Most of the time, I love being a working parent. Seriously. It’s how I keep a sense of self, how I help provide for my family, and how I feel accomplished. That said, there’s some parts that aren’t so fun.
- Making doctor’s appointments. I had the hardest time scheduling Abbie’s second flu shot this year. Despite the fact it would only take 5 minutes and I only needed to see a nurse, they wouldn’t schedule it outside of weekdays from 8am to 4pm. That would require Chris or I taking a minimum of an hour or two off work…for a five minute shot. Ridiculousness. Plus, my doctor’s office does have some extended and Saturday hours…what’s the point of those if you won’t let people use them? As a result, Abbie got her second flu shot three months after the first at her regular checkup instead of one month after. Oh well.
- People assume you would like to be a SAHM. Well, I probably never would (see this post). I’m sure SAHMs deal with the opposite of this.
- My daycare provider spends more time during the week with Abbie than I do. The end of the day is hard – we have to eat dinner, squeeze in playtime, and get Abbie ready for bed within 2.5 hours of getting home. It’s not a lot of time, and sometimes she’s cranky, which makes everyone frustrated. The frustration sucks…all you want to do is spend time with your kid, and all they want to do is cry.
- My daycare provider also does the majority of the disciplining. While I love and trust her, it’s rough to not know exactly what’s going on at all times. Now that she’s a toddler, I feel like I’m saying “no” to Abbie all the time and wonder if she has to too.
- Weekends wear you out. Since we’re not used to running after Abbie all day, we definitely need to take naps along with her on the weekends!
- Housework takes a serious backseat. It only gets done on weekends or after your kid is in bed…and not nearly often enough.
- PTO = Child sick leave. Let me tell you, I’m pretty terrified of being without PTO. It’s one of the reasons I practically never take off – because I’ll need it if Abbie ever gets sick. It doesn’t help that I earn PTO pretty slowly, and that my company doesn’t differentiate between sick and vacation time – it’s all the same. I don’t take random days off anymore, and if Abbie or I have a doctor’s appointment, I make up the hours the rest of the week. It’s just how it is – I have to hoard them just in case.
I wouldn’t change it. Seriously, I wouldn’t…but sometimes I wish there was an in-between. Fellow working moms, what would you add to my list?
The rush every night is my least favorite part of working. I hate that I need to cram so much not fun stuff into my two hours with Weston every night!
I know exactly what you mean. I’ve been trying to find faster, easier dinners so that’s done and we have more playtime. She’s so much happier and more fun when we both have time to play.
I have to add to this:
Limits to Volunteering – It kills me that I have to make special plans (and take valuable PTO) to go to Bridget’s school to volunteer. I enjoy being a working mom because it is part of my identity, but I wish I had a more flexible schedule so it was easier to pop into school for the day when the PTA emails! I want to be an involved parent, and it’s tough to be involved and work full-time.
I didn’t even think of that, probably because Abbie’s not quite there yet. Just another challenge to come!
Thank you! I really needed this post! We are expecting our first child in September and this helped really open my eyes! I do not want to be a SAHM and I have nothing against them; but I truly love working! (Plus seeing how well I excel at my job helps my confidence which puts me in a good mood at work and when I get home!) ALSO… REMINDER I will have to remember to hoard my PTO time!! I know I will probably use it!
I’m glad it helped! I do like being a working mom, but it isn’t without it’s challenges.
Getting out the door in the morning. I leave an Hour before scheduled for work to do the daycare drop off. Same thing, I wouldn’t want it any other way but we do struggle in the am!
Getting out the door is difficult….especially on mornings where everything that can go wrong, does.
Thank you for this post! I am currently 24 weeks pregnant and after number crunching, it has come to my attention that I will NOT be able to be a SAHM. It makes me sad but at the same time, I can continue to grow in my career.
It’s definitely a necessity for us that I work too, so I know how you feel. It’s hard, but I truly like being a working mom in general – I think it’s important to have the time to be my own person, and not just mom. Let me know if you ever need to vent when you get to that point and best wishes on your pregnancy!
I could add a million things to this list. It is so hard. I agree that the evening rush is awful and so frustrating to Mac who just wants to spend time with us and have our attention. And the discipline thing is hard too. I want to be consistent with what our nanny is doing, but I know I let him get away with more things because I feel guilty about not seeing him as much, which makes him behave terribly for me, which stresses me out. Ugh!
You’ll have to let me know what additional challenges you have with two – I’m sure so many more will pop up! It’s so stressful.
Hi there, I’ve been reading your blog since you were pregnant with Abbie, my son was born 12/28/12, one week after your kiddo. So, long time reader, first time commenter — one of the hardest things for me is when my son is sick. I am lucky to have my MIL available much of the time to watch him when he can’t go to daycare, so I can minimize the amount of time I take off work…but then I can’t be with my sick baby. I trust my MIL but I hate having to leave my sick child with someone else.
Glad you finally commented and thanks for sticking around with me so long 🙂
You are so right about them being sick. My mom lives too far to do sick days, and my MIL is overseas, but I even feel that way when Chris stays home with her sometimes. We trade off and it’s necessary, but sometimes I just want to be with her.
One thing that annoys me is that companies aren’t more supportive to families (or even employees that dont have kids). More options to work from home, flexible hours, not having to use PTO for a doctors appt, more paid leave, etc. And I’ve never had someone assume I wanted to be a full-time working mom, but when I tell people I work from home, sometimes they assume I “work” (you know…I don’t actually make money or do anything, I just tell people that I work and I play around on the computer for a few hours and call it work). It’s kind of strange.
People are ridiculous sometimes. Why would you say you work from home if you didn’t actually earn money doing it? Craziness. Sometimes I wish I was allowed to work from home a day or two a week, but I know that wouldn’t happen with my position.