Dear Full-Time Working Mom…

Dear Full-Time Working Mom,

I see you there.  You are the one arriving to work 30 seconds before you’d be considered late.  You’ve already done half a days work and it’s not even 8:00 am yet.  The kids have been dressed, fed breakfast, and dropped off at various different stops on your way to the office.  Sometimes your pants are a little wrinkled or you arrive with baby spit-up on your shirt.  
You nervously check your cell-phone during the meeting because your little one has been sick.  You pray that daycare won’t call you to pick him up because you have no more sick days and you dread asking your boss to leave early. Someone asks you to go out to lunch, but you pass because you have to go buy soccer cleats before your daughter’s first practice tonight.  

I see you hang your head when you drop off a box of store-bought Valentine cards for your preschooler’s party.  You wish you would have had time to hand-make each one, but it just wasn’t happening this week.  You do the same thing when you hit up the drive-thru for dinner because you got off late and there’s no way in the world you have enough time or energy to cook something remotely healthy.  

When others are staying at work to get ahead for tomorrow, you are rushing out the door to pick up your kids because you’ve already been away from them for 9 hours.  You can’t wait to have them back in your arms.  You feel like everyone else is doing better at their job than you.  When you are at work you feel guilty that you aren’t with the kids.  When you are at home you are distracted with what you didn’t finish up at work that day.  If you had to evaluate yourself, you’d say that you’re an okay Mom and an okay employee. Definitely not exceptional at either though.  

You are always torn between your motivated, intellectual, business-self and your loving, nurturing mom-self. 

Even though you know your stay-at-home mom friends often wish they could work outside the home or just have a little adult conversation…you can’t help but to feel a little bit jealous of them, but also slightly judged by them.  You secretly feel left out when you see their Facebook posts about play dates at the newest indoor-play venue and you worry that your kids are missing out on having a close group of friends to play with. You also try and ignore the ugly elephant in your thoughts that they think you’re a bad mom and value your career more than your kids because you work outside the home. 

I also see that you have a way of calm about you that many others do not.  Things start to go wrong at work and you are the last one to overreact.  It’s obvious that this catastrophe is small potatoes compared to raising three kids under the age of five.  I see the kindness in your eyes when a teammate is beating herself up about a mistake.  Others marvel at your patient and forgiving attitude.   You understand that possessing these qualities is non-negotiable when raising children.  

Working does not make you less of a mom.  Being a mom doesn’t make you a weaker employee.  If you are working because your family depends on it financially, I applaud you.  If you work because you love what you do or it’s simply who you are, be proud of what you are accomplishing.  

Repeat after me…I am good at my job.  I am a good mom.  I’ve got this.  


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32 Responses to Dear Full-Time Working Mom…

  1. Louise Journeaux January 28, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

    Love this, you nailed it X
    Please feel free to stop by my blog, listed below all the way from Jersey, Channel Islands

    • Allison Smith
      Allison Smith January 31, 2017 at 7:14 pm #

      Thank you!

  2. Tammy H. January 31, 2017 at 6:30 am #

    I love this! I had three children in four years and it is hectic! My husband goes to school full time and I teach full time, and we both do a lot of shuffling. For me, teaching is both out of financial necessity and the necessity of my mental health. 😉 There have been days when I, too, came home and felt like I was failing at both work and being a mom. But my kids know I love them, and that their dad and I will always make sure that at least one of us is at every game, Girl Scout outing, concert, and awards banquet. Thank you for writing this for all of us out there who juggle so much. One of my favorites is “If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart.” Bless you and your family!

    • Allison Smith
      Allison Smith January 31, 2017 at 7:21 pm #

      It sounds like you have all your priorities in the right place! I teach too, and it is just a part of who I am. It’s always a balancing act, but if your kids are safe and happy then you’re doing a great job! 😀

  3. Jamie January 31, 2017 at 8:01 pm #

    I wish that this article would have been available for me to read when I was working full time and raising small children. My girls are tweens and I am self-employed now but the amount of guilt I lugged around during those early years was awful and such a waste of energy. Thank you for writing this and being a source of support for those moms that are constantly doing the juggling act!

    • Allison Smith
      Allison Smith January 31, 2017 at 10:48 pm #

      That means so much to me! It is so nice to hear from someone who’s been there. Thank you so much for your kind words!

  4. Jules January 31, 2017 at 10:10 pm #

    Loved reading this! Thank you for the share and affirmation!
    Cheers and keep at it- sending appreciation from the Midwest :)!

    • Allison Smith
      Allison Smith January 31, 2017 at 10:50 pm #

      I’m so glad to hear that! Thank you for the support!

  5. Crystal January 31, 2017 at 11:36 pm #

    Thank you for his post! Did you have a secret cam at my desk this morning. I cannot believe what I accomplish before 8am Monday to Friday but can’t seem to get dressed by 10am on the weekend.

  6. Dani January 31, 2017 at 11:38 pm #

    Loved this! It made me cry. I’m guilty of all those things and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one.

  7. Stephanie February 1, 2017 at 2:39 pm #

    Boy did I need that! I often think I suck at both. I’m running around like a crazy person once I get home.

  8. Cynthia Kraak February 2, 2017 at 7:55 am #

    Its all about choices. Be careful about the one you choose. You can always do without many of the material things you think you cant manage without. Try a half day job if you have to work. Looking back, the first 5 years are over soooo quickly and you can never share that first step, first word, or turn back the clock to spend that special time with them ever again. I’m a granny now and looking back I wish I could turn back the clock just a bit and re live the priviledge of raising my two special boys and just spending more TIME and enjoying it without all the stress.

  9. Robin February 2, 2017 at 9:03 am #

    I needed to read this, I don’t consider my children “small” anymore, they are 14 and 12, but I have worked since they were born. There’s just no way financially for us to live with one income. I have struggled with guilt a lot since they were born. And now that they are older, I feel like they will compare me to other parents, but in actuality I’m the one comparing myself. My kids are happy, healthy, Godly children who love people and they are just good kids. Comparing yourself to other parents is dangerous and will breed discouragement and guilt, and no mom deserves to feel that way. We are all trying to do the absolute best we can for our family. Thank you again for this

  10. Razaan February 2, 2017 at 9:58 am #

    It’s as if you wrote this specifically for me 💜 thank you

  11. Martha February 2, 2017 at 10:30 am #

    wow! thank you im a single mother of two and have been feeling really heart broken because i feel im not doing good but this really helped me feel better! thank you your not in my place but you understand!

  12. Lucinda February 2, 2017 at 11:13 am #

    The best thing I have read in ages. It is so true (even in SA). Being a working mom is hard. I dream of being a stay at home mom so that I can spend more time helping my 8yr old son with his homework (without the 2yr old trying to take over). And having some play time with my 2yr old (without my 8yr old sulking because I spend more time with his brother)….but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!

  13. Tired Dad February 2, 2017 at 12:36 pm #

    As a full time working dad should I read this or is it like 99% of the internet that only seems to write about full time mothers / working mothers? Trying to find some help and tips as a full time dad who works the night shift is almost impossible, every day I see blogs and articles for mothers, yet a large percentage of primary careers are now the fathers , this stereotyping needs to stop, I feel this article should be “Dear Full time working parent “

  14. Jodi February 2, 2017 at 5:14 pm #

    This just made my entire night. But you hit it right on the nose. Thank you!!

  15. Abby February 2, 2017 at 6:59 pm #

    Love this… You captured so well what us working moms deal with. Thank you.

  16. Mary February 2, 2017 at 8:28 pm #

    This is just math and I appreciate your logical assessment. We only have so many hours in the day. We choose who we spend that time with. Natural consequences ensue. Though we have no money, living at home full time, I am never feeling guilt and the connections are consistently them throughout the day. We are poor but happy.

  17. Megan February 2, 2017 at 8:46 pm #

    I cried when I read this. I may not rush into work…my hubby is 50% of my children’s DNA, he can drop them off. However that does mean I am out of the house by 6:15, before any one is up,and still not able to pick up my kids until after 5 pm. (And that is 100 times better than my previous job time schedule.) I pack breakfast and lunch for them to eat at my in-laws house because they babysit them. I KNOW I am lucky but I cannot help but cry thinking I should be teaching them, cuddling them, and being with them during the day. It is cold comfort the things I say to myself to help ease the hurt. I work a job I love and am good at so it makes me feel even worse to feel so torn. I am blessed, I know I am, but I am also torn. It is nice to hear someone understand that.

    • Allison Smith
      Allison Smith February 6, 2017 at 7:52 pm #

      It is so comforting to know we’re not alone! 💗

  18. Laura February 3, 2017 at 5:34 am #

    Thank you for writing this. I have two beautiful girls, two and one. I left an abusive relationship in August and have went from a sahm to working full time. I have recently been having the days described in your post…. It’s comforting to read this. It’s so needed. ❤

    • Allison Smith
      Allison Smith February 6, 2017 at 7:50 pm #

      Sometimes it is so reassuring to know other moms have felt the same way. I bet you’re doing an amazing job with your sweet girls! ❤️

  19. Yadi February 3, 2017 at 10:00 am #

    This so awesome I work full time I’m always busy have two little kids and I’m always guilty. my parents are always mad at me say that I leave my kids behind too much

  20. Jessica February 3, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

    Thank you, Allison! Your article gave me some encouragement and peace about being a (single) mother and owning my own business!

    • Allison Smith
      Allison Smith February 6, 2017 at 7:47 pm #

      That is wonderful. How inspiring!

  21. Angela February 4, 2017 at 9:52 am #

    I love this. I’m a stay at home mom. I see articles often talking about working moms as better than us or working harder than us, and it upsets me because it’s just not true. I love this article because it uplifts working moms for the amazing people they are without putting anyone else down in the process. I applaud this article for that, and I applaud moms… working, single, or otherwise. This is really hard, no matter how you choose to do it. So, you go mom!

    • Allison Smith
      Allison Smith February 6, 2017 at 7:45 pm #

      You are so right! 👏

  22. Kim Hall February 5, 2017 at 12:53 am #

    My daughter is a working single mom and she is awesome!

  23. Sheila Park February 5, 2017 at 9:23 am #

    Enjoyed reading this. I raised my two daughters , one of them right from birth, by myself while working full time as a primary teacher. Arriving home from “work” at the end of the working day, exhausted to the core, but taking a deep breath and finding my second wind, became the norm for me. I often wondered what it would feel like to be able to stay at home. Well…guess what? My daughters have grown and are out making their way in the world. I have retired. My time is pretty much my own…to use as I see fit. However, it’s not what it’s cracked up to be. It can be a lonely place. Hats off to all working mothers!

    • Allison Smith
      Allison Smith February 6, 2017 at 7:42 pm #

      Thank you for sharing that. I definitely want to cherish this time when the kids are little. I know it will pass so quickly!