For as long as I’ve been a mom, I’ve been a working mom. Just like any parenting role, it has its own unique challenges. There are things I just can’t find time for as a working mom. There are activities I can’t make work and things I prioritize above others. Being a parent is often about choices, and I choose what’s most important for me and my family. That means there are things that I just can’t do sometimes, no matter how much I want to. I used to feel bad about them, but as I’ve gotten more into this mom thing, I’ve realized I shouldn’t. These are things I refuse to apologize for.
Having a Messy House. I’ll be honest – by nature, I am not a cleaner. I accumulate clutter like it’s my job, I have a toddler, and we spend roughly 11 hours a day working or commuting. Most weeks, I’m just trying to keep the kitchen clean and the laundry done… so my living room often is a cluttered mess of toys, crayons, and empty water cups. By the time the week ends, I sometimes can’t see my floor in there… but it’s okay. Having a messy house is just part of my life right now. I prioritize what’s important (the kitchen and the laundry) and do what I can on the weekends. It’s just the season I’m in.
Saying no to events/get-togethers during the week. Don’t send me an invitation for girls night out on a Wednesday night. Just don’t do it, especially on short notice. I get that you want to include me, and I really do appreciate it… but if you really wanted to make sure I’m there, you’d have it on a weekend. You see, my day isn’t over at the end of the workday. At the end of the workday, I still have to get home, get dinner on the table, get my daughter to bed, and prepare everything for the next day. At the end of the workday, I have to go prepare for the next one. So if you invite me out during the week, I will send regrets 95% of the time.
Taking the day off but still bringing the kids to daycare. I know this may sound a little crazy. Why would I send Abbie to daycare when I take the day off? Well, don’t you want a day off sometimes? If I have childcare available to me, why would I take Abbie to my doctor’s appointment? Why would I take her on errands I could get done much faster without her? The other thing – I’m still paying for it. Since I pay for daycare by the week, I still pay even if I keep her home. So sometimes… she goes to daycare while I get a day to myself. She thrives on routine so it’s good for her, I get a break so it’s good for me. We both win.
Not sending their kids to preschool or fancy day activities. There was a period of time over the summer and the beginning of the school year that I felt I couldn’t look at facebook without seeing a million posts about preschool, swim classes, gymnastics, and other fun things that happen during the day. For a while, I felt a little sad I wasn’t able to send Abbie to any of them. I’d love for her to have the time to do those things… but it just isn’t feasible for us, and I don’t want to spend my days regretting my choices. If it changes in the future, great, but for now – it is what it is.
Having No-Cook Nights. We leave the house around 7am every morning and don’t get home until about 6:30 most evenings. When I get home, I don’t relax – I go straight into dinner prep. I try to plan easier dinners that are fast… but sometimes, I just can’t do it. Sometimes, we have scrambled eggs or sandwiches for dinner, and we’re all just fine. Everyone needs a break once in a while and a few “jump up” dinners aren’t going to hurt.
If you’re a mom, working or not, what do you refuse to apologize for?