It’s 4am and my 4th waking on the 4th night of the 4 month sleep regression that is currently taking our household by storm. As I’m woefully dragging myself out of bed, I just want to scream in my tired delirium because, “Being a working Mom is sometimes really fucking awful (and almost always really hard).”
I wish I had something witty or insightful that I could say about how balancing my Mom life and my work life and my marriage is easy or about how the 4 month sleep regression doesn’t totally suck after 3 months of sleeping-through-the-night bliss, but the truth is that being a working Mom is incredibly difficult and unbearably exhausting 99% of the time. It’s a good day if I’ve been able to function on less than 3 cups of coffee, and it’s a great day if I’ve been able to wash my hair and had a full 15 minutes of alone time. There are consistent piles of laundry, a sink overflowing with dishes and floors that desperately need to be vacuumed and mopped. There is always a list of things that I should be doing and not even close to enough time in the day. There are friends that I should be trying to connect with, and family that I forget to call back. I can’t even remember the last time there was a day where I didn’t feel completely overwhelmed or weighed down by anxiety. But then there are those baby giggles that just melt my soul and make everything seem right. And I am truthfully ok with everything else in life taking the back seat for now.
I decided to start this blog after finding almost every single Mommy blog to be completely unrealistic and not relatable. Almost all are written by stay-at-home Moms and painted with perfectly edited photos and thoughtfully crafted words. In the United States, about 70% of women with children under 18 are actively working or looking for work meaning that while these blogs may be someone’s normal, they are not THE normal.
I may come across as bitter, and I will be the first to admit that some days (ok most days) that is somewhat true. Who wouldn’t want to spend the day returning gummy smiles or doing cute crafts or documenting sweet mid-afternoon naps? I am definitely not one of those Moms that would be lost without my career or feels like they just have to work, but that isn’t my family’s reality right now. I’m grateful to have a job that I love that is such an organic lifestyle fit (I work for a baby brand). I am blessed to have free childcare almost all of the time (thank you, Father-in-law). And when I’m not traveling for work, I am so lucky that my office is located in my home. The fact that I am often able to pop downstairs when I hear my little girl having a hard time to let her know Mommy is still here is invaluable to me. Financially, it’s also important to me to be able to save for my family’s future and to be able to give our little girl a life full of travel, experiences and of course more love than she knows what to do with. I want her to grow up independent and strong and smart and well-rounded, and I hope that some day she admires the fact that I continued to work so that I could give her the best life I possibly could.
But for me, and I think probably many women, the balance is still so hard. The sleepless weeknights rock me, and they almost always happen when I have something important the next morning thanks to Murphy’s Law. Or now with the 4 month sleep regression they just happen every night. When I finally make it through these next few weeks? months?, I’ll be sure to let everyone know my tips for survival. For now, I constantly remind myself, “Embrace this season of your life, for it is just that…a season.” And then I have a good cry in the shower…while constantly pausing because I swear I’m hearing the baby cry. Anyone else?
Stay strong, Mamas! I look forward to bringing you plenty of more honest mothering from this far-from-perfect Mom.