I am damn good at my job. I like it, am well-rewarded and come home each night feeling like I’ve made a difference. And yet, despite all of the accolades and personal satisfaction, I still sometimes feel that I am letting my kids down by not being with them 24/7. Stereotypes are a bitch.
I’ve decided to take a stand for working mothers everywhere. I’m tired of feeling guilty. Guilty for the things I’m doing. Guilty for the things I’m not doing. Guilty for not always knowing which category all those “things” should go into in the first place.
I think it is high time for us to set our self-flagellation tools aside. I’ve written myself a list of reminders to keep me focused on what really matters. I’m calling it the Working Mom Manifesto!
The Working Mom Manifesto
- I will not feel guilty every morning when I go to work. I either chose to be there or I need to be there or both. I am going to accept my presence in the office place as fact and move on.
- I will not feel guilty if my child is the first to arrive at daycare and/or the last to leave. She doesn’t seem to mind so why should I beat myself up over this?
- I will enjoy my lunch regardless of what it is or whether I eat it al fresco or al desk-o. It is likely to be the only meal of the day I get to eat in peace.
- I will drink endless cups of coffee or tea and make an ungodly number of trips to the bathroom simply because I can. I pee alone when I am at work, so there is that.
- I will not apologize profusely to my boss when my child makes me late or causes me to miss work. Shit happens and sooner or later everyone is going to have to accept that.
- I will respect the line that divides home from work. My colleagues don’t want to hear my phone calls with my 3 year old anymore than my 3 year old wants to hear the updates from my last meeting.
- “Going to work” does not count as “getting out of the house and doing something nice for myself”. I will find some free time to spend on me and I won’t use it to sleep.
- I will not disparage SAH and WAH moms. We’re all grown-ups and there is no need for us to throw sand in one another’s eyes. Decisions like these are super individual and should be respected, regardless of whether we agree or disagree.
- I will make sure that the daycare and school staff know that I have massive respect for what they do.
- I will not strive for balance. I will just strive to be. Be who I need to be wherever I am at the moment. As long as I am being true to me, that is more than good enough.