For International Working Women’s Day: Struggles Of Working Moms
It’s International Working Woman’s Day and just the right time to stop and praise (or give a hug to?) one particular group of working women: mamas! Have you ever noticed that, when a man announces he and his partner are expecting, nobody asks him, “Are you going to keep working when the baby comes?” It’s just a given that the man would keep working. What about the mom? Maybe she wants to keep working, too? Oh, that’s fine, but she’s totally demonized should she fall behind even the tiniest bit on mommy duties, due to work, or work duties, due to being a mommy. If a working dad puts in a tiny effort with the kiddos, he receives a parade. If he falls behind on work due to father duties, he receives total forgiveness and—again—that parade. So, for goodness sake, on International Working Women’s Day, let’s acknowledge these struggles of working mothers.
Arriving at work with stains
There’s nothing like pulling up to an important meeting or presentation with yogurt on your blouse because your kid decided to use his breakfast to decorate mommy’s outfit. Everyone laughs, says it’s cute, and calls it no big deal, but you know it’s distracting them.
When your kid has a sick day
When two working parents wake up to find a sniffly child, you can almost hear that dramatic cliffhanger music played before commercial breaks on soap operas. How will the parents work this one out? One has to blow his own sick day, to stay home with the kid. But maybe both parents are out of sick days. So now they’re stuck finding a nanny with…oh…40 minutes notice.
Being the slacker in the carpool
All the stay at home (or SAH) moms sort of resent you for being the slacker in the carpool. But you have to arrive at work at 9am sharp. So, no, you can’t do carpool on the days when there’s one extra pickup or when you’ll have to unload science projects for 15 minutes.
Being jealous of the babysitter
You have those awful moments when it seems the babysitter knows your child more than you ever will. Like, when you buy your kid candy, only to have the babysitter inform you that the child recently developed a hate of the main ingredient in that candy. She knew that and you didn’t. Ugh.
When you put milk in the office fridge
Nursing mamas have been there: you have to pump at work and you forgot your cooler. You really don’t want to dump out all this quality milk since you happen to know your reserves are running low at home. So…that’s going in the office refrigerator.
The PTA critiques
The PTA makes not-so-subtle comments about your lack of involvement in the school. Of course, they are all very cliquey, so when you do try to get involved, they make you feel left out.
When extracurricular activities finish early
When the baseball coach calls to inform you the game ended extremely early—like 45 minutes early—and all the kids have gone home except for yours.
Wondering how lunch money is spent
You just don’t really have time to make your child lunch every morning. So, you give her money to buy lunch. But you sometimes suspect she’s just using it to buy candy or something else.
Winter break, spring break and—worst of all—summer break. There goes the free childcare that came with school from 8am to 3pm (and maybe additional free childcare with after-school sports).
When daycare closes
Then there are those glorious occasions when your go-to childcare facility announces they’ll be closed for construction for a few weeks, or your beloved and reliable nanny (the only one your kids don’t scream at) is going on vacation for three weeks.
When you’re out of touch on new diet fads
Some days, you proudly make your child a lunch, only to have a parent inform you the school no longer wants such-and-such food on the premises because it contains some ingredient that was found by some vague study to be a little bit toxic. You’re evil, of course, because you don’t stay up to date with every single mommy blog announcing this.
When you’re asked to serve hot lunch
The school continues to ask you to come in and serve hot lunch. To do this you’d literally have to be a superhero. It would mean running to your car, speeding over, and speeding back to work, completely foregoing your own meal.
Generally making those volunteer hours
If your child goes to one of those schools that require every parent to volunteer a certain amount of hours, you’re always falling behind. Every quarter, you have to volunteer for some overnight trip just to catch up at the last minute. And that, of course, never comes at a convenient time.
Watching SAH moms on social media
The other moms have a living blog going about their lives as stay at home moms. They complain about laundry and packing lunches and bath time. You dream of being present for those things.
When you forget to sign the permission slip
You have a lot of paperwork to look over between work paperwork, and family-related paperwork. There comes a day when you forget to sign the kid’s permission slip for a field trip, which means A) your child is heartbroken and B) you have to find last-minute childcare.