Struggles of being a working mom…

my personal experience x

17

Yes, I am a “working mom.” To complicate matters, I am a lawyer who works full-time and additionally offers freelance legal consultancy services. This involves very long hours, early mornings, late evenings, local and international travel, etc.

Do I enjoy the work? Undoubtedly! I enjoy the work; it keeps my brain sharp, utilizes the education and the expertise I have built up over the past few years, and it makes me appreciate the time I spend with my family all the more. Do I feel guilty occasionally? Absolutely! The hardest part about being a working mom (at least, for me – it probably differs for all working moms) was not the physical work, but the constant, nagging internal conflict. Guilt that I was not balancing work, spouse, and my son’s needs, the stress of that attempt at the balancing act, and more guilt that I wasn’t giving my son the advantages that the kids of Stay at Home Moms (SAHM’s) are getting.

I found myself comparing myself to others: I know that it’s wrong to compare myself to others, we all know that … but it happens. I was surrounded by the unspoken message that the best place for a mother is in the home with her young child, not at work, and I felt selfish for working.

About 2 months after J was born, I was already back to work full time (minus an hour). By the time he was 5 months old, I was doing a minimum of 9 hours of work a day, and had travelled with him at least 5 times (both locally and internationally). At work I often felt guilty that I wasn’t doing my best due to my choice to become a mother. Since I had decided to co-sleep for the first 6 months and my son never did sleep through the night, I was basically functioning through the day on several 2-3 hour chunks of sleep per night. This made the job stressful but even more stressful was dealing with the emotional and mental difficulties caused by the balancing act and the constant fight not to feel guilty.

From personal experience, the most important aspect of being able to function as a “working mom” is having dependable childcare. Because of my husband’s and my long work days and travel schedules and the absence of local family support, daycare is not a viable childcare option for us. Neither my husband nor I are consistently done with our workday in time for a 5 or 6 p.m. daycare pickup. Daycare seems to be organized assuming that one parent has a lot of flexibility, and that just doesn’t seem realistic these days. So we settled on having a nanny.

Nonetheless, if there are no other responsible, qualified adults who are available to take care of J, I am the default. If my son wakes up with a fever, I am the default. If his nanny has a day off, I am the default. Work comes to a grinding halt until there is a childcare resolution. My husband helps when he can and is absolutely fantastic at it but being an entrepreneur I can’t count on him to be available unplanned.

Also, prioritization is absolutely important! Prioritizing isn’t a luxury; it is a priority for working mothers. Without priorities and guardrails for how and with whom we invest our time and energy, it becomes very difficult to create any sort of harmony between work and home.

So, this is my life, yes I’m a working mom, yes I have a toddler, and yes I ABSOLUTELY Love it!!!

Love and Light,

Mrs O.

SOURCEMrs O
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17 COMMENTS

  1. Love this piece, i resumed work two weeks ago and i am struggling with work (bank in Nigeria), a three month old and family life.

    Got any ideas on how to introduce solids?

    • Hey Nancy. Hang in there hunny, it actually gets easier by the day.

      I’m doing a post on weaning and introducing solids, soon. Hope you get to see it!!! x

  2. Love your blog. As real as it can be, this is so true about returning to work, went back to work when my son was barely 3 months but I had a Nanny and thankfully I could take my son to work for sometime so the guilt wasn’t much but I wish I could have stayed at home with him a little longer.
    Well done n keep up the good work. This blog is one I can relate with and will keep visiting.

  3. I am glad I found your IG page and blog afterwards. Your posts are sooo relatable. The guilt and comparison is immense but I have found what works for me an stuck to it. Thank God for helping hands too.

  4. Thank you Temilade, glad you have found what works for you. You should subscribe to the blog (it’s free) so you’ll get updates on new posts, i think you’ll like it x

  5. Just saw your post on Linda’s blog. I have read a few posts and you’ve gotten yourself a new reader. Webpage bookmaked. lol.

    I can relate to this.

    I work as a consultant and I had to resume to work shortly after I had my son. As a consultant, I wasn’t entitled to the 6-12 months fully paid maternity leave permanent staff are usually entitled. I had my reasons for going down the route of a consultant career wise rather than permanent staff and to be honest, I have no regrets.

