There is this quiet little truth no one wants you to know about being a working parent. It’s something we all know instinctively, but can’t see in others. It’s something Instagram fools us into believing isn’t so.
In order to succeed at work there are some days when parenting takes a back seat.
Yep. It’s true. Some days work comes first and my kids just get the big four survival musts: food, water, sleep and shelter.
The even truer part of this (for me at least) is that on those days, my kids are obligated to entertain themselves.
I used to really grapple with the days where all I did was keep my kids alive. I would mentally beat myself up for using the TV as a babysitter for HOURS while I got caught up or dedicated myself to an urgent task.
If my kids hadn’t had an activity yet, I’d try to cram in a sunset park trip or a family store run (that counts as getting them out of the house, don’t you dare say it doesn’t).
It took a long time for me to realize that on some days, my kids get 35% of me and that’s it (round abouts that’s the bare minimum time to give to keep them running smooth). Especially as a work at home mom, I have felt the pressure of needing to show up 100% for my work peeps and 100% for my kids and would feel insane amounts of guilt when I couldn’t do that.
Inevitably the two worlds will collide. There will be days when you have to put on your #girlboss pants and that means your toddler is on a 3-hour Paw Patrol binge. There will also be other days where you can’t raise your hand and save the day at work because you’re singing at a library with your babies.
Balance is Bologna
Balance has never been about and never will be about giving yourself perfectly to two tasks. Some days your kids get your best. Other days your job does. And not always in a perfect 50/50 split. It seems though that no matter how many times we moms hear that work/life balance is a myth we still put ourselves in these situations where we are punishing ourselves for not being more.
I just wanted to be another in a line of working moms who raises her hand and says I DON’T DO IT ALL! I do my best to spread myself out as evenly as possible, but some days (some weeks even) my kids take one for the team. And guess what? They survive it. They still have great fun and amazing memories. They are still growing mentally and physically strong. And despite all warnings to the contrary, TV has yet to rot their brains (though I’m not sure the Bubble Guppies song will ever leave mine).
If someone in your life is making you feel like you’re failing your kids by bringing money into your household and needing some brain space in order to do that, feel free to place that person’s opinions in the garbage heap where they belong. If the person making you feel like a failure is you, it’s time to stop that behavior right now. You can be a great parent and still have days where you just scrape by in the mom department.