When parents balance full-time careers with raising children, one of their major sources of stress is likely to be securing affordable, reliable, and convenient childcare. But if and when working moms and dads get over that big hurdle, there are plenty of little ones that at best, conjure feelings of guilt and frustration and, at worst, can absolutely ruin a day.
Drawing from my own experiences and those shared by moms in a Facebook group, here is a list of real struggles working moms face:
- When your child is too sick for school and you and your spouse must argue over who can afford to miss work that day.
- When drama class starts at 4 p.m. and you don’t get out of the office until 6.
- When your daycare provider asks you to pick up your sick kid and it takes you an hour to get there and your doctor refuses to fax a Tylenol authorization to offer your child relief while he waits for you because “the child needs to be home.”
- When your child isn’t invited to playdates because her stay-at-home parent is her dad, not her mom.
- When “Daddy and Baby” events are scheduled for non-work hours but “Mommy and Baby” events are smack dab in the middle of your work day.
- When your washing machine breaks and you can never be home long enough to wait for the repair person.
- When your daycare center is closed for a staff development day and all the babysitters you know have been booked by other parents.
- When your toddler seems to prefer her babysitter to you.
- When kindergarten orientation starts two hours after you’re supposed to leave for work.
- When no summer sports camp ends later than 3 p.m.
- When your child begs you to come eat lunch with him because “all the other moms do.”
- When you’ve failed to befriend anyone on the PTA and you don’t have the energy to try.
- When your Facebook newsfeed is filled with photos of stay-at-home mom gatherings, both with kids and without, that you can never make it to.
- When your child’s school has a snow day and all the kids go sledding with their parents … except yours because, hazardous conditions or not, you still had to go to work.
- When you’re a nursing mom stuck in traffic on the commute home and your nanny is texting you that the baby is hungry.
- When the mom next to you at school drop-off is stressing about getting her son’s lunch bag embroidered, and you’re struggling to remember whether you even packed your kid lunch that day.