Saturday, September 29, 2012

Two Years of Being A Working Mom

To commemorate the 2nd anniversary of going back to work I wanted to share a little bit of how I found peace with being a working mom.  It has been a hard road and it certainly isn't an easy job, but I know many of you struggle with finding the right balance, so here is how I make it work. 

Two years ago this past Thursday I left that sweet 12 week old little boy at school for the 1st time in his adorable little N shirt and went to work without him.  When I look back on that day we have come so far.  That morning I got up at 6am, got a shower, fed and dressed the baby, got in the car and when I got to the red light beside the hospital I freaked out a little.  I felt nervous and anxious.  What if he had a bad day? What if they have issues mixing his special formula and rice? What if he cried all day? (he was still having some GI issues)  Would he nap for them if he doesn't nap for me?  Will he even miss me at all?  When I walked him in and handed him over to a woman I had only met briefly and got back in the car I  felt like a bad mom.  I had tried to have this sweet baby for over 2 years and now I am just handing him over to someone else and I'm not crying.  What was wrong with me?!  I had a peace about working, sending Nicholas to a good daycare, and finding a balance between my two full time jobs.  I was ready to find a routine and I knew I didn't have a choice.  

While I was pregnant and on maternity leave I spent a lot of time researching and reading blogs of other working moms.  I wanted to know EXACTLY how these women did it all and found a balance.  The thing is, everyone has to find their own balance.  What works for me won't work for you and vice versa.  The three things that I think have helped me more than anything are these:

1. I enjoy working and have a job I love.  That is not a sin and does NOT make me a bad mom.  I enjoy having an outlet and Nicholas enjoys going to school.  It is a win/win for us both.  We get a break from each other and the time we spend together is very important to us.  In our situation, my working isn't optional, but it certainly helps that I have a job and career I love.

2. A daycare we love, trust, and where Nicholas learns so much.  I don't have to worry about Nicholas as much during the day because he is across the street from the hospital and I know that he is being well taken care of.  We love his teachers and in the rare event that I have had a problem, they have worked hard to fix the problem.  

3. Finding a routine and meal planning.  It took about a year and a lot of tears, but we finally got in a good rhythm and routine.  I do everything I can at night while Michael gets Nicholas ready for bed.  I get everyone's lunches ready, clothes laid out, and anything Nicholas needs to bring to school out and on the bar beside my keys.  I do all of my meals on the weekend and freeze for later in the week.  We would have junk or takeout every night if it wasn't for our homemade freezer meals.  

Those three things have been the three things that get me through.  There are days that I can't get it all done or that I spend all of my weekends running errands.  There are not days where I hate leaving Nicholas, hate my job and wish I could stay home.  Those days are few and far between, but I think every mom has those days no matter if they work outside the home or stay at home with their kids.  In the past two years since that day, I've realized that yes, it is HARD to be a working mom.  It is hard to be a MOM. Period.  One of these days I pray that the mommy wars call a cease fire and everyone just supports each other and we can all get along.  (I'm not going to get on that soapbox, but if you are a mom, you know exactly what I mean)  We all work hard and we all do what is best for our families and I think we all do the best we can.  

So, remember that sweet little baby on his 1st day of school 2 years ago?  Well, here is last Friday.  Where has the past 2 years gone and who is this BIG boy?!  :-)