I will kick off the series “Pen > Paper > Heart” with: “Letter to a Working Mom”:
Dear Working Mom,
I see you here every morning, at our favorite over-priced coffee shop. We get here at the same time and you always order the same drink and breakfast sandwich. You look so well put together, you must “have it all!”
The stick figures on the back of your car tell me that you are married and have three small children, oh and a dog.
Your suit and heels indicate that you work for one of the big fancy firms downtown. You definitely have your own office, and maybe even a small refrigerator.
Your hair and makeup reveal that you have style and probably someone to help with the kids in the morning, or maybe you get up before 5:00am to blow dry your hair. If only my hair looked that nice – ever.
I watch you, I see the sadness in your eyes, and I wonder… Dear Working Mom, do you really have it all?
When you win a new account at work, but your daughter does her Christmas play without you in the audience, do you have it all?
When you have dinner meetings in fancy restaurants, but come home after your kids are in bed, do you have it all?
When you worked all weekend on a report, and you missed your son’s soccer games, do you have it all?
When you wear new suits and expensive shoes, but you don’t have time to decorate your house, do you have it all?
When you travel to exotic places, but your milk supply drops due to stress, do you have it all?
When you go with your daughter’s class on a field trip, but you miss an important conference call, do you have it all?
When you stay home with your sick children, and have to cancel the regional seminar, do you have it all?
When you take your son out for breakfast on his birthday, and you then forget a big meeting, do you have it all?
When your children cry for you to stay home on Monday morning, and your boss yells because you were late again, do you have it all?
Please tell me, dear Working Mom, do you even WANT it all?
Sincerely, A fellow Working Mom
This article is part of a new blog series called “Pen > Paper > Heart.” (click the link to read additional letters from the series). I have always enjoyed receiving and writing letters. In an attempt to keep the art of letter-writing alive, I have recruited some great bloggers to help me fill this space with their own heartfelt letters. Over the next several weeks you will be introduced to some new as well as veteran bloggers, who enjoy putting the pen to paper – and have their words go straight to the heart! If you want to get in on the fun by being a guest blogger, please contact me for further details – the more the merrier.
Tove, I was a little nervous clicking on this-but am happy to say I enjoyed it! As a wahm I sometimes feel I have the best of both worlds but in reality something always gets short changed no matter which option you choose. Great post!
Mama in the Now says
Hi Misty, having “the best of both worlds” is really all we can ask for – there will always be someone getting the short end of the stick in our juggling – but it sounds like you truly have found the right balance – I love hearing that.
Cyndi Henry says
Makes me sad. I always had to work when raising my kids and missed out on a lot. Even when home I was sometimes absent because I was always exhausted.
I did work night shift at least half of my career as an R.N. so that I could go to school functions, be homeroom mother, Brownie Leader, shuffle to soccer, baseball and softball practices and go to games.
Shame that it seems that if Motherhood is a priority for you, that there is always a bit of room for some guilt about what we could, should or would have done differently. :-/
Always enjoy your blog…..thanks so much
Katie @ Pick Any Two says
I’m so excited for this letter series! This one hits home, as I’m right there in that place of feeling like I’m short-changing my motherhood by working, while simultaneously short-changing my career by mothering. For me, I’ve given up on the “have it all” way of thinking and instead embrace the “pick any two” philosophy, recognizing that I just can’t do everything all the time. But which two I’m picking really varies from week to week. Sometimes it’s all about my son, job-be-darned. Other times I consciously choose to work late and let Daddy put him to bed solo because it’s what I need/want in that moment. Such a constant struggle, though.
Mama in the Now says
You are right – it’s an every day fluid situation. Some days the job wins – other day the family wins… some day no one wins! ha ha ha But I do like your “pick two” attitude – it’s so true! We can do anything, just not everything!
I might have to guest blog for you – loved this though. It IS tough to balance, and that’s why I work freelance and from home. It’s not perfect, and we’d all like more money….but right now I THINK I have it all! (except time to work out!)
Mama in the Now says
I TOTALLY want you to guest blog for me… PLEASE I would be honored!
Obviously we don’t have it all. Talking about how it’s unfair is annoying. Talk about solutions.
I’m with you Kin. As a working mom, I found this letter offensive. Why would you assume that the well dressed woman you see thinks she has it all? And then further question whether or not she actually wants it all? I could be that woman that you see in the coffee shop in the morning (ok, maybe slightly more disheveled than you’ve described) and I can’t imagine how you could jump to so many conclusions based on how I present myself. I don’t think that it was your intention to denigrate the working mom, but, you have. I would kindly suggest an apology and a rewrite.
I just reread this just to make sure I wasn’t missing the point. I’m not. This article actually disgusts me. You should be ashamed.
Mama in the Now says
Marybeth – I appreciate your feedback. The woman I am writing about is ME! I AM THE WORKING MOM! I am the one in the coffee shop – I am the one questioning whether I have it all – or if I even WANT it all! I am sorry you misunderstood it.
You should be FAR more careful with your platform. You clearly have an audience and you owe it to them to think before you post. I didn’t misunderstand anything at all. Your intention may have been to a write a letter to yourself, but the outcome is clearly a letter to all working mothers.