crazy hard.
I see you in your work clothes with baby on your hip and diaper bag over your shoulder heading into the sitter’s house. I see your talent and your drive. I see your balancing act. I see you driving from daycare to work to soccer games.
I see plenty of you loving it and knowing this is “you” and thriving. I see plenty of you questioning things and struggling. And many times - a combination of both, depending on the season.
I see your guilt, at times. I see your not-so-simple-life. I see the pressure you’re under. The very little time you get for yourself. The late nights you pull and the early mornings you wake up. Your desire for more time to workout. Your desire for more or deeper friendships. Your feelings of wishing you were a better sister or daughter or neighbor.
I see the great big huge enormous juggling act that occurs every single day to perform your work day well and then enter your house and do family life well. And there are many days you feel like you are doing neither as well as you’d like to be. Because Grayson is crying that he’s the only one that forgot a stuffed animal for pj day at school and your family had frozen pizza for dinner AGAIN and your boss had to send you a reminder email that 360 evaluations are due at 9am tomorrow and you entered the wrong time for a meeting in your calendar at work and….and...and...and...and….
It’s a lot. And sometimes we get soooooo used to this rhythm that we don’t even step back and acknowledge everything we are balancing.
So let me acknowledge it. Let me acknowledge YOU. You are doing a fantastic job. I hope you have some sense of that. I see you knocking it out of the park week in and week out and I stand in awe of you, noticing and admiring. (And by the way- a special shout-out to you moms who do the childcare drop off and pickup every day. That’s totally a part-time job in and of itself.)
I’ll end by giving the only piece of advice I dare to give. Give yourself more grace than you’re currently giving yourself. Nope - you might not be able to sit inside and chat with the other moms during the other kid’s bday party because you have to go sit in your car and reply to 8 emails. Nope - your daughter might not get her at-home chef’s party she’s requesting because you just don’t have enough time to plan and pull it off. Nope - you might not be able to stay the entire time for the block party because tonight’s your only window of time to get all the laundry folded.
You show up when and where you need to, and that’s an awful lot of places. Keep on hustling at work, and cheering at the baseball game, and going to the mother-son dance and watching the preschool Christmas program. Keep on being fully present at work and giving them everything you’ve got. And then keep on giving your kids all the hugs in the world at home and tons of verbal affirmation and signing them up for the sport and music activities they request. 😊
You’re knocking it out of the park. 👊🏽
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