Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I talk about my kids when I am at work ...

As mothers, balancing work and family is a constant juggling act. Some days it feels more like a struggle. Some days I feel like a damn super hero.

On the days when I struggle, I am plagued with the feeling that I am never exactly where I am supposed to be. When I am at work, I feel as though I should be with my kids, and vice versa.

On the days when I channel Wonder Woman, I often look up around 10:00 a.m. and marvel at everything I have already accomplished. {Then, I realize that I have been awake for 5 hours and promptly feel a little more human.}

I definitely struggle when I need to bring work home with me, which is often given the seasonal nature of my job. And, ‘bringing work home’ can actually look like several different things in my life. It can simply be opening my laptop after the kids are in bed, or it can mean long-distance phone calls and hotel stays and the very obvious absence of mommy.

In those moments, I question everything. Is the time away worth it? Am I really where I am supposed to be? Will they know that this is hard on me too? Or will they only remember that mommy was gone a lot?

A fellow working mommy recently lamented that her daughter wants to be “a busy, busy, busy woman” when she grows up, an obvious emulation of her mother. I commiserated that my own daughter has shared that she wants to be a “girl who goes to lots of meetings and has her own computer” when she grows up (as a side job to her Pop Star gig, of course).

It can be hard to reconcile the demands of a career with the heartstrings of a mother. One of the ways that I attempt to maintain balance is in keeping my family at the forefront of my mind, even at work. In fact, I do this especially when I am at work.

Modern women often feel discouraged from overlapping business with family life, and I do make every effort to separate the truly personal aspects. But I talk about my kids when I am at work. A lot. I never shy away from mentioning their names or from sharing funny stories. I am not afraid to explain that I am tired today because the baby was up all night or that I need to leave early for a pediatrician appointment.

This is my life, and my life doesn’t prevent me from doing my job or from doing it well. In fact, I think I am more productive now, with kids, than ever before. I will not exclude them or separate them or shy away from a family reference if I think it has relevance.  

I have actually built up great rapport with customers and co-workers over topics like child care and potty training and the terrible twos. And, for now, the reason I know why I really am where I am supposed to be is simple: when I talk about my kids at work, people listen. They reply. They share their own stories and experiences. We’re all in this together, and we do better when we can be open and honest about real life. 




6 comments:

  1. It's exactly what keeps us connected as humansđź’—

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    1. Back at you, Kristi. Except I don't know how to emoticon ... (sad face)

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