Professional mom seeking clarity, balance and a well deserved glass of wine.
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You know that old saying, “green with envy”….wishing very much that you had what someone else has, well I find myself thinking about this just about every day.
In the mornings I drop my kids off at school. My youngest is in Pre-K, so you have to physically walk them in each day. It’s during this daily trek that I find myself “envying” the moms who don’t have jobs outside the home. (I said that very carefully, I know how hard all moms work) They come and go in their workout clothes, since they’re off to the gym and have time to workout. Or, they’re in their pj’s and can leisurely go back home and tool around the house and pick up the morning’s destruction. Or, they just look relaxed and have time to stand around and chat, in the parking lot, with other moms.
I’VE DECIDED THAT THIS IS MOM ENVY. That feeling of wishing very much that you didn’t have to rush off to work. That you could bee bop over to the gym until lunch time. That you didn’t have that big presentation hanging over your head and the fear that the client will hate it. The pressure of being a professional and a mom.
But wait, didn’t I choose this life? Would I be happy being a stay-at-home mom? I actually don’t think so. I love my career. I’m clearly not the mom who was meant to bring six children into the world (hail to my Aunt Barbara) and do it with style and grace. I am just not her and that’s ok. It’s all I can do to wrangle the two I have and keep it all together. (I’ve already started a therapy fund for each of them) I’m good with owning a business and running a family. Then why the envy?
I’ve seen lots of segments about this very topic on GMA or some other news show. I think the answer varies. Some moms have to work and wish they could stay home. Some moms stay home and covet a high-powered career. Some moms juggle both, either by choice or out of necessity. I guess it’s the “balanced” Libra in my that wishes I could do both. I guess what I have to figure out is how to make it work and work well, so that I feel balanced and less envious. Maybe I’ll never feel zero envy. That’s ok.
I’ve made some changes to my professional life, so that I can take that extra time in the mornings at school. Hang out, like Josie’s dad, and color a picture before I scurry off for the day. I leave early on Fridays and pick the girls up right after school and ix-nay the daycare. I’m also trying to be more tolerant when I have to stay home with them when they are sick. It sounds selfish, but I really like going to my office. My creative partner and I call it the “happy place.” I feel resentment when I have to stay home and miss going in. I know, I’m crazy. How many people don’t love a good “sick” day where you can just hang out with your kids on the couch and watch movies all day. I’m trying to be better at this. Better at just accepting whatever rolls in each day. Going with the flow.
I think that’s the ticket. I’m fortunate enough to own my own business and set my own schedule. I have employees though, so I battle with feeling guilty if I take too much time off. Again, I know I sound crazy. The working 15-20 hours a day for many years should have earned me a guilt-free experience, but I guess it’s something I do to myself. I’ve got to stop worrying about what it looks like from the outside and start living because it feels right on the inside. (so profound)
I want to enjoy every minute of these kids. They’re going to be gone before I can blink my eyes and I don’t want any regrets. I guess things always look greener on the other side of the fence. Maybe that’s just human nature. A little might be healthy. Maybe just “minty” with envy instead of “green.” Focusing on the positives instead of the negatives. Am I truly happy. If not, change it. I am in control of my destiny.
Have you had occasional bouts of Mom Envy? Does it eat at you or are you maintaining a healthy level? Mint or forest. What’s your shade?
Stay sane, my friends.
I have mom envy all the time and I don’t even have kids. Who wouldn’t want to spend the day at the gym, shopping, getting a massage. I think what we have is Kept Woman Envy. lol!
I so relate! I always loved my work and my business, even when it made me crazy trying to squeeze everything in — including some precious time for myself. I envied the moms who looked so relaxed at school in the morning, had time to chat and such, but I never wanted to be a “stay-at-home mom”. I would have gone crazy, and a big part of me would have been unfulfilled. Over the years I got better at working out the balance, but there always seemed to be someone doing it better/more easily than me (whether that was true or not). I think that crazy envy is a number many of us (all of us?) do to ourselves. Here’s hoping that that can change!
Mom envy happens in all forms, after I had my first child I went back to work, it’s what I did for 9years before her, but I didn’t want too, I worked until she was 18months old and we brought our son into the world. I was sad every morning to leave her I was miserable! Then after staying home for almost 3 years I am happiest here, I do envy some parts of working Mom schedule like a lunch break where you can alone, or going to the bathroom without being intruded on or NEVER being alone, once my kids are in bed its me and hubby and as much as I love him, I’m still never alone unless grocery shopping, also with a one income family comes sacrifices not all SAHM have the money to hit the gym all day and go for coffee dates while the kids are in school, mine are 4 and 3 not yet in school so they are a full time job in itself 🙂 You just have to find what’s best for you and remember why it works for you, I remember all the time when I’m frustrated how I would cry driving to work every morning because I hated being away from my baby, then the sacrifices didn’t seem so bad! Additionally I do exercise but because of my demanding little ones and schedule I have to be up as early as a working mom at 5am just to workout before they rise for the day. But I wouldn’t change it for the world! I’m where I’m the happiest stressful, hard or tired, this is my happy!
I appreciate this so much! You’re right–you have to make a choice and be good with it. There’s always a positive spin on every decision. Children are so worth all the energy and sacrifice…sometimes I have to chant that a hundred times for it to rise back to the forefront of my crazy mind. 😉