Declarations of a Working Mom Who is Hanging by A Thread


Declarations of a Working Mom Who is Hanging by A Thread | Duluth Moms Blog

Hey there drive thru lady with the three car seats in the back and a pile of heels in the passenger seat. I see you rolling to work with that look on your face. I’ll be patient while you dig through your diaper-brief case for the last of your coffee money. Your days are long, deadlines are looming, your papers are piled high and so are the dishes. You’re feeling desperate and you’re hanging on by just a thread. I get it. I’m there too. And I’m finally getting around to cleaning house, so here are ten things this working mom of three no longer wants to sweep under the rug:

  1. Alright… the truth. My house gets a full cleaning only if there is company coming. Ok so not a “full cleaning,” but more of a spot clean. (Tip: If it’s real bad when your mother-in- law visits, she may just clean for you. Take the help and leave the embarrassment under the table with the dried up mac and cheese). But hey, my kids are alive and healthy so clearly it meets acceptable levels of sanitary health. I once was told by a daycare provider that she thinks my kids stay healthy because they are always eating off the floor. What can I say… I lead by example. If it looks good, it probably tastes good too.
  2. I’m up till the stroke of midnight doing laundry. My laundry always goes in last. I have mastered the look of disheveled mother of three under five. The smell test is standard procedure. Shirt missing a button? There is tape for that. Food stains from last week’s dinner? Tie a scarf around your neck to cover what you can’t pick off. Everyone is always taking notice of my great accessories. They make such a nice distraction.
  3. I rarely touch my hair in the morning. Literally, I don’t touch it. Why would I want to rub off any extra oil onto my unwashed hair? I’m going for the earthy natural look. Sometimes it works, other times it looks like I just jumped off the baby’s Fisher Price Jungle Train. These are the days I wear my best suit. A good tailored black suit is always a great Band-Aid to whatever you got going on up north.
  4. Dinner plans are made over my lunch hour. I often have to leave a bit early to swing by the grocery store. Meal planning? I live in the moment folks. I’m only worried about making it through the day, meeting deadlines, and getting to daycare pick-up on time. Weekends are for relaxing and soaking in the only time I get with my kids… NOT for meal planning. So it’s what can I make for dinner today that will only take me a minute to think about and maybe just a few more to make. And please, no pot, no matter how fast it cooks, is going to do any meal planning for me. So unless you’re going to make a menu, and a list and go buy what needs to go in it, don’t try to sell me on it’s magic cookery.
  5. Fall and the holiday season are on the horizon. What’s on your wish list? Kids need new gym shoes? If I can buy it in a five block radius of my office or online, you are in luck! “Prime it!” is a verb in my house. Any shopping will happen over my lunch break as well. Or sometimes at the long red lights on the way home. (I do not support shopping and driving).
  6. Speaking of lunch break. I rarely bring a lunch to work. We never have leftovers. We have a family of five. Between my husband and I, we eat what little leftover food remains right away. It’s way less work than washing it off later when it’s hard and crusted over and has been sitting no less than 24 hours on the counter or in the sink. And never do I feel like making myself lunch at 9 o’clock in the evening when I still have a mound of laundry to do, dishes to look at, and a house to not clean. (Tip: The husband and I are especially fond of making lunch breaks into weekday dates. Killing two birds with one stone kind of deal… no babysitter required… saves money. Truthfully, I often conveniently forget my lunch just to have some alone time with my husband, even if it’s just in a Subway booth.)
  7. Oh those supplements. I try to get most everything I need from fresh foods and yes I do supplement the rest. But I take all I need, thank you. I don’t need you to fix me with your magic vitamin powders. I’m sure they’re great and I’m happy they help you. But please, you can’t make me power through my day better, or give me something that will take away my deep love and affixation for coffee. There is nothing you can give me in a vitamin or drink or powder that will change the fact that I have three kids under five and work full time. It’s perfectly acceptable for me to be crazy, grumpy, joyous, busy, and tired! Stop making it seem like I need to be fixed or it’s not okay or normal! I can be all of these things at the same time and it totally is normal. Okay? Let me have all my moments.
  8. Alright. This is uncomfortable truth to admit, but I cry a lot. At work, on the way to work, on the way home. I cry behind my closed office door about moments I’m missing, about the favorite naptime books I’m not reading, about the floor I’m not cleaning, or whatever else I’m not doing. I do not do drop offs if I can help it because as soon as I drive away, the tears start flowing. I stay far away from the daycare drop offs and instead try to be the pick-up person. I am so thankful for those “Mama” calls and hugs after a long day. People tell new moms returning to work, that “it does get easier.” And maybe it does for some, but it hasn’t for me. I still cry.  I’m sure the moms who stay at home everyday cry too.  Mothering is hard. 
  9. It’s a choice you say? Some of us do not choose to be here… to be at work instead of with our kids. Some do of course and I’m not discounting the enjoyment that work can bring, the greater calling that some feel or the time and help they are able to give to others. Some of us are here because we contribute so substantially to our household income that it would be a nearly impossible adjustment to just leave the workplace entirely. Some of us work just to provide better healthcare options for our family, and for some it is the small amount we net at the end of the month, after daycare expenses, that makes our budget work.  Please do not EVER tell me you chose to stay at home so you could “raise your babies”. I’m raising my babies too. Nor do I need you to share with me how much your family sacrifices or gives up so that you can stay at home, because I make hard sacrifices too.  Time with my kids, and my house, and oh just see #1-#8 above. I make those hard choices too. Everyday when I leave the home and go to work. I do understand what it means to sacrifice. Do not discount me as a mother or my reasons for having or choosing to work. 
  10. “I just don’t know how you do it all!” As you can see… I don’t do it all! I do not have it all together. Thanks for thinking I do however. This jungle-haired look, tailored black suit, and new neck scarf must be working! (face plants into coffee mug)
Previous articleThe Baader-Meinhoff Phenomenon
Next articleWhat to Pack for Disney World
Kaila became a Duluthian four years ago after moving north from Minneapolis with her husband, Dan and son Haydn (5) to pursue adventure, a lifestyle change, and a new career for her spouse. The past few years have bought just that with the addition of two more to the family; Ada (3) and Ella (15 mon.). Kaila balances the demands of motherhood with working outside the home in commercial real estate. In her freetime she enjoys a good vintage furniture find, her coffee strong, and baking from scratch.