My husband and I recently started watching the Netflix show Working Moms, a show about, you guessed it: working moms. But instead of showing the perfect, Instagram-worthy version of parenthood, they show what being a working mom is actually like. And guess what? It’s not always pretty. They talk about the struggles around breastfeeding in the office, their post-baby bodies, and postpartum depression.
As a working mom myself, it’s refreshing to see people talk so openly about these taboo topics. Being a mom is hard. And being a working mom is even harder. And while I’ve never regretted it for a second, there are a few things I wish I had known before diving headfirst into balancing motherhood and my career.
Weekends don’t exist anymore
Before I had my first kid, my husband and I used to live for the weekends. It was our time to spend time together to reconnect, go on dates, and take quick weekend trips. But as a mother, you’ll never stop working—which means those stress-free weekends are no more.
Add on top of all of your parenting responsibilities all of your job responsibilities, those weekends become a blur. More often than not, you’ll have to work on the weekends just to keep up with everything. If you work for yourself as I do, it was still hard to make the change from having my schedule exactly the way I want, to not ever having a day off.
You’ll feel guilty. A lot.
Am I working too much? Am I scarring my children from missing important parts of their lives? Is it wrong to want a career? Shouldn’t I be content with being a mom? I didn’t know how guilty I’d feel for wanting to continue my career after giving birth.
I constantly felt like I was being judged by other mothers, my coworkers, and my boss for “trying to have it all”. And even though I’m glad I chose to do both, I still sometimes feel guilty. But I love being an entrepreneur and I love being a mother. Those things don’t have to be separate. You need a balance between the two, but if working makes you happy, don’t feel bad about it.
Society WILL judge you
Even though being a working mother is getting more and more socially acceptable, it’s still not the norm. If you’re living in a WASP-y neighborhood like I do, you’re going to get some side-eyes from stay-at-home mothers. It used to bother me, but I’ve been able to tune them out and just focus on myself. Because I’m happy and my children are being taken care of—and that’s all that really matters.
Your Mother-In-Law will also judge you
Everyone has their own views and advice on how to raise kids. And they’re always willing to share it with you. Whether it’s your mother-in-law, your neighbors, or even some random mom you pass in the grocery store, you’re going to get unprompted advice and snide remarks about how you’re raising your child wrong. Just accept it’s going to happen, smile, thank them for their “advice” and continue about your day. There’s no escaping the opinions of others who think they know what’s best for your kid. But you’re the mom and you don’t need the approval of others to raise a healthy and confident kid.
At the end of the day...
Parenting will never be easy. Sometimes, trying to balance your job and your own career goals with your newfound parental responsibilities will seem impossible. But if having a career is something that’s important to you, you’ll be able to find that right balance.
Hi there, I'm Molly! I am a business owner and devoted mother to two boys, Lukas and Henry, and wife to my husband, Erik.