    I had to register him in a nursery at 3 months. It hasn’t been easy but God has been faithful. Luckily I get a lot of flexibility at work which includes working a day or two a week from home, getting to work wayyyyy past the official 9am start time and also leaving as early as 4pm.

    I recently got another job offer which is about 25% more than what I earn but I had to turn it down as I won’t get the flexibility I enjoy with my current employer. I guess it’s one of the sacrifices one has to make as a mother.

    I chose nursery over childminder, nanny or au pair because I think they are the most dependable option although more expensive. I’m paying almost £1k in nursery fees.

    There were moments I struggled with guilt but my mum was my backbone. She always reminded me how she raised 3 children brilliantly while working with a bank full time (until she reached retirement age) and how all 3 have turned out brilliantly. She encouraged me to put a bold face and ignore comments, ‘side eyes’, etc.

    That said, I love being a working mum and I have so many single friends that I have motivated and proved to that you can have a high flying career and juggle it with marriage and motherhood.

    • WEll done mama! That’s such an inspiring story. You are blessed to have an encouraging mom. My mom is also one of my ardent motivators.

      I’m glad you have found a system / routine that works for you!!!

      Sending hugs and best wishes your way hun x

  6. While reading this i kept saying to myself ” Nana see your life ba” i have 3 boys, the youngest is 8 months going to 9, i feel like i am on a roller coaster that won’t stop!

    wait till your little Mr Handsome starts school and he brings homework ( i now have to read children school books all the time as if my primary school years is just starting). Once i came home so late the older boys had slept without doing their homework!!! i felt so bad and guilty.

    All you working Moms out there, you are doing great, keep at it!

    Amazing blog, something i can relate to and get inspiration from.

    • 3 BOYS!! You need a superhero cape lol

      Hahaha i know right, some moms say it gets easier, some say it gets harder! lol I try to do “homework” every night with J, we do the alphabets / numbers with him 4 nights a week and read to him before bed every night.

      Thank you for the encouragement mama, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up – we are human beings before we are mothers, and no one is perfect 😉 your kids LOVEEEE you anyway and isn’t that what matters? Sending good wishes your way x

  7. Wow!!!!! When I saw your blog I literally screamed, as in eh it encouraged me a whole lot. Am a First Time Mom(mom),I just resumed work ,my daugther is about 3 months old. My dear it wasn’t easy for me and all coupled with most people asking me if my job was more important,even working mums were lik I shuld stay back at home and take care of my child,I almost quit my job but I couldn’t,not because of the pay(I don’t even earn much) ,I just needed the mental activity an all. Now I feel lik a superbeing aka super proud mum combining work and taking absolute care of my baby after work. E no easy,her smile is makes it rewarding.
    Keep up the good work.XO

    • Aaawww that’s so kind, i’m glad you like the blog. That’s the idea, for young mamas to come together and share similar stories. trust me it helps to know you are not alone.

      And yes we are super beings!!! lol keep up the good work Mama, sending hugs your way x

    • Awwwww! thank you mama! The most important thing is making a decision that you can live with, and one that makes you and your family happy.

      Their smiles and kisses just make everything okay, right? lol

      hugs x

  8. Hi dear. Love what your doing. Am a lawyer too.Am not a mum or married yet buh hopefully some day Gods time. You inspire me and am happy to say GOODJOB .its not easy being a Career lady and a mum. Two jobs in one. I love your strength your putting in helping mums balance work and Family together.Wishing you the very best in the work your doing, and pray for Gods strength in putting more smiles on MOTHERS. Wishing ur family nothing but blessings,happiness,joy,peace, and above all Gods love.

  9. Hi dear. Love what your doing. Am a lawyer too.Am not a mum or married yet buh hopefully some day Gods time. You inspire me and am happy to say GOODJOB .its not easy being a Career lady and a mum. Two jobs in one. I love your strength your putting in helping mums balance work and Family together.Wishing you the very best in the work your doing, and pray for Gods strength in putting more smiles on MOTHERS. Wishing ur family nothing but blessings,happiness,joy,peace, and above all Gods love. Winifred.

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