Everyone knows that being a working mom doesn’t mean that you don’t put your kids first. It doesn’t mean that you love them less or that you don’t WANT to be home with them full time. I AM a working mom, and I am constantly thinking of ways to continually put them first. Finding and keeping a balance between your family and your career is probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. While I never truly lose sight of the fact that being ‘Mom’ should always come before your job, sometimes I do let it become significantly unbalanced.
COME ON. I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this, right?
I’ll tell you, I am a self-professed workaholic. I try to make sure that I find and keep balance in my life, but the truth is, I usually work WAY more hours that I actually need to. It’s because I really love what I do and running and maintaining your own business (or any job for that matter!) requires a lot of work. Whether you work inside or outside your home, there is ALWAYS going to be a tug of war between your family and your job. There is always going to be apart of you that wishes you could do one OR the other and not both at the same time. And why?
BECAUSE YOU ARE SO EXHAUSTED.
There is always going to be the struggle between feeling guilty when you go to work because you’re leaving your kids. And then feeling guilty when you are with your kids, because you’re not working. I love what I do and there are times when I do wish that I had eight straight hours to work and not to be interrupted. And then I wish I had eight straight hours to sleep once I’m done working. (Everyone wishes that, right?)
It’s hard work. Being a mom is the hardest job I have ever done. And finding the balance between being a mom and being a working mom has been equally as difficult at times. You’ve got one foot in the professional world and one foot in the mommy world. Both worlds are wildly fun, hectic, dramatic, thrilling, and overwhelming at times but you know that you can’t function in BOTH worlds at the same time. So you pick and you choose which role to play at any given moment, and pinball back and forth between working professional and mommy and PRAY that everything you’re orchestrating works out ok and all in one piece.
Is it just me?
I’m sharing all this with you because as a working mom who runs two full time businesses, I know EXACTLY how you feel. But let me encourage you. I know finding the balance between work and home life is hard. But I try with ALL that is within me to remember to keep my role as a ‘mom’ before my role as a ‘working professional’. There will ALWAYS be work to do. It will ALWAYS be there.
Our children will not always be there.
They are growing and growing fast. They will be gone and out of the house before we know it. I know I want to look back and know that I spent as much time with them as I possibly could. Mostly, I want THEM to look back and to remember that no matter how much work I had to do and to get done, I always dropped it all to play and care for them whenever I could.
I have to work and help provide for my family with my husband. And honestly, I wouldn’t change most of it if I had an opportunity to. I love what I do and I’m doing what I always dreamed of doing. But has my photography business looked a little different than others because we have kids? YES. Have we had to adjust our dreams, goals, and expectations because we have a growing family? You bet we have.
But that’s ok with me.
Work will always be there. I’ll always have a shot at making a career for myself. We have ONE SHOT at focusing on and raising our kids. The time we have with them is very limited and it will go by in a blink of an eye. They will not be this young forever. They will grow up, go to school, make friends, have homework and not have time to spend with ME. The time is now.
I’m trying to make my way in it every single day. It doesn’t always look pretty, it isn’t always perfect. I am always working hard to make sure that my kids know that I AM passionate about my job and that I love what I do. I want them to have extraordinary dreams and to know that having a family doesn’t mean the dreaming has to end! But they will always know, as hard of a juggling act as it may be for me at times, that I will always love them MORE than my work. And that it might not be perfect, but I am constantly working to show them how incredible, important, and special they are to me.
If you’re a working mama in any capacity, I encourage you to remember that it IS possible to work inside or outside of the home AND to be a good mom. It IS possible to put your family first, even if you have to focus on your career too. It is challenging and requires constant juggling.