We live in this incredible time when technology is available at our fingertips. We can keep up with old friends, share our lives with those around us, and communicate with loved ones from across the World. If you're a mom, social media is such an amazing outlet.... most of the time. You all know the times when Social Media is doing a lot more harm than good. It's when you're scrolling through Instagram and you see the mom that's so put together, the kids hair and clothing is ironed and utterly perfect. The white carpet in their modern home is spot free, and the sun is shining perfectly through the window to cast a beautiful glow around a beautiful moment.
.......... yeah right. I don't care if you're a working mom, or you stay home.... social media tends to show us moms that we're just not doing enough. It makes us feel inadequate seeing those perfectly staged photos in perfectly clean homes. We have enough to worry about on a daily basis, and holding ourselves to an unrealistic standard isn't making life any easier.
As a working mom, I probably can't tell you the number of times that I've cried to my husband because I just felt like I couldn't do it all.
Usually those tears come at completely irrational times. For example, the other day my husband touched my leg and joked about how my legs were prickly. I hadn't shaved in a week probably and they were the LAST thing on my to-do list. I immediately burst into tears. His joke just felt like another area of my life I couldn't keep up on. That seems so silly, right? But to a working mom, the level of standards you feel you have to hold yourself to is just ridiculous. I feel the pressure to keep a clean home, to have it presentable in case anyone were to stop by. I feel the pressure to succeed at my job as I'm providing for my family. I feel the pressure to give my son my undivided attention when I am home because I feel guilty if I take a "break". I also feel the desire to still give my husband the attention that he rightfully deserves, and work daily on keeping our marriage strong. I'm exhausted. You just can't do it all! As Mothers we like to think we're super heroes, and to our children we are, but sometimes, something HAS to give.
As a fellow working mom, the first thing you have to let go, is the house.
It is okay to have a messy house for a little while when your children are young and need your attention. Maybe not a filthy home, but we definitely have clutter. My husband and I keep up with the dishes, vacuuming, and wiping down counters in all rooms of the house. Do I have toys from one edge of my living to the other 99% of the time... absolutely. Do I have mail piled up on my counter... 100%. Have you ever stopped by unannounced to another mom's house? It is the greatest thing you can do for yourself to catch a mom off guard and realize... her house is messy too! You are not the only one whose house is cluttery or covered in toys. I have a hard time sitting on the floor of my house, playing with my son when I know the house needs to be cleaned, but then I realize how precious this time is with him and how the chores can wait, he's only a baby for such a short time.
Let's also talk about all those amazing home cooked meals we see on social media now.
I actually really love to cook, but with a 9 month old, a full time job, and a baby on the way, cooking a healthy and well balanced meal for my family literally feels impossible. Luckily, we do have the crock pot, which saves our family a lot of nights from having to eat fast food again. I believe each mom has the right to choose what to feed her family, and I commend the women who are able to get an amazing home cooked meal on the table every night, but I'm grateful to know my child will be A-Okay after boxed macaroni and cheese for dinner.
One of the most important things about being a working mom is knowing your limits.
I've tested mine a hundred times, but over time, I'm really starting to know what I'm capable of and what I've just had to let go. My house is cluttered, but my son is happy. Our meals aren't always the healthiest or well balanced in any way, but my family is fed. You have to learn for yourself what can start slipping in your house so you can work happily, and come home feeling less guilty about spending time with your family instead of the laundry list of things you think you need to get done.
Don't get lost in the "perfect" lives of those online. There's so much we don't see, and to others I'm sure it looks like I have the perfect life and that I'm super woman doing it all. As working moms, we need to focus on ourselves, our careers, and our families. Sometimes it's messy, and sometimes we feel like we're failing, but I can assure you, you ARE a super hero to your child, you ARE loved and cherished by your spouse for all you do for your family. The house can wait, your legs don't need to be shaved for a few more days, and dinner can be pizza. You're not failing - you're surviving - and you're doing such an incredible job at it!