The Working Mom: Yes, It’s Redundant

Oh, the things society tells women about being a woman. (Sometimes I wonder what the Feminist Movement really did for us.)

Since the mid-1970s woman have been encouraged, if not told, to be everything all the time. A cook. A maid. A chauffeur. A volunteer. A wife. A daughter. A nurse. Keep in mind, while doing all this, you should also look and act like a sex goddess.

A sex goddess who smells like peanut butter and spit up and hasn’t taken a shower in 3 days? Come on!

But what about those women who add the hat of of co-worker or supervisor? The women who wear this hat seem to carry a different sense of guilt. I see so many wonderful, caring, and loving mothers out there struggling with this (myself included, though you will have to ask my husband about the “wonderful, caring, and loving” part).

There is so much pressure about being able to balance it all- and to make it appear seamless- so we can tell society, “Why, yes, I do have it all.” All the while struggling with our heavy load.

The demands of our world make it difficult for us to admit when our emotions and inner thoughts are in conflict. Here are a few of my inner thoughts when I go about my day:

  • Am I doing the right thing by trying to make a better life for our family financially?
  • Am I being selfish by wanting to feel professionally fulfilled?
  • Am I emotionally scarring my kids? Am I setting us up for failure?
  • Does my family see how much I love them- or do they see a mom who is just gone and working?

I believe that being a mom who works outside the home can bring an increased sense of isolation as well. If we aren’t working we want to be with our family. However, when we are with our family we are wishing that we could have had that evening drink with our friend or we are daydreaming about alone time.

Does this merry-go-round ever stop?! Argh!

Yes. Yes, it does.

But it only stops when we finally realize that it’s not about the amount of time we spend with our family, or even our friends, it’s about the quality of time we spend with those we love. It’s our responsibility (yes, another one) to make sure that we are really present and in the moment when we are with them. To make sure that we aren’t distracted by a to-do list, cell phone, or computer when we are finally together.

So when the working moms of the world hear the guilt-ridden voice inside their head, or envision someone shaking their finger at them (yet again), stop and ask yourself a very simple question:

Which one is winning, quantity or quality? The answer might surprise you.