Tag Archives: #workingmoms

Why I’m Rejecting Working Mom Guilt

Anyone who has ever tried to work with a baby on their lap will appreciate the hilarity of this photo.

Working mom guilt. Just typing the phrase alone makes me cringe. Not for the reasons you might imagine though. I’d venture a guess that when you think about this phrase, you picture something like this; a mom in heels, running frantically from a school drop off to an important meeting, forgetting that her kid’s lunch is still in her purse. Or maybe you see a mom crying at her desk because the nanny just sent her a video of her baby’s first steps.

Perhaps you picture yourself and a moment in your own professional life that has shot like a dagger through your heart because you weren’t with your children for a particular milestone or celebration.

Am I right?

Those are all common images associated with this notion of working mom guilt, and they are very real scenarios for many women, but that’s not what makes me cringe. What makes me cringe is the saying itself – working mom GUILT.

The very definition of this word insinuates that working mothers, myself included, are doing something wrong. Not something hard, or something that can come with challenging moments or even sadness sometimes. Nope, guilt doesn’t mean any of those things; it means you’ve done something for which you should feel ashamed, like stealing money from your workplace or cheating on your spouse.

No wonder so many working moms feel negative about their experience. The very term used to describe what we go through suggests that we’ve made the wrong choice. When often, working isn’t even a choice for us at all.

Listen, do I feel sad when I have to say goodbye to my two-year-old in the morning, and he’s sitting on our front steps waving at me with the cutest damn face ever? Yes, of course, I do. Do I wish that I could volunteer in my first grader’s classroom regularly, so I have a better sense of how his teacher operates? Without a doubt.

no working mom guilt here
Getting a visit at work from my guys is simply the best.

But do I feel guilty about loving what I do for a living and providing financial security for my family? Absolutely not. What I feel can better be described as what I call the working mom anger.

I feel anger that most of the women I talked to about this topic told me they went back to work before they were ready because their maternity leave, if they ever had one, was too short. I feel anger that many of us end up apologizing to our employers if we leave early for something child-related, even though we know it will have zero negative impact on their bottom line.

One of the moms I spoke to explained this best when she stated, “I’m more likely to feel guilty for leaving the office early to take care of my kids than I am to feel guilty for leaving my kids. I think that is a societal/cultural issue.” Indeed it is. And it’s high time we demanded a change.

How will employers ever revise their policies if we keep acting like it’s our fault there’s an issue? The problem is not your guilt, ladies. The problem is that we haven’t been shouting from the rooftops about how unnecessary all the hoops we have to jump through in order to both work and parent, are in this country!

Why are we still accepting of the fact that all over the U.S., women are given zilch in terms of paid maternity leave? Even in our Government, as one of my friends who is a federal employee notes, “You simply have to use your annual leave/sick days. If you don’t have enough you can enroll in a program and hopefully get approved or get donations for six to eight weeks of paid leave, but nothing more than postpartum recovery (six-eight weeks). Everything else is LWOP (leave without pay) if you don’t have enough time in your bank and want the full 12 weeks.”

You guys, that is insane. We’re talking about six weeks to three months here – anyone who has ever had a baby or been around anyone who has ever had a baby knows that at six weeks postpartum you are still hormonal, sleep-deprived, peeing your pants and getting up multiple times a night to feed your child. I honestly just cannot fathom how any company, much less our FEDERAL GOVERNMENT can rationalize this.

Did you know in Canada, women can get up to a full year (and sometimes more) of leave? It’s true. One Canadian mom I spoke to explained, “We get a percentage of our wage. So, while we make less than when working, we save in other costs (i.e., childcare) and we can also split the leave with our husband so he can take time as well.” When I asked if she thought this led to fewer feelings of this so-called working mom guilt, she responded, “I don’t know if it helps alleviate the guilt because I think, working or not, we are so incredibly hard on ourselves. However, I’m more ready (both physically and emotionally) to go back as compared to others who go back much sooner.”

Can you imagine what a shift there would be in our own country if we adopted this policy? If working moms knew from the beginning of their journey that they were valued as mothers and employees, with the two not standing in opposition to each other?

My plea to all the working mothers out there is that you stop internalizing these feelings you’ve been led to believe are your own fault, your own “working mom guilt”, and start verbalizing what you want, what you need, and what you deserve, in order to function in both roles. Let’s start talking about change, not guilt. Lord knows it isn’t going to happen until we demand it!

The Dirty Truth About Running A Mom Blog

Hello Dearests!

We are so tickled that we have made it one year, making you laugh and/or roll your eyes in disgust here at Mommy Dearest Inc. Wow, what a year! We started this venture so unaware of what launching and running a blog entailed. The old saying, “The blind leading the blind” really rings true when observing us trying to figure out Word Press. The night before the launch, Theresa and Susan tried to code something and the entire site shit the bed. Thank God for Dennis (our Web Guy), who had that baby up and running – $125 later. And then, on the morn of October 20, 2015 we launched MDI and the followers just started pouuuurrriiing in. It was like an overnight success amongst our moms, aunts, sisters, cousins and a handful of friends. What a shock to learn that launching a blog was not the only thing you have to do for it to be successful. Who knew? Continue reading

You Can Have It All – 8 Steps to Becoming the Ultimate Woman

At 5am I am adjusting my calender, storing breast milk I pumped at 4am, having a powerful cup of Joe and getting breakfast ready for the fam.
At 5am I am adjusting my calendar, storing breast milk I pumped at 4am, having a powerful cup of Joe and getting breakfast ready for the fam.

Nothing infuriates me more than a panel of privileged, white men telling me what I can and cannot have. I’ve read numerous articles and studies about how a woman must choose between work and raising a child and how even when she does, she’ll never be satisfied. This is hogwash and I am starting to think that women are extremely whiney regarding their guilt and dissatisfaction about their status in life. Stop whining ladies, you are your own worst enemy. If you get your butt in gear and organize your life correctly, you most certainly can have it all. Below are eight steps to becoming the ultimate woman.

  1. Spend less time whining and more time doing.

Instead of moaning about there not being enough hours in the day, grab yourself a double espresso, mix that with your favorite energy drink and WHAMMY! Suddenly you will find that being tired is a thing of the past. There are 24 hours in a day for a reason and if you have a clear “To Do” list, you can utilize every hour available to you. The National Sleep Foundation recommends at least 8 hours of sleep per day to live a long, healthy life but they don’t know what it feels like to have it all. Plus, you are in your prime, this is when everything is yours for the taking. If you sleep now, you’ll miss your chance. We’ll sleep when we’re dead, ammiright?

  1. Give Equally to Everyone and Everything.

Women spend a lot of time complaining about having to choose between thriving in their careers or being a good mother. This always give me a good chuckle. If you just get up a little extra early and go to bed a little later than you’d like to, you can accomplish it all. When you get home from your fruitful career at 8pm, you actually have plenty of time run up to your children’s beds to read them “The Little Prince”, kiss them and tell them you love them. Take five minutes to relish in their angelic states while they sleep before you get to work.

  1. Use your time wisely.

Don’t throw on your yoga pants and take that bra off when you get home from work, it will only make you lazy! After the kiddos are down, you get to business in the healthy lunch department. Pay your Instacart shopper a little more to divide your bags into food groups so when you start putting the groceries away, you can save six or seven minutes by having your food pregrouped. Also, Sunday Funday, my ass. This is the most opportune time of the week to get your shit together. I find that if you use the Planet Box lunch boxes, you can split up all of the organic food you’ve bought and grown at home into glass storage bowls and then just grab them from the fridge when you are making lunches. Do not, I REPEAT, do NOT ever let them eat lunches made at school. It makes you look weak and it will give them ADHD. Just because a school says the food is organic, doesn’t mean it is.

  1. LEAN IN.

The more projects you have at work and at your child’s school, the better you’ll be able to manage your time. If you have a lot on your plate, you will thrive. There is nothing more fulfilling than to see your hard work come to fruition. So, your boss is asking you for something unthinkable in a completely unreasonable amount of time and your inbox is exploding with an email chain from Harlow and Skyler’s moms about how the committee needs you to complete the spreadsheet regarding possible allergens (environmental only, don’t be a baby) in the school yard so that you can all tackle ridding your children’s educational setting of poisonous pollens and the like? Skip lunch that day (you really shouldn’t be taking a lunch any day unless it’s a business meeting). While you are packing your child’s lunch, pack one for yourself. Your thighs have been touching lately anyway and we all know that’s a sign of not having your shit together.

  1. Don’t Neglect the Big Guy/Gal!

Yes, yes, you’ve only slept four hours a night for the past three years but nobody likes a complainer and if you want to keep your significant other’s eyes on you, you’d better find time to keep that body slender and save enough energy for passionate love-making every night of the week except Sunday (Mama’s got lunches to organize into the wee hours and that lemon tree is not going to prune itself). Keep things spicy between you and your loved one by hitting up the adult gift store before dinner on date night (once a week minimum if you don’t want to get divorced) and make sure you are constantly replenishing your lingerie collection. We don’t want them to get bored! Yes, after your passionate love-making session you will need to excuse yourself to really take advantage of the hours left in the night to pay the bills, return Harlow’s mom’s emails and come up with a brilliant campaign for that multi-billion dollar account you just landed at work. You’ve got this.

  1. Don’t neglect yourself.

There’s nothing more unattractive than a women who doesn’t take care of herself because she thinks she’s “too busy”. Request a lock on your office door so you can get that landing strip groomed while never having to leave the office! Celebrating a full bush is in no way a power play. Don’t have an office? Don’t fret, reserve the conference room for a “very important meeting” in a pinch. You can even take a conference call to be super-efficient. No one has to know! Keeping yourself groomed to enhance your love life while working at the same time? GIIIIRRRLL, you are the epitome of time management!

  1. Balance Your Damn Life

So, you are up for a promotion but you’ll need to land a huge account in Europe first, where you’ll have to spend an entire week wining and dining a gaggle of Middle Eastern businessmen. Unfortunately, little Betsy has to build an entire Mission out of toothpicks and her project is due the following week. Dad has poker night and a lot of important meetings himself so just pack up Betsy, grab the Nanny and head to Spain – The Missions’ birthplace! After you’ve landed that multi-billion dollar deal, Madrid here we come! It’s in Betsy’s best interest to have a list of interviews lined up with Spanish Historians who focus on the American Missions. She’s sure to get into Harvard and once again, you’ve nailed it, Mama!

  1. Keep Your Social Life in Tact

Between reffing your daughter’s field hockey games, date night and trying to keep up with your exercise regimen, your evenings can get pret-ty full. Don’t let that hold you back from showing off those amazing culinary skills you’ve been working on for all of these years! Cooking is a form of affection and love, so invite people over at least once a week to show them you care. Don’t be one of those losers who order-in when people take the time to get a babysitter. UGH, the worst. Make sure your flowers are fresh, your table setting is magazine-worthy and your guests, well let’s just refer to the old expression, “Show me who you walk with and I’ll tell you who you are”. POWER, POWER, POWER! You can squeeze in a coffee with “Linda, The Stay at Home Mom” any old day but to get ahead, make sure that dinner table is full of extremely interesting and successful people. You’ll be the talk of the town and we all know the way to people’s hearts (and vacation homes) is through their stomachs. Show them what you’ve got woman because you’ve got everything.

Homemade pasta with freshly foraged wild mushrooms is what's on the menu for tonight's dinner!
Homemade pasta with freshly foraged wild mushrooms is what’s on the menu for tonight’s dinner!

I know it can get overwhelming but nothing great is easy. It’s your job as a woman to be successful, raise amazing children, nourish your family, invest properly, avoid wearing active wear outside the gym, keep a clean car, have a picturesque home, emotionally invest in your marriage, your children and your friendships. If you really look at the big picture, it’s not that much so please, for women everywhere, stop complaining because you can have it all…just lean in, ladies…but not too much because you don’t want to look desperate.