I’m a working mom – always have been and, as long as we’re living in Orange County (or California at all), probably always will be. And I’m ok with that. Really, I am.
I know that in order to live here, we need to have two incomes. And as much as I am ok with it and have come to terms with it, I still can’t help but feel like I’m missing out on the flip side of the coin – the stay at home mom life. Normally I am ok with it, I know my fun happens on the weekends, but for some reason, over the summer, the jealousy really comes out. I try to live by the saying “comparison is the thief of joy” and just be happy with what I have (which I am, don’t get me wrong), but sometimes I just find myself wondering what if…
Ten Things I Feel Like I’m Missing Out On as a Working Mom
- Garbage day. Now, this may sound weird. I mean, who is sad to miss seeing the trash man? The answer? My son. He LOVES all automobiles, anything with wheels, and gets so excited on the off day that we happen to be home when the trash man comes. I see all these snaps and pictures of kids that are so, so excited every Friday morning when the trash man comes by. Where are my son and I when the trash man comes by? At school and at work.
- Baking. I LOVE baking! I love trying new recipes and having the smell of freshly baked banana bread filling the kitchen. I wish I could have my son help me make cupcakes or brownies or a loaf of bread each week. We would mix the ingredients together, sit in front of the oven watching the timer countdown, and then get to taste test what we just made while it’s hot and fresh out of the oven.
- Being spontaneous. While I’m not normally a spontaneous person, I’d love to just have the urge to go… to the park, to a friends house, to Disneyland, to a splash pad. You name it, I have to plan for it. I wish I could just pack my son up and take him to wherever he wanted to go that day instead of breaking his heart and telling him it’s time to put his shoes on for school.
- Those lazy, stay in your PJs all day days. And sleeping in. My son usually wakes up relatively early (between 5:45am-6:30am, depending on the day) and that’s probably because he’s been training to do that ever since he was a baby and I had to leave for work in the early hours of the morning. But sometimes, sometimes if we are out late on Sunday, if he goes to bed slightly past his bedtime, or even just randomly, sometimes I have to wake him up in the morning so he can have some breakfast and we can get ready to leave. It really doesn’t happen too often, but every. single. time. I have to do it, it breaks. my. heart. in a million pieces. He looks so peaceful and content sleeping into those minutes past 7am and then I have to go and ruin it and wake him up. I wish I could just let him sleep until he was ready to wake up and if we felt like it, have a lazy day, staying in our PJs all day, hitting up the Starbucks drive-thru and having a Chick-fil-a picnic on the family room floor for lunch.
- Pool days. Park visits. Playdates. Storytimes. I know that all pictures I see on social media are just a snapshot in time and I’m sure real life is a lot different, but social media shows me that SAHM life is pretty fun! Moms get to take their kids to the park for play dates, to Target to browse the aisles, to the library for story time, and to the pool to swim and picnic the day away. All while I am stuck at my desk under fake lighting for 6 more hours.
- Picture taking. I like to take pictures. I’m a mom and I’m a blogger. It’s second nature to me. I’d love to learn how to use a big girl camera (aka any real camera that is not my phone) and practice better photography skills. I wish I could pack up a picnic lunch and my son and I could take a spur of the moment trip to the park and I could practice my picture taking while he ran around. You know, on a Tuesday, at 11am. I also like to share pictures with my friends and family on social media. Sure I still can, but… problem is… you don’t really want to see my desk every day. Or my Starbucks from that morning. Or my outfit. You want to see my kid. And I don’t really have time to take pictures of him unless it’s on the weekend (and I like instant gratification so I post them then! ha) or at night when the lighting is terrible. Though I will admit, this has taught me to get creative!
- Being his teacher. I wanted to teach my son how to take his first steps. I wanted to teach him how to use a sippy cup for the first time. I wanted to teach him the ABCs. I wanted to teach him to count to 10 forward and backward. I wanted to show him the shapes and the colors. And sure, we practice on the weekends but it’s not the same.
- Raising my child. This. This one is a touchy subject. I still DO feel like I am raising my son, but at the same time, I feel like his previous daycare provider and his current preschool teachers are also doing a large portion of it. Due to my husband and my work schedules, my son is at preschool from 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday. I drop him off in the mornings and my husband picks him up. That’s a LOT of the day that he is being “raised” and taken care of by someone else. This is why it is SO important to me to surround my son with the best people for him. We did lots of research on who we wanted him to be with when he was a baby and in daycare. And she loved him like he were her own. And then we did a lot of research before we enrolled him in school and they love him like he is their own. Thankfully we have found good people with good morals who teach him like we would teach him if he were home with us. He is the most polite (he says ‘scuse me after he sneezes!), