Although the writing world is rich with the wise, harried and sometimes hilarious voices of SAH moms, it’s much harder to find the stories of full-time, work-out-of-the-home moms. (One exception: our resident working mom blogger The Cosmo Mom). Any free time you have feels like it should go to the kids, not to writing about them, so those of who work are left to wonder: How do other moms make the juggle work? Do you ever get over the guilt? And I the only who sometimes finds going back to work Monday morning a bit of a relief?
We’re not sure how Real Simple editor Kristin van Ogtrop found time to write a book, in addition to running a magazine and raising three boys, but we’re so glad she did. Her book, Just Let Me Lie Down, is full of sage, down-to-earth perspective on what it means to try to have it all. It’s also full of hilarious asides and bittersweet realizations about how hard it is to let go as your children grow up. While acknowledging the unexpected moments when guilt pops up, she also is real enough to know that she’s a better mom for working:
“Although each of my children has, on occasion, asked me why I work and some of the other mothers don’t, none of them has ever requested I actually stop. There is a tacit understanding between me and the rest of my family that we all benefit with me out of the house. My children know that I am hyperactive, and stomp around if I’ve had too much coffee, and attach entirely too much importance to silly things like the fact that there are always dirty socks on the floor of every single room in our house. But they also know that when I am stomping around and going on about the dirty socks, or the fact that our oldest son must listen to loud music while he does his homework, or that our middle son insists on bouncing balls off every hard surface in the kitchen, they just have to ride out the storm because soon enough I will go to work and stop bugging them.”
If you work – and even if you don’t – pick up this book to be reminded that no matter which decisions we make, we all deal with kids that grow up too fast, moments where the insanity is all worth it, and dirty socks.