Guest Blog: Confessions of a Working Mom-aholic

This week's guest blogger has been a bit of a life line for me as a working mom. I worked with her husband years ago, and after I left for a different opportunity, she reached out to me when she heard through the grapevine that I was expecting. She was too! In true "Megan" fashion, she organized a group of about 8 first time moms to meet on a weekly basis. These were her friends, acquaintances and even a woman who happened to be getting a pedicure in the next chair over! All of these women now have 2 children, (that pic was of her at about 9 mos pregnant with baby #2 - of course getting ready for a work function!) and we're all still connected and meet when we can - mostly for a mom's night out. Since those "new mom" days, I've witnessed numerous examples of her organizing and connecting people, always with amazing results. It is, therefore, very fun for me to learn more about what makes this Super-Mom and Super-Friend tick! Enjoy!

Yes, I admit it.  I am addicted to my job… and addicted to being a wife and mother.  And, while we’re at it, I am a chronic over-achiever too.   This combination makes for a busy, exhausting, and crazy life… but it’s my life, and (even though I may complain sometimes) I really wouldn’t change a thing.  I feel so fortunate that my full-time job allows me to work from home so that I can do things that I would NOT be able to do if I worked in a traditional office setting.  Also, I am very lucky that I have an incredible support system of my husband, parents, in-laws and a nanny who all make it possible for me to function every day.  In our household, it really does “take a village.”

In no particular order, here are some of the perks that I am able to enjoy due to being a working-from-home-mom:  Hearing the giggles from downstairs while the kids happily play with their nanny; picking up my four-year-old daughter from preschool and being the first one to hear about her day; taking my 16-month-old son to Gymboree and hearing him proudly shout out “bubble!”  every week during parachute time; going to the gym at 10am and calling it my lunch break; wearing pajamas or workout clothes all day if I feel like it; saving time and energy wasted on commuting and general work place drama; grocery shopping alone (ahhh… just saying it makes me feel relaxed) and prepping dinner mid-day so I am a step ahead in the evening; reading for pleasure when I am traveling for work; and sneaking in lots of extra hugs and kisses from the kiddos throughout the day.
However, a set-up this great does not come without sacrifice.  Here are some of the struggles I face as a full-time-working-from-home-mom:  Hearing the giggles from downstairs while the kids happily play with their nanny… instead of me; having to leave the family and travel for work about 6 times a year; not having any “transition” time between work and family (no commute means the minute I appear from my office I am fair game); seeing my office turn into a glorified storage room for everything we want to “hide” from guests who may drop by; facing millions of distractions in the form of projects around the house I SHOULD be doing at night but that never get done because I am so tired; often having to hide in my office when I am dying of hunger or thirst because I am trying to avoid an unexpected run-in with the little ones; and spending all day and night attached to my iPhone like an umbilical cord.

How I feel about 10 times each day:
But back to this work-aholic and mom-aholic thing and why finding the perfect balance between the two is such a constant struggle for me.  I am one of those crazy people who always HAS to give 150% to anything I do, or I will just torture myself later in annoyance that I didn’t.  It is something that started when I was young and now it just follows me around like a curse that I cannot get rid of, even if I try.  For example, on top of raising two kids and working full time, I am involved in my Moms’ group at church.  And, by involved I mean I have been a small group leader for the past few years and am now the Co-Coordinator of the group.  It adds a lot to my plate, but I love it and I feel good about my participation in it.  Being in this group has allowed me to meet some amazing women who help me stay sane when things get really hectic (like delivering meals to my house for almost 3 weeks when my second child was born!).  Sometimes, even we “super moms” need to take off our capes and relax.

Now it’s time for another confession… I have recently realized that, no matter how hard I try, it truly is impossible to give 150% to EVERTHING at the same time.  As they say, something’s gotta give!  For example, my four-year-old recently started AYSO soccer and I am learning that I am everything BUT the ideal soccer mom right now.  With so many other priorities on my plate at work and at home, soccer has had to take a back seat… and it is killing me.  It is killing me that I am not able to step up to the plate and be “team mom” or bake homemade treats for the kids after the game (ok, I wouldn’t do that anyway… I don’t bake.  But you get the point).  Everything in my nature tells me I am being a slacker and letting someone down (My daughter?  Myself?  The Coach?  God?  Ok, probably not God, but I always throw in a healthy dose of Catholic guilt in any situation).   As much as I want to be the leader and my usual volunteering self… this time I have decided it’s time to say “when”… i.e. “stick a fork in me, I am done”.  I know I am doing the right thing by letting this go, but it still bothers me.  I can’t help it.  I guess there is always next year… hahaha.

At the end of the day, all that really matters is my precious little girl who (bless her heart) tells me EVERY day, “you are the best Mommy I ever had!”, my sweet little boy who snuggles up to me and sucks his thumb every chance he gets, and my incredible husband of 9 years who always has my back.  Amazingly enough, they do not blame me for being a work-aholic and I know they appreciate that I am a mom-aholic.  Do I get enough sleep?  No.  Do I get to see my friends enough?  No.  Do I get to join in on fun stay-at-home-mom play dates?   No.  However… I DO get to help provide for my family’s future and ensure that my kids will get the same Catholic education that my husband and I benefited from.   I DO get to see my kids WAY more than the average full-time working mom does.  I DO get to enjoy un-interrupted adult conversation every day (sometimes even at a fancy restaurant or country club!).  And, I DEFINITELY feel a sense of accomplishment at night when my head finally hits the pillow.  So, if this resonates with you and you want to join me in the Working Mom-aholics Club… come on down!   I will be happy to organize the meetings, just don’t ask me to bake anything.  I don’t bake. 

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