The very reason why I started TheCubicleChick.com seven plus years ago was because at that time, I didn’t see a lot of websites or blogs focused on working moms. As a HR manager, I saw my share of employees who came into my office stressed out, overworked, and needing some TLC. Most of these were moms that needed support because they were sold a bill of goods—one that said that they could have it all.
Being the bearer of bad news in that role, I had to tell them that having it all was not a realistic concept.
Thus, my site was born, and I began shelling out advice and tips for working mamas who felt a pang in their heart every time they had to go to work and leave their child behind but needed to be fulfilled with something outside of their children and families.
So here the site is, so many years later, still thriving and whatnot. But ever so often, the mom guilt phrase eases it’s way into my inbox or social feeds, or even on television much like it did last during last night’s Blackish.
On said episode, Rainbow, now done with maternity leave, is eager to return to work. Only to have it be a miserable day of mishaps that makes her question if going back to work was a good idea. There’s a scene where her sitter texts her a photo of her baby eating his first Cheerios—and a coworker shows her pity for missing out on this valuable milestone.
This is where I get a little crunk. See, no one discusses Dad Guilt, or asks if men can have it all, or if dad is missing out on milestones. He gets a pass. And I know as moms we are nurturers and caretakers and child rearers, but we are also more than that. The fact that some moms want to go back to work and want to be fulfilled professionally gets turned into mom guilt and gives some of us a scarlet letter—how dare us! The gall of us wanting to work outside of the home!
Not every stay at home mom is a gold star parent. Not every working mom is a gold star parent. How about we stop subjecting ourselves to blatant assumptions and broad strokes. Most of everything in life is subjective and is on a case-by-case basis.
You can be a good mom who works outside of the home, who shows up, who helps with homework, who cooks dinner, who attends PTA meetings, etc., etc.
No, you can’t have it all, nor should you. But you can choose what brings you happiness.
In Blackish, Bow decides to stay home with her baby after she went back to work and decided she needed more nesting time. I am totally fine with that. But I wish that the show would’ve shown a more realistic interpretation instead.
Working moms work, sometimes because they have no choice. Other times, it is because they refuse to sit on their gifts and talents even though they are someone’s mama.
One mom isn’t better than the other based on if one works outside of the home or not. If there’s one thing I would like us to leave in 2017, it’s Mom Guilt. Stop contributing to the notion that everything about a mom’s life has to revolve around completely around their children. She can have other interests. She can travel without the kids. She can work outside of the home. She can have a social life. Everything ain’t about her motherhood!
I am thankful to have a partner who shares in the parenting, who holds it down for me when I have to work or travel or just participate in self-care, childless. He is quite capable of doing so, and there’s no mom guilt here, thankfully.
What’s say you?