I have been busy lately, as I've indicated for weeks now on my blog. Not so busy that I am constantly running around and doing something 24/7, but busy. Busy enough that some days I glance at the clock, and realize I have to leave RIGHT. NOW. to pick up my kids from school.
It's an old debate; the working vs. parenting thing. I think it's possible to do both, and do both well. I truly do. I've seen many women do both. I'm not here to start any debates. I think stay-at-home moms are amazing. But today, I'm here to commend those amazing moms who are also amazing working women.
And ask, how do you do it?
But first, I have to ask, are there any women who will actually admit they do both well? Are any of you amazing women raising your hands? Or are you like me, and believe that somehow or another, something suffers because of the existence of the other? As much as we hate the haters, does part of you give in to the guilt that is constantly being placed on you for committing to more than one part of your life?
I'm lucky that I work from home, so I can work while my kids are in school and at night and still be home with my kids after school. However, when a client misses all their deadlines but expects me to meet all of mine, I admit that I ask my kids to go play while I finish up work. Yes, I feel guilty for taking up their time with my work. And I wonder: Do my kids believe that I am choosing work over my kids? Or are they learning the importance of keeping my promises and not flaking on my deadlines? I also wonder: Where the hell were all these clients' mamas when they were supposed to be learning the importance of FINISHING THEIR HOMEWORK?
However, the important thing for me is that my kids know what is important in my life. Of course, that's subjective. Maybe those clients' mamas were bagging their work to go play with their kids instead. And that's cool. (Unless they are my client, in which case I clearly have a bit of a problem with it.)
Do I always do a good job of showing them what is important? No, definitely not. Am I hard on myself because of it? Yes, constantly. But I hope they are learning that sometimes you have to work when you would rather be doing something else. There are limits, of course, but I think my kids are growing into understanding and patient little people. I also believe that I constantly need to challenge myself in order to be a better mother, wife, person. And I hope they learn that too, but without the guilt. (I'm still working on that one.)
Only time will tell if any of this sticks. Don't worry, I'm still saving up for therapy for all of us.
But to all you working moms: I hope you are raising your hand and patting yourself on the back. I think you are amazing, and I hope you know you are too.