Working Mom Struggles & How to Overcome Them!
The transition from stay at home mom to working mom has been a rough one. Just looking through the archives here, you can see it’s been months since I wrote anything. While there are multiple things I already knew from working part-time last year, I have learned so much starting a full-time position, and I’m not only talking about at my job.
I will break this down into working part-time and working full time because I have found that there are a lot of differences that I didn’t see. Each of these positions has its own struggles that I will detail out for you. I have enjoyed each stage and change.
Part-Time Working Mom Struggles
A few years ago I had an opportunity come up that allowed me to work a few nights a week from the time my husband got home from work until around midnight. It was perfect. There was no need for babysitters, it gave me a little extra money and got me out of the house.
Sometimes as a stay at home mom, you really miss the interaction with adults. Taking this part time job gave me the opportunity to be the stay at home mom while still getting that interaction I craved from being home.
Struggles of part-time work
Of course there are struggles when you take any job outside the home. The biggest one being guilt. The moment I had to leave my kiddo and not tuck her into bed I felt guilty for making the choice to get a job. I felt like the worst mom ever for leaving her. She was so sad that I wasn’t going to be home to tuck her into bed and go through her bedtime routine.
The thing is though, she started new bedtime routines with daddy, because he didn’t do it the same way as me. It became their thing. It also gave them good time to spend together. What started out being very bothersome became routine.
Through the months, it just became our routine. She adapted to the new way we existed, and I was able to feel more like myself than I had in months.
Balancing work responsibilities with motherhood has its struggles. I have always been the person to work insane hours, take any shift someone needed to switch, work late when it was busy, etc. Working when you’re a mom has all new struggles there. I didn’t want to just work any and every shift I was able to take. I couldn’t go in early or stay late just because.
Working part time had its merits too. The extra funds that I brought in was probably the most noticeable, but the way that I was able to connect to a part of myself that had been lost in motherhood. If you find yourself longing for the parts of you that existed when you were working full time you’ll know the parts that would come back when you start working again.
It felt so great to enjoy time with adults, be more than a mom, and bring in a little extra money for my own spending.
I also loved that I still had my day time routine because of the work being at night. I’m naturally a night owl, so working until Midnight just worked for me. I had the whole day to clean house, blog, work with little miss, and do whatever I wanted all before work. Especially once Little Miss was in preschool, then I had entire days to myself.
It was the best of both worlds. I was able to feel completely a stay at home mom and a working mom. Then we moved, and I was 100% a stay at home mom again. I loved it. My house was so clean, I worked with Little Miss daily on learning activities.
Full-Time Working Mom
Then an opportunity for a job I couldn’t turn down was placed in my lap, so things changed again. All of a sudden my world was surrounded by trying to figure out schedules, finding sitters, and figuring out how to make this new schedule work.
Struggles working Full-Time
There has been such a learning curve to making this working full time thing work. Beyond finding sitters, having back up plans for the entirely real possibility that school could go to virtual learning at any point has been a struggle. Yet, as moms we make it work. We figure it out and keep going.
There is also the housework struggle. Let me tell you that I haven’t felt so far behind on housework in so very long. I went from being on top of literally everything, to staring a mountain of dishes trying to figure out if I had the energy to tackle them that night. By the end of the week the house is a wreck, so then I spend weekends, that used to be reserved for family fun, to catch up on all the stuff I didn’t get done during the week.
The mom guilt is so much stronger when you put in more hours too. I hated that I didn’t get to spend my precious days with Little Miss any longer. She was bouncing between the houses of everyone I was able to schedule to watch her, which sent her to her grandma’s and 2 of her aunts homes during the week.
Now that she is in school, it’s not so bad. I drop her off, go to work, and pick her up. There are still contingency plans for covid related closures, virtual learning days, and sick days, but it seems less hectic on her. She also absolutely loves school which definitely helps.
Full-time work merits
Working full time has been wonderful to me. I have really found that part of myself that was missing. I love connecting to people that come through my job. The group of coworkers and company I have the opportunity to work for is amazing. I couldn’t ask for much more. Is there drama and issues? Of course, you can’t get away from all of that, but even the stuff like that is worthwhile.
There is also the very real benefit of the extra income. Our new town has a higher cost of living than our old town. Everything here costs a little more it seems, so the income is now necessary, not just a luxury. The benefit to that is that I feel more pressure on this job, I have to put in 500% because my family’s lifestyle counts on this. It isn’t just about fun money anymore.
So much to consider & plan
There are so many factors to consider when you’re looking to get back into the workforce after being a stay at home mom. Working through the struggles and overcoming the issues that arise is the key to making the most of being a working mom.
The guilt of leaving your kids can be overwhelming, but once they get into a rhythm with their new situation the tears stop and it really can be best for everyone. I still struggle with missing out on school pick up two days a week, even though she is picked up by a family member.
Planning for all of the ‘what if’s’ is difficult. Needing to make sure there is someone to watch her in case of snow day, covid shut downs, what to do if she gets sick, or even who is watching her on breaks gets to be so overwhelming. I feel like this year throws in extra twists that keep coming with covid still around. There are so many factors to plan for right now.
Do it for you though, this choice can have many factors pushing it along. Sometimes we find ourselves needing a job, not just wanting to find one. That will definitely change how you approach some things. Try to find something that supports you as a mother, understands your priorities, and helps you learn and grow. We might not like every day of work, but it shouldn’t be an anxiety-ridden experience either.