The Working Mom Balance

As an independent consultant my work schedule can have significant fluctuations with some weeks being slower and other weeks being insanely busy.  And this last week was one of those busy weeks.  In fact, I have been away with work more then I’ve been home in the last week – heck I was even away with work on Saturday.  Being gone this much is another first that I’m not happy about.  My current work schedule means that I’ve missed multiple bedtimes.  I’ve missed multiple mornings wake-ups.  And, I’ve missed and all the good stuff that happens in between.

It’s been hard!  Really hard in fact.

Practically when I’m working this much it is hard on our family.  Mr. MPB is an amazing father, but when he’s the one doing everything he gets worn down and slightly frustrated – which I do understand as I know we each keep score in our own ways. He’s stuck doing everything (except laundry because that’s always my job).  Which means while he’s also working full time he also does all the early morning wake ups, all the bed times, all the cooking, all the playing, all the snuggling, etc.  And of course, this means when I am around we spend more time arguing, about the inequalities.  Which is ironic because I know neither of us want to spend our limited time together arguing, yet we do in large part because we are both so tired.

Emotionally this last week has been unbelievably hard.  Simply, I want to be with Little MPB.  I want to snuggle him.  I want to play with him. I want to read him stories.  I want to give him bedtime snuggles.  I even want to do the less fun stuff – diapers, early morning wake-ups, etc.  Missing all this stuff is hard.  And, I feel massive amount of guilt as a result.

And, to be honest, I also miss spending time with Mr. MPB.  We usually spend time together with Little MPB as a family.  And, just the two of us usually our evenings together once Baby MPB is in bed.

I know all of what I’m saying is not a new concept.  Families all of the world have two working parents.  Many mom’s including my own, have done this before me and many more will in the future.  It’s a hard balancing act to perfect, and honestly I doubt I ever will.  But, what I’d love to know is what is the secrete to making it work?  How in the world am I supposed to manage my professional life (which I enjoy) and my family life (which I love) without always feeling like I’m coming up short in some respect?

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13 Comments on “The Working Mom Balance

  1. I don’t think there is anyway around it, as a working Mom, you are going to feel stretched and pulled from every single direction, and you will never feel as if you have given 100% to all sides. But…I found, through raising two boys, who are now 18 and 20, if you are really focused on them when you are at home, they will understand that Mom has to do work when you are gone. I think the worst thing for me, when they were little, was being on-call, and having to leave the house at night, before bed time. They would threaten to throw my pager in the toilet, and my oldest couldn’t fall asleep until I came back home. But they survived, as did I, and have done great. It will get better!!!!

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  2. if you find a solution, please let me know. I am at work missing kids and family and at home. and at home, i wonder if I am losing out on my career.

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  3. I have been doing this for 13 years and there isn’t a secret per se. What I have found works for me is to try and be 100% present wherever I am. If I am working, I am not thinking about how much I miss the kids; same with when I am with the kids – 100% present. It doesn’t solve the time inequality, but it makes whatever time you do have with each much fuller and valuable.

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  4. I felt that way when I worked. It’s hard… good luck to you and your husband. Finding a balance is key, but, how to find a balance is the hard part. ❤️

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  5. The million dollar question. No answer but lots of empathy. I agree with the comments above, just trying to be 100% present at home helps. I put my phone away when I get home and don’t look at it again until my bedtime. Same on the weekends. It’s still hard and I still feel pulled, but it’s nice to focus solely on the kiddo when I’m home and make sure she feels I’m with her 100%

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  6. I’m sorry you had a difficult week and that you feel so guilty that you have to choose. Do you have the chance to cut back your hours, in order to have a lighter schedule, at least until he’s a little older? If you can’t, don’t feel guilty. You’re doing your best. He will be fine. You will all be fine. Maybe in the weeks that you are more free you can do most of the things so your husband don’t have to do anything, balancing things out?

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  7. New reader here. I really feel for you – it is really hard to be separated from your baby!

    In my country, it’s possible to stay at home until the child is 3 (though most parents don’t use all that time) and we have split that time with my husband with both kids so that one of us has been staying at home, and for me it was even tough to go to work when my first one was 12 months and my husband became the stay-at-home parent.

    We have done short periods of both working with no child care and it was so, so exhausting. In your situation we would probably be arguing all the time! I think you are doing great.

    Also – I read your archives and really, you are probably one of the most competent and hardworking person in the world. At least based on people I know. Really, I’m amazed by your ability to work so much AND take good care of your family. Please, cut yourself some slack! It would be great if you could have had a proper maternity leave but your situation does not allow it, so there is no reason to feel guilty. And the slower week will come, right?

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  8. You are doing amazing especially with the type of work you do. I understand it can’t be easy and this week I’m getting just a small flavour of being a working mother and it’s tough on the emotions!!! Today was the first day that both Chris and I went to work and I can see it’s going to be hard to be ‘equal’ on the ‘score’ front!! All I can say is I do t think anyone has the secret or the answers to those questions. If they do I’m following 😊

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  9. I SO GET THIS! My situation is different but with the same outcome. I’ve been sick and unable to do much, so Mr. MLACS has had to do ALL the things (shopping, cooking, laundry, etc.) and take care of BG (outdoor play time, bath time, and everything in between). Plus he works a demanding full-time job. He deserves a break but he hasn’t had one in a long time.
    Then there’s me–I *want* to play with BG and give her baths and do the shopping/laundry/etc. and I’m distraught that I can’t. And tension builds snd me and Mr. MLACS fight. And then we regret it. It’s hard 😦 XOXO

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  10. Ugh. I can imagine finding a balance is difficult. I never realized the amount of guilt that comes along with being a mom and I can see where it would be very hard to let go of that at times. I think you’re doing a fabulous job at being a mom and a role model for little MPB. And as far as Mr MPB goes I’m sure the roles will be reversed one day and you’ll be able to pay him back.

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  11. There’s no recipe for success with balancing working/mom/wife life.
    For me, I refuse to look back. Guilt is a terrible thing. I just try and make the most out of the days/weeks that are more routine and consistent. I also will leave early when I see the opportunity and am constantly prioritizing. Nothing is absolute either. I don’t make rules for us to live by because they’ll at one point or another be broken and then you’re not living up to a standard you’ve self imposed which is now just causing more stress.
    Do the best you can, keep moving forward and don’t look back.

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  12. I don’t know. I’m dreading going back! Not sure how it works. I reckon something’s got to give, at least in the early days.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Yeah being a working mom is so difficult. It really does pull you in different directions. You’re doing a great job my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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