Has anyone been watching the Canadian tv series Workin’ Moms on Netflix? I first heard about it a few months ago when some of my friends recommended it.
At that point, I had kind of written it off since I wasn’t technically a “working mom.” I worried I wouldn’t be able to relate, and to be honest, kind of brushed it off as rude that they had their own tv show. Those working moms….
But since we’ve had more time at home lately, I’ve found myself binge-watching a lot of tv shows. Sometimes late at night (or in the wee hours of the morning) when I can’t sleep, I surprisingly get some time to watch tv shows that I know my husband will have no interest in.
As I’m sitting here now writing this, it’s, 5 a.m. and I’m doing just that. I’m noticing that the working moms’ club is definitely not exclusive to only moms who work 9-5 jobs outside of the home. In fact, it was never meant to be that way.
How so, you say? Well, because EVERY mom works.
Some may work part-time, some overtime, some even work multiple jobs. But most of us moms never really stop working! Especially if our kids are still little and really as long as they’re still living at home.
Once they go to college the work doesn’t actually stop. It just becomes “work” around trying to get our grown children to cut the apron strings. The focus of parenting changes to teaching them to support themselves without us physically being there every day.
Our Current Situation
With most schools deciding to go virtual in the Fall, the workload is suddenly feeling like it’s going to be even BIGGER for all of us. Parents are having to make really hard family decisions.
Questions moms are thinking about right now:
- How do I keep our family safe while still being able to provide for their needs?
- Who will make sure my kids are where they need to be academically if they haven’t seen a teacher face to face in months?
- Am I qualified to be my child’s teacher on top of everything else I already do?
- Do I have the time, energy, and patience to teach them?
- How will I get my “real” job done and make sure they’re still learning?
- How can I possibly keep my sanity any longer?
- What will all of this cost?
- How long is it going to last? How long can we live like this?
- Will people think I’m selfish if I prioritize what I want instead of what my kids need?
- Is the risk of sending my kids back to school in person worth it?
- Should we uproot our whole family and move somewhere else?
Some moms don’t even get to decide anything. The choices have already been made for them! Luckily I have a partner in all of this, but some moms don’t. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard that is for them!
For me, the question is whether or not it’s a good time for me to go back to work.
Outside of a few part-time jobs, I’ve been a stay-at-home-mom for the past 5 years. It feels like I’m being forced to decide if going back to work right now is more important than the safety of my kids.
Then I start to think about not only my family’s physical needs, but also how much they need to be with their friends and how we all need a break from each other. What ends up happening for me, is I just get overwhelmed with all of the unknowns and what-ifs. I usually just put the decisions off and hope they’ll be easier later.
As I listen to other friends of mine trying to navigate making these difficult decisions for their own families, I’m reminded that the grass is always greener.
No matter what your situation is in parenting, there’s always going to be someone else’s life that seems better. It’s so easy from the outside to think others have it easier than we do, but in reality, we all have struggles. We all just carry them differently.
What we choose to share with others isn’t always the real picture. So, I think we as moms have to stick together. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I’ll keep saying it… It takes a village!
Here are a few ways that we can help each other wade through these waters together.
I’m sure you can think of other ways to help the moms in your own life. I’d love for you to share your ideas in the comments!
1. THINK ABOUT YOUR VALUES
What’s most important to you and your family? Make that your priority.
Take a break from social media so you can quiet all of other peoples’ opinions and focus on what really matters to YOUR family.
2. REACH OUT FOR SUPPORT
Whatever your situation is, you are not alone.
Some days it may feel like you’re the only one struggling with something, but I guarantee someone out there is feeling the same way. You just have to look for them!
3. GIVE YOURSELF GRACE
We won’t know all the answers right away and we may never know ALL the answers. Give yourself some grace to make mistakes and just try to put one step in front of the other.
Take it one day at a time right now. We don’t really know for sure what tomorrow’s going to look like anyway. So I suggest making decisions about the future based on how things look right now.
4. STOP JUDGING OTHERS
A friend of mine recently told me about how several years ago her daughter wanted to go further in gymnastics. She couldn’t though because the only thing offered at her gym was practice every day from 4:30-5:30.
And when she asked how working moms did it, she was met with an awkward glare. I think she described the other person as saying something like, “Oh you’re one of those.” Or maybe she just interpreted it that way.
The point is, every mom’s situation is different and we all are doing the best we can.
Aren’t we supposed to be on the same team anyway? So don’t judge other moms for the decisions they make for their families.
Chances are when you start focusing on yourself, making your own decisions will be a lot easier.
5. DON’T BE TOO SENSITIVE
This may sound like a contradiction, but what I mean is don’t take everything personally. Sometimes what may feel like someone judging your ability to be a mom, isn’t.
It may be your own insecurity. The person you’re feeling that from may even be projecting how they feel like a bad mom on you because they wish they could be more like you!
6. LEAN IN TO HELP
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! You may have never actually taken your next-door neighbor up on their offer to help watch your kids. Now is the time to do it. One day you can return the favor somehow.
Or hire help if you can. It’s ok to pay someone to come clean your house once a month if that will help make your to-do list a little shorter on the weekends.
Do what works for YOU! I’m not pretending to be an expert, but I do want moms to know that they aren’t alone. We have to stick together!
Share with other moms who might need to hear this!