Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Welcome....Heir to Blair!

I am super excited today.  I have a new friend guest posting for me!  

I met Blair on the "mommy" message boards a couple years back, and we were instantly NOT friends.  Then we both had our sons, and I think, both grew up a little.  Being a mom changes you in so many different ways, and this was one of them.  Blair and I are now "blog friends", and I like that.

What I like even better is her blog. (If you've never heard of it, you must be living under a rock!)  I have been reading Heir to Blair, since the day her son Harrison was born, which is exactly one week before Jack was born.  It's nice to see someone else go through what I go through; struggles with weight, time, a full-of-energy boy, and juggling work and mommy-hood.  Which brings me to Blair's guest post.  I think she speaks for MANY working moms out there.

 It's not THAT bad.

When my son was 13 weeks old, I slipped back into a black pencil skirt & three-inch stilletos to take my place in the coporate world once more.   Every day for the next year, I tearfully kissed my little boy goodbye & bitterly plowed through paperwork & client calls.   I hated being a working mother.  I was wracked with jealousy over my stay-at-home-mom friends when they held playdates & lunches.  I struggled with finding balance between work, marriage, motherhood, home, & myself.  News articles hounded home that the children of working mothers were fatter, sicker, & worse off than children of mothers who stayed home.  & it didn't matter if Charlie Sheen himself wrote the study, I believed that I was failing my child by working.
Slowly, that cloud of despair has lifted as my postpartum depression healed & my little family settled into a comfortable routine.  I met a few fellow working momma friends that helped me feel less alone as we shared tips for managing it all.  & you know what?  I realized that it doesn't suck.  Sure, being a working momma is HARD.  You're "on" 24/7, not only meeting the demands of a family & toddler tyrant, but also the demands of clients, bosses, products, & everything in between.  But it definitely has it's perks.
Reasons Being A Working Mom is the Hot Jam
  • The paycheck.  Money pretty much rocks & whether you're using it to put a roof over your head (like me) or buy pretty things from Anthropologie (occasionally me), it's a good feeling to see the bank account swell & know that I earned some of the cash that keeps us full.
  • Lunch breaks that don't include peanut butter & jelly unless I'm lazy & pack that for myself.  They also don't include being pelted in the face with mushy banana.  I can sit down with a good friend in a restaurant or eat quietly at my desk.  Sometimes in the fall & spring when the weather's nice, I take a walk around my office or eat outside in the sunshine while reading a book.  It's a rare moment that I get to myself.
  • Running errands by myself. Lunch isn't all bon-bons, though.  Most of the time, I'm running errands - grocery shopping, dry cleaning, buying dog food & diapers.  It's the only time I can get my teeth cleaned or my hair cut or my lady-bits examined, so I'm that gal laying on the exam table, eating a taco while the gynecologist...you know what? I'm not even going to go there. But I do get to do the mundane things in life by myself without hauling a screaming toddler in & out of a carseat, which makes them easier & faster.
  • The look on his face when I pick him up at the end of the day. I open the front door & he's there, running towards me with a big smile on his face.  He cannot wait to see me & it's reassurance that I'm still his favorite person.
  • Cute clothes. Okay, I'm actually torn on this one because some days I could really do without the tights & three-inch heels.  But when I'm at home, I tend to slave away in jeans & crummy tshirts.  Working ensures that I'm put-together with curled hair & make-up...at least 75% of the time.
  • Adult conversation. Granted, chatting about budgets with a coworker that has horrible breath isn't necessarily my idea of a good time, but sometimes I think it beats listening to Wonder Pets on repeat.
  • Living for the weekends. By the time Saturday & Sunday roll around, our entire little family is haggard & in need of rest.  But it's also a time to celebrate being together, so we cook a hot breakfast every morning & spend as much time in the sunshine as possible, after being cooped up in offices.  Nate & I trade off getting time alone - both to ourselves & time alone with Harrison.
  • Things are 100% equal on the parenting front. Like all parents, we're both equally exhausted.  But since we both log 40+ hours in the office, neither can point fingers at who worked harder.  That means that chores, parenting, & responsibilities are split 50/50.   I have just as much time to cook & clean as he does, so when we're almost falling over dead on Friday night, we're both folding size 18 month onesies & pants.
Like I said, it doesn't suck all the time.  There's some bummer parts about being a working momma, but honestly?  I'm not going to go into those.  There's enough negativity out there about those of us with mommas that hold down a nine to five.  We know the benefits of staying home, but it's time to recognize that working can also benefit the family.  At the end of the day, I may prefer to be with my son & dream of a day full of playdough & Little People & yes, even tantrums.  But when I'm sitting in my quiet office at 8am on Monday morning while quietly sipping fresh coffee & checking email, I smile.  Because that moment certainly doesn't suck.

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