Having it All: Being a Full-Time Mom with a Full-Time Job

- Mindfulness

by Jen McKenzie

Being a mom may be a full-time job, but it’s not the only full-time job a lot of us moms have. It’s not the 1950s anymore — it’s totally okay to have a family AND an awesome career you love, no matter what corporate America might tell you. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find the balance between being a full-time mom and a working mom. What can you do to help you have it all and find that perfect balance?

Don’t Leave Your Kid At Home

We don’t mean you should literally bring your kids to work, but don’t try to forget about that part of your life while you’re in the office.  You’re a mom — there’s no reason you should keep your work life and mom life separate. Bring pictures, talk about your little one’s achievements and first steps, and let everyone know your children are a huge part of your life.

It’s not just for your coworkers — it’s a reminder of why you’re getting up and leaving the house every day. Remember that episode of The Simpsons where Homer turned the “Don’t Forget, You’re Here Forever” sign into one that said “Do It For Her,” with pictures of his daughter? Same concept. Even if you aren’t there forever, having pictures of your kids around is great motivation.

Ask For Help

Even if you’ve got dad or a partner around to help you with the kids, it’s not always easy to find that work life balance — you’ve got work deadlines to worry about in addition to childcare expenses and worrying about taking a sick day if your son or daughter comes down with the flu. Why not ask for a little help?

Hiring an au pair can be a great way to manage childcare.  If you’re not familiar with the term, an au pair is a trained, experienced childcare professional who works for you as a live-in nanny, usually from another country. Au pairs are usually between the ages of 18 and 26 and come from countries all over the world. Hiring one might seem like something only the wealthy can afford, but when you break down the costs, an au pair is both less expensive than traditional childcare and much more flexible. 

Connect

This is a two-part step. First, focus on connecting with your children, especially during play time. No matter how tired you are, don’t disconnect from the world (but yes maybe you should from your devices) when you get home. Actively play with your kids — it won’t be too long before they’re too old to want playtime with Mommy anymore or all they’ll want to do is play Candy Crush on their (your) phones. Enjoy playtime as long as you can — it won’t last forever.

The second part of this step is to connect with other people — specifically, other working moms.  There’s no better place to get support or find a shoulder to cry on if necessary than by connecting with other women who are going through the same trials and tribulations as you. Whether you’re worried about a fever or fighting for a promotion at work, you’ll find someone who’s been having the same doubts and making the same decisions.

Take The Time To Cry

In the working world, crying or even displaying emotion is frowned upon. It’s seen as a sign of weakness — especially for women — and we worry about showing emotion because we think it could damage our standing or prevent a promotion.

Forget that.

Crying is important. From a scientific standpoint, it helps to release toxic emotions and stress, acting as a physical manifestation of our emotions. From an emotional standpoint, it allows us to get in touch with our feelings and deal with them in a healthy manner. Bottling everything up is a quick route to a nervous breakdown — and that doesn’t make for a healthy mommy.

If you feel like you need to cry at work, do it. If you need to cry at home, do that too. Don’t let anyone tell you your emotions aren’t valid. Being a mom is a hard job. Being a full-time working mom is even harder. 

Find Fulfillment

You may never find the perfect balance between being a full-time working mom and just being a mom, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t try. Like we said — it’s not the 50s anymore. If you want to keep working after you’ve had a kid or you don’t want to wait to start your family until after your career is established, you can make both work.

Enjoy being a mom and building your ideal career. Not only does it set you up to live a fulfilling life — it enables you to provide for your children and give them the lives they deserve.

How do you find the truest of work life balance? Are you a WAHM (work at home mom or dad) or just trying to find that familial and professional balance? We want to hear your story! Share it below!

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One thought on "Having it All: Being a Full-Time Mom with a Full-Time Job"

  • Sarah Pimentel Abrantes says:

    After you have a baby, you’re always and forever a full time parent. This might not be all though. I’m really happy having a career as well and I’d feel incomplete without it. I live in Berlin and the german system is way kinder than the american one. I was able to stay with my child at home until their first birthday, and before getting back to work, we spent a month going together to a kindergarten, until I was sure that there was a good fit with the new routine. Still, in the first months, there were a lot of sick days, sometimes full weeks at home recovering. I caught myself sharing my desperation about those sick days on parents’ groups, and found great support from others telling me it’s a natural thing; that the immune system of our little ones is developing and it’s only natural that they get sick when they are around so many other kids, and that this is indeed so expected that your work won’t judge you for the several days you’ll have to be out. Again, I’m glad the system here is pretty understanding and neither me nor my partner had problems at our jobs because of that.
    As you mentioned, yes, you do need to share the load. Kudos to all single parents out there, you’re top class warriors. It is really important though to recognise when you need help and try to find it in your partner, in your family, in your community, wherever you can find it.
    Another thing I’d like to add is the new perspective I gained about work. We’re always looking for a job that gives us money, purpose and happiness. Now this feeling gets even stronger, as I’m away from my child during this time and I need to know that this is also time well spent. It needs to be the best combination possible of paycheck, passion and meaningfulness. This way I know that while I’m out there working, I’m becoming a better version of myself and thus becoming a better parent.

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