We just finished up our first vacation as a family of four and it was so desperately needed. Three and a half years ago my first son was born, and it’s been about four years since our last real vacation. By real vacation I mean an entire week off to just refresh and reset. Between switching jobs, going part-time for a year, then back to full-time and two maternity leaves that ate up all of my vacation time we finally had the opportunity for a week long vacation.
We spent every day of our vacation outside doing all different activities. During all these activities I saw so many moms and their kids out doing the same activities. Whether they stay home, work part-time or had taken vacation time to do these activities doesn’t matter, it was a reminder to me that I can’t just take my kids out during the week at the drop of a hat. I have to take vacation time off, make sure it’s a slow time and that I won’t miss any meetings or important deadlines.
As much as I enjoy working, and I’m lucky enough to be a job that I like and that I truly do want to work doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt sometimes.
To all the working moms out there, here is my letter to you:
Dear Working Mom:
I see you there, dreading Sunday evenings knowing you have to go back to work on Monday.
I see you feeling guilty sending your kids to daycare 5 days a week, but at the same time thankful for the outlet.
I see you missing your babies because of another late night at work, not being able to kiss them goodnight until they are already asleep.
I see you facetiming in the airport as your travel for a conference, knowing you’ll miss your babies, but also looking forward to sleeping in a hotel room with no one there to bother you.
You yearn for the weekends and being able to wake up when your babies do instead of to an alarm, being able to lay around in your pajamas watching cartoons all morning simply because you can.
I know you feel guilty that your kids are watching TV instead of playing, but you need a break. You’re tired from working all day and just want to relax for a few minutes.
You check your work email on your phone for the fifth time this weekend, and just thinking about all the things that need to be done next week increases your anxiety.
I see you hang your head low when the daycare phone number pops up on your phone because that means another vacation day lost to a sick kid.
I see you calling work because the “fever just hasn’t gone away and they need one more day at home” when the fever has been gone since yesterday but you just one more day at home.
I see you giving your kid Tylenol before drop off hoping they don’t spike a fever while you are working….it’s only teeth you swear they are not contagious.
I see you dragging two kids under each arm just to get out of the door so you can get to work and not be late…..again.
I see you struggling at drop off because your toddler is clinging to your leg and you know you’re going to be late again but just can’t leave them screaming and crying.
I see you dropping your baby off and walking out the door as he screams and reaches for you. I see your heartache as you shut the door and walk away.
I see you working diligently, not talking to anyone and working through lunch so that you can get to your babies sooner and pick them up early for a special treat after school, only to get to them and they don’t want to leave.
I see your smile as your toddler runs up to you screaming “mommy” when you pick him up.
I see you dropping your kids off at daycare, then going home to take a day for yourself and trying not to feel guilty.
I see you begging your kids to go to sleep so you can have five minutes of watching what you want on TV, then as soon as they are asleep staring them on the monitor and wanting them to be awake for just one more hug and kiss (but really not because you want to sleep tonight).
I see you stumble down the hallway eyes half open as you pick up your crying baby to nurse him back to sleep one more time, trying not to see the time on the clock and that it’s only one more hour until your alarm will go off.
I see you when your alarm goes off at 5am and you pray for just five more minutes of sleep, then you hear crying from across the hall so you’re up anyway.
I see you momma, working hard to give your family a great life, I see you loving your babies when you are with them even on those nights you can’t wait for them to go to bed.
Being a working mom is not easy, sometimes you enjoy the time away and sometimes you crave to be with your babies all the time. Enjoy the moments you have, know that you are teaching your children about responsibility, and that it’s about quality not quantity of time spent with them.
You are amazing momma and your children are blessed to have you!!!
A fellow working mom
As busy working moms it’s hard to find time for ourselves, but it’s worth taking 15-20 minutes just for us. One of the best ways to be there for our family is to keep ourselves healthy and active.
If you’re interested in finding out how to make time for yourself and exercise more check out my FREE Busy Woman’s Guide to Finding the Time to Exercise, which includes seven tips to finding the time, a printable workout calendar and sample at-home 20 minute workouts.
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