On most days, every single minute of my life is planned and organized in my phone. This keeps me from becoming the worst mom ever — unless I forget to enter a particular event or appointment. Any change in my routine has the potential to throw me off completely (or even worse).
The other day it was an early release day at my daughter’s school. Which would have been fine, except I forgot to set up a calendar reminder. When I realized my mistake, I did what many a parent would do … I panicked. What kind of mom forgets she needs to readjust her schedule to pick up her daughter? I asked myself. Thank goodness another mom offered to wait with her until I got there since her daughter was playing with mine on the playground. But still, I felt terrible, My working-mom guilt took over as I tried to navigate Miami traffic at the last minute.
My daughter survived but my guilt has lingered.
As a working mom, there are moments in which you are pulled in so many different directions that it’s impossible to feel you have it all together. Your energy level reaches new lows and your memory seems nonexistent. Of course, all moms get tired. Despite being mere human beings, we learn to overcome sleep deprivation, manage to juggle multiple responsibilities, and coordinate all the aspects that affect our family’s life on a day-to-day basis.
I wish I could say that I have found a way to balance my family with my career. In many ways I do have an overall sense of balance, but I tend to subscribe to the “you can have it all just not at the same time” school of thought. When I am focused on my kids, there are many times where I feel there is work stuff that gets neglected. Then when I travel for business, there are school events or meetings I might miss, plus the fact that I don’t get to tuck my kids in at night.
My calendar app on my smartphone keeps me on track, but if I do forget to enter an appointment, my brain will act as if there never was any mention of that event. It doesn’t matter that I read an email or there was a leaflet in my daughter’s folder. Multitasking for me has meant that my attention might focus on something in that particular moment but hours later I have already forgotten it.
The truth is that unless we make our days stop at some point, working moms face never-ending challenges. We catch up with work when our kids are asleep or while waiting in the carpool line. The one thing we never seem to catch up with is self-care. Despite being good at setting limits with our kids, we tend to be very bad at enforcing healthy limits for ourselves. Chances are we can do it all — but we shouldn’t. Every time you skimp on taking care of yourself, there is a price to pay, whether physically or emotionally.
Despite not having the answers or the solutions, I still love being able to show to my kids that women can have careers; that they don’t need to choose between their families and their jobs. Our life might be chaotic but I’ve learned to embrace it. Like millions of moms, I’m trying my best to keep it all together but we need to admit that sometimes our best isn’t good enough. Sometimes we need to learn certain lessons when we do drop the ball. That being said, however, I do need to do a better job of taking care of myself because at this point I am exhausted.
Anybody else feel the same?More On