There is both pride and shame in my role as a working mom. I found out early on that there are strong opinions on both sides of this label “Working Mom.”
For those who don’t know me that well I work in the office with clients 3 or 4 days a week, I work from home the other day or two, I make my own schedule, I am self-employed, I am my own boss.
Before my boys went to Kindergarten I only worked 2 days a week leaving more time to be home with them. When we were still in our stroller walking days I would meet my neighborhood mamas, babies strapped in, coffee in hand, sometimes a dog on leash trailing beside for our morning stroll and mom talk almost every morning after all the hubbys had rolled off to work. One day I was invited to a play date by one of my stroller walking mamas so of course I went. I was excited! This mama needed some social interaction!
I loaded up my sweet blue-eyed baby, looking forward to a nice afternoon picnicking at the Arboretum. I will NEVER forget the shame I left with that day. After I shared with pride how I work a couple days a week and stay home the others I was shamelessly shamed by a total stranger asking how I can bare to leave my baby with a nanny. This was just after she questioned if that was formula I was feeding my baby. I was speechless, I shut down, I felt so horrible, shocked by her brazen statement, unable to formulate my side of the argument. The shame shock trapped me. I did all I could do to load my stroller up and get home that day.
My mind was racing. How dare she question my decision as a mother. She did not know how hard I worked to put myself through college and grad school. She did not know what I went through to get every last hour needed for my license. I did the grunt work during the day while waiting tables at night. She did not know I love my career. And little did she know we had the most amazing Nanny anyone could have. So YES I left my babies with Mrs. Mellie on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I could go to work.
I love my babies AND my career.
This is where pride comes in. I and proud that I find fulfillment in both being a mother AND being a therapist. These are two tough jobs, both demanding, emotionally taxing and I am never 100% off from either of them. I am proud that I am able to juggle Room Mom, Baseball Mom, Football Mom, Basketball mom, carpool lines, Friday afternoon treats with a client load of 20 plus clients who I hold space for weekly as they navigate through their story. Pride comes from my knowing that I can honor and nourish pieces of ME outside my children while also showing up where it is important.
I have learned that balancing being a “working mom” if HARD WORK, but I would not have it any other way.