Sometimes being a working mom is just plain hard.
Yesterday was a hard day. Like really hard. A “how am I going to keep doing this day in and day out?” kind of day.
See, I’m a full-time working mom with 2 kids under 3. My husband and I both work and yesterday was a day when both of us just wanted to throw our hands up and sell all of our belongings and live in a trailer by the beach. (Is that an option?)
We both work with international counterparts and the challenge of getting the kids to daycare in time to make all of our global calls both AM and PM pushed us to our limits. Our kids were some of the 1st to be dropped off which threw my daughter for a loop. My husband dropped her off and told me she was the saddest he’s seen in a really long time. And if that wasn’t enough to break my heart, when I went to pick my 7-month-old son up after work (at 5pm so not even that late), he was the last baby in class. Just hanging out on the floor all by himself.
And when he burst into tears in the car from being over tired (because he doesn’t nap at daycare but that’s another story for another day), I lost it. This is not the life I planned.
But this is the life I have. I’m a working mom. And it is hard.
There’s the bottles and the backpacks and the blankets and the work bag and the pump bag and the diapers. And then you add on the commute and the parking and the shuttles and the walking.
It’s just so much.
I sit down at my desk in the morning and I feel like I’ve run a marathon. I’m also still nursing so beyond all the other challenges of life, I have to find time to carve out two 20 minute pump breaks from my schedule while also hoping those times work with the 4 other pumping mamas I share the room with.
And when I finally get through my work day and then tackle the commute home, and the evening routine. And the toddler-wrestling of bath time and bedtime.
And then when the kids finally get to bed, you cram as much as you can into those last few hours—washing bottle parts, prepping meals for the next day, answering the some work emails, and maybe if you’re lucky getting 30 minutes to sit down with your husband to watch a show.
This life is not for the faint of heart.
And my heart was pushed over the edge last night.
But you know what? I woke up today and started it all over again.
Because even though this is all so hard right now, I remind myself to look at the bigger picture.
My husband and I work so that we can take our kids on trips around the world. We work so that both our children can attend whatever college they want without having to worry about cost. We work so that we can pay for the mortgage on the house that our children will love as teenagers when they get to hang out and have sleep-overs in our big bonus room with all their friends.
We work so that both our children—my son and my daughter— get to see what an equal opportunity household looks like. We work so that our kids understand that we don’t always get to do what we want. That sometimes life is hard. That sometimes you will face challenges and have to be brave when you don’t want to.
And most importantly, I work to show my daughter that she can be and do anything she wants to. I work just like my mom worked to show me that I could be anything I wanted to.
So on days like yesterday, when life is just so, so hard I remind myself that this is a marathon.
I remind myself that this is one day in a long journey.
I remind myself it will get better.
I remind myself that things will get easier as the kids get older.
I remind myself that I won’t always have 47 bags to lug around to work.
I remind myself to take a deep breath and realize that one day my kids will make dinner for me and probably sooner than I want, my husband and I will actually be enjoying our wine together while our kids run around upstairs without us.