Dear Working Moms:
Today, you're all on my mind. Whether your office is in a professional building or in the comfort of your own home, I've been thinking about you. Whether you're a married mom or a single mom, whether you dress up in a suit to go into the city or slide on your yoga pants in the morning to take care of your kids for the day, it's important to say...
We're all working moms.
One does not negate the other. One does not outshine the other. One is not even remotely better than the other. Regardless of whether or not you work outside or inside of the home, if you're a mom...
You're a working mom.
And today working mom, you're on my heart. As I sit here behind my desk wondering how I'm going to juggle both my work and home demands for the day, I'm thinking of you too in your homes and offices getting ready to tackle another day.
I'm thinking of you, the stay-at-home mom, who works tirelessly for your kids and family every day never resulting in any kind of a paycheck or extra income. No. Your payment comes in the form of tantrums, hugs, kisses, messes to clean up, a house to keep in one piece, meals to prepare all day, activities to plan, errands to run... and if you're really lucky, your work bonus is nap time and maybe a few stolen moments of privacy in the bathroom. I'm thinking of you while you kiss all the boo-boo's, break up all the fights, shuttle the kids to and from commitments and so much more. I'm thinking of you as you beg and pray for just a shred of solitude, a moment of peace and quiet and an extra set of hands. I'm also thinking how lucky you are to have this rare and precious time with your kids and how you have the opportunity to be a part of every milestone in their lives every day.
I'm thinking of you, the mother who works outside the home. I know you are usually up in the wee hours of the morning, even before the sun, your kids and your spouse, to make sure everyone's morning starts smoothly. I'm thinking of you as you take an enormous amount of time putting everyone's needs first except your own and as a result, you leave the house with your hair pulled back in a messy ponytail, makeup half on and a spit up stain on your blazer because it's too late to change. The boss will just have to understand. You're juggling both worlds and doing the best you can. I'm thinking of you as you sit at work wondering what your child is doing because they are in the care of someone else, and how you would give anything to see their happy face for a little while. I know you're scrimping and saving all of your time off - not for some luxurious vacation but instead, just in case your child ends up sick and you have to stay home from work. You can use your time and still get paid, a paycheck you desperately need and can't afford to go without. I'm thinking of you as you struggle to find a way to be able to shuttle your kids to extracurricular activities after school while not upsetting your boss by requesting time off from the office. For you working mom outside the home, life is always a delicate balance.
I'm thinking of you, single mom, who finds a way to play superhero all day everyday both as mom and dad. I'm thinking of you as you cry yourself to sleep from exhaustion; mental, physical and emotional exhaustion. I'm thinking of you as you struggle to figure out how you're going to make it to parent/teacher conferences because you can't afford to take time off from work since you're the only breadwinner for your family. I'm thinking of you as you smile to yourself while thinking, "I'm doing this. It isn't easy, but I'm doing it. I'm doing it well and I'm doing it by myself." And when I think of this, I smile for you.
And while I'm thinking of each of you today, I can't help but to also think...
Let's all stop looking at the superficial and look beyond the details and see each other as humans. The dear mother with the bags under her eyes because her child won't sleep at night. The one who is so depressed but can't afford medication and is still doing the best she can. The precious mother with a special needs child who works tirelessly to provide all the care and love her body and mind has to give.
We all have a story to tell, a life to live and a path to walk. Let's stop calling the shots for one another and simply let each other be. Inasmuch as "It takes a village" applies to raising children, I would argue the same applies for being a mom - more support, less judgment.
Today, as you read this, working mom, I'm very simply thinking of you and hoping for the best for you and your family.