The Plight of a Working Mom

February 11, 2011

I’ve only been working full time for a very short time but I can’t help but feel like it’s a juggling act where all the balls are being thrown/falling on me at once. In efforts to keep the synonyms going, work life balance has been a scale that there is constantly a deficit in one area. Recently it has been my job. As much as I want to do well and apply myself, I keep having personal conflicts that leave me feeling like I am the worst employee ever. I know my priority has to be my home life, even if it means that something else has to suffer, but I can’t accept the fact that I feel like I’m underperforming at work. My personal life keeps preventing me from really applying myself to all the physical (on the job) demands, as well as administrative components. And whenever I feel like I’m making headway, something happens to pull me away from my job requirements. I’m very fortunate that I have an understanding boss and partner but I’m sure their patience will only last so long. Hopefully as my children get older the constant doctor visits will lessen, but the school parties and conferences will only continue. The world (even a daycare world) doesn’t accomodate working people. I’m not going to even address my constant attempts to compensate personally to be the kind of mom that isn’t being pulled away from my children’s events due to my employment. That’s a whole other issue! I have really reflected to understand my frustration with myself as a mother. I think that it has to do with my drive to always be great at everything I do. And as a mother, I have never felt like I was doing a great job. Instead I feel like I’m urgently treading water to not sink. Work was my escape from this, my validation that I am good at something. However, lately I’m not getting that validation because I’m so distrated by my personal demands of motherhood. And anytime I try to equal the scale so that I can be pretty good at both; a child gets sick, school calls for a meeting, there is a holiday party, etc. And of course, to the topic I regretfully dance around, I don’t feel like I am becoming a better parent by rushing to the doctor or making it to the school meeting. Instead I still feel like an inadequate parent who is also sucking at her job. I realize that this blog is in fact breaking all new year’s resolutions of accepting myself, not being so hard on myself, and recognizing my strengths in motherhood but I’m not going to beat myself up for being a new year’s resolution breaker on top of everything! So instead I’m going to get out in this snowy weather, give my job everything I got, leave early to go to Drew’s Valentine’s Day party and just whine a little for not being the best at everything. Because I’m not going to be happy unless I’m the best but that’s what motivates me to keep going. That’s what motivates me to stay up late making Valentine’s Day goodie bags for the class, that’s what motivates me for doing projects for my boss, that’s what motivates me to be me.

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