January 30, 2013

The Perils of a Working Mom*

When I was eight weeks pregnant, I quit my job for another job.  I had been searching for a new job for quite some time [over a year -- this area? NOT the greatest for people in the public relations field!] and when I got pregnant, I very shortly after got invited for an interview at another local company. Upon being offered the job, I told my new supervisor that I was pregnant -- not something that was required of me, but because I had known her professionally for a couple of years, I respected her, and I knew it would not make a difference either way [I was right]. One of the main reasons why I left my old job was because it was very high stress, long hours and I had been doing a lot of traveling. Having miscarried before [while working at this company] I didn't want to risk that happening again. It wasn't worth it to me to work 10 [or more] hour days for not a lot of pay in a job that I had become increasingly frustrated with.

But in my new job [I've been here a year and a half, so it's not THAT new anymore] I am the only young mother here. We are are a small company so it's not surprising. But the fact of the matter is while I do know other working moms, I don't really know others who are in the same time frame as we are as a family. It truly does make a difference when I am looking for support for things that we are going through. It's one thing to hear from a mom who has teenagers [shoot, I'll even give you well into your toddler years] telling you that things will be fine and you'll figure it out. It's another thing to have a friend who is dealing with almost the exact same thing you are. My best friend? She is amazing. And without her, I'm not really sure who I would talk to about some of the things that I need advice on. Her sweet baby boy is a year and a half old. She also works full time and is the primary bread-winner for her family. She knows, more than anybody I know right now, how hard the balance is of being a career oriented individual while also wanting, having and raising a family. ESPECIALLY in this first year when I don't know what the hell I am doing, am constantly sleep deprived and am expected to not only be a top-notch parent, but a top-notch employee.

While I completely recognize that being a stay-at-home mom comes with it's own set of challenges [I promise I am not out to piss off any stay-at-home moms out there. I know a lot of them and they are all awesome] it's hard to sympathize [or take their sympathy for you seriously] when I am reading mommy blog posts detailing the cute craft they did with their kid, posting adorable collaboration boards of all their favorite baby necessities or talking about the great class they get to go take with their baby during the day. All it does is remind me of things that I am missing out on things with my own kid, or things that I am not doing that I should be doing, or a new stage that I should have moved on to two months ago that I am just now finding out about because I haven't picked up my "Baby's First Year" book in about four months, or had any chance to browse parenting sites to figure out what I should be doing next to stay on track fundamentally.

It's a constant state of fluster.  It's frustrating, and very, very lonely. I feel like I'm in this very small bubble and I haven't really found anybody to join me yet [again, aside from the BFF. But she's in Seattle. So we can't even commiserate in person! With WINE.] I don't really belong to the infertility community anymore, which is still where I find myself searching for online support for some reason, and I have a hard time relating to other new moms for the reasons I mentioned above. My life is a carefully planned out & meticulous schedule that often goes completely awry. When I have two seconds to breath, it's usually spent thinking of what I have to do in the following minutes and hours in order to get ready for the next day ahead of us. Then it's rings & repeat.

We worked so hard to have our awesome kid & yet I am still feeling like I'm being punished for wanting to have a career. But until this country decides that it has to be one or the other, that there is more support for working moms out there, then this is what I have. Constant exhaustion. Constantly feeling like it's not enough. Constantly feeling like I am living minute to minute, second to second. And lonely. So, so lonely.

1 comment:

Cortney Rae said...

Oh Sweetie! I can't imagine how frustrating this all must be, wanting to please everyone else AND yourself (which you have every right to want) AND try to balance home with work just sounds exhausting. I can't imagine what it feels like! There certainly isn't any slack or support out there for moms in your situation, it seems as if it is sink or swim. But, man, I applaud you for always choosing to swim. I wish I had some sage advice, but just know that I love you and I support you and if there is anything I can do, I will! <3