I haven’t written a “mommy” post in a really long time. It’s not because I don’t have any material, believe me I could write a million articles about my life as a mom, it’s because I am trying to prioritize my time, come up with appropriate content and in someway separate my work from my real life. So it made me think about being a mom and having a career and if there is such a thing as being able to have it all. There are stay-at-home moms, full-time working moms, part-time working moms, mommy entrepreneurs, but I don’t feel that I fit in to one specific category, I often feel that I am all of these things. I’m sure there are a lot of you out there that are too and will be able to relate to this post.
I’ve always wanted to have it all, being able to be a dedicated mom AND have a career that I am passionate about, but is that even possible? I switched careers in the first place because I didn’t want to be one of those moms that never sees her kids and has someone else raise them; not that there is anything wrong with that at all, but that is a personal choice for me. I also never wanted to be a full-time stay-at-home mom either (yes I said it out loud), not that there is anything wrong with that either, I actually think that is amazing if you can do it, but it really takes a special, patient person (I know some of the most amazing stay-at-home moms and they make me look really bad!). I’ve always wanted to have both. I want to be home with my kids and I want to work; in a perfect world it would be a perfect balance and I would excel at both. In the real world, trying to have both has been more stressful than balanced. Because I’m a type A personality, I am a perfectionist, which can be a good thing (not really), but it’s actually not in my situation. So instead of holding one title I feel like I am more of a stay-at-home-work-from-home-entreprenareal-never-get-anything-done mommy!
So what exactly does the life of a stay-at-home-work-from-home-entreprenareal-never-get-anything-done mommy look like you ask? Two days a week I have a nanny come to my house to watch my girls so that I can get “work” done. My husband leaves in the morning to go to his job and my daughter knows that. She also knows that mommy works from home so in the mornings, even when I have help, I get her breakfast, help her pick out clothes and get dressed, get lunch made and all the other mommy things we all do in the mornings (because if I don’t she will throw a huge tantrum and as moms we have to choose our battles!). I try to leave the house to get work done, but I always feel guilty because I don’t really have a start time for my job and my daughter gets all sad and I always end up caving. By the time everyone is out of the house (I feel like it is a two hour process) I finally sit down at my computer to start working and I’m distracted by the amount of laundry that needs to be done or all of the toys that are sprawled across my “office” and I think to myself, I can just throw a load of clothes in and tidy up quick and then get started. By the time I get through all of my emails (because I really only have two days to work) I usually have to go run some type of errand that I can’t do when I’m with my girls like grocery shop (because that is a nightmare with a 3 year-old), dr. appointments, anything that you can name. If my girls are by chance at home (even if it isn’t time for the nanny to leave yet), my daughter will not let me get any work done. By the time I convince her to let me finish so that I can play with her once the nanny leaves (also known as bribery – yes I do that too!) I have about twenty minutes to wrap up what I was doing.
On the days I don’t have help my older daughter goes to camp half days. I did this thinking that maybe I can get some work done with just the baby. By the time I drop her off and get back home it’s usually time to feed the baby and she is getting older so she doesn’t sleep as much so I try to get things done while I’m playing with her, while she takes a quick nap or hanging off of me in the Bjorn. So basically I don’t get anything done.
My husband wants me to have more hours of help, but I can’t really justify paying for help when I’m not bringing in that much yet. I know that I am just starting out so I need a chance to focus on building up my business. Then I think, well didn’t I switch careers so I could spend more time with my kids? Here I am not giving anything 100%. I feel guilty when I am focusing on my business and not on my kids, like when I’m nursing my baby girl and checking my emails/Facebook/instagram/twitter or when I let my daughter watch a cartoon so that I can try to write an article or post. I also feel guilty when I’m out at the park with my kids or having lunch with other mommies and their kids (actually enjoying myself) and not answering emails or writing. I feel like I am in a constant tug-of-war with myself (as this post perfectly demonstrates!).
As moms I think we have the hardest roles regardless of if we are stay-at-home, full-time or whatever. We are usually the ones that have to put our dreams on hold or get criticized for being bad moms because we choose to start a business or focus on our careers. We want to be there for our kids to watch them grow up and don’t want to miss out on any moments, but we also want to show them that they should follow their dreams. As I’m sitting here writing this post in the Starbucks with 25 minutes until I have to be back at home before the nanny leaves I think I answered my own question. Those of you reading this post will either think I’m absolutely insane or will be able to relate. Either way, I hope I was able to make you realize that no matter what type of mom you are, you really can have it all. Having it all doesn’t have one definition. It has a different meaning for all of us. While I’m not winning the mom of the year award anytime soon and my business may take longer to get off the ground I kind of sort of do have it all in a really upside down twisted way. You probably do too!