I read a stat yesterday that stated 71% of Moms are working Moms. WOW! 71%. Really?! I’m not going to lie, I was a little taken aback by that number.
Why does it not feel this way? It feels a lot like a lone island
sometimes a lot of the time.
I had a whole plane ride without working wi-fi to ponder this question and my initial reaction to that stat. I felt guilty y’all for feeling this way!
I tried to justify my reaction, I thought of things like, well… I live in the South where it’s traditional to stay at home with your little one. And maybe I feel that way because all the time people assume I don’t work (#annoying) and only write this little blog, but then again I don’t talk a lot about my full-time job on social and in person so why would they know?
Next I had to wonder how they quantified “working”. I mean heck, I always say I’m the selfish, weak one in the world of Mamas. I spend all day by myself working away when a stay-at-home Mom’s work is 24/7 with not even a bathroom break to themselves. That’s more work than any “working” Mom does any day.
When Sully was born, Ry and I sat down and talked about what life after baby would look like. He said to me that he was fully supportive if I wanted to stay at home. (Have I ever mentioned how I have the best husband in the whole entire earth?!) My head filled with days of love and cuddles, yoga and consistent, quality blogging.
Yet, I couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe that just wasn’t my path. I had worked so darned hard to get where I was currently in my career at one of the best companies in the US (ranked in Fortune’s top 200). I landed my first office paying gig when I was 13 and did four internships in college. If you count babysitting, my working life goes back even earlier.
Well wouldn’t ya know it, a few weeks into Sully’s little life I knew I owed it to my daughter to work. For my sanity, for hers, for my husband’s, heck for my dog’s!
I’m not saying it’s the easy route. And I’m definitely not saying it’s for everyone.
Just yesterday morning as I was on my way to the airport I realized I was walking out of the front door holding my daughter’s blanket for goodness sake. The thought of not holding her, even a piece of her, for three days made my whole body ache (if you’re wondering, I did up turning around and putting it back so she didn’t go without).
It sucks leaving, it sucks waving goodbye every morning as she goes to school, it sucks realizing you missed her say her first full sentence because she said it at school (I cried off and on about that for hours, not even going to lie).
But you know what’s great? The moments we do have together are soooo full of love and play time on the floor and cuddles, no devices, no computers, no distractions. Just us. Just me and my Sully girl. She gets all of me for 5 hours a day and all weekend. Not enough time, but it’s what we’ve got.
I see her mimic things I do and things I say and faces I make all the time. Just the other day I listened to her try to sing “Jesus Loves Me” in the car, slip on her shoes standing up and struggle to “put on” mascara (with the lid on) all in that same day. Pure Mama joy. Gah I’m so proud of that kid you guys.
It also helps that she absolutely adores her school and loves seeing her teachers and friends – all of which she knows their names – each day.
I know she’ll grow up seeing her Mama provide for her family. She’ll see her Mama run a boardroom and a home (or at least try). She’ll see me struggle and she’ll see me succeed. And most of all, I don’t ever doubt that she’ll know how much I love her.
So for all you working Mamas… you do you. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t feel like you’re a lone island. 71% of us are right here with you. Take that stat with comfort, not with disbelief. Ok? Okay. Now let’s go raise some amazing kiddos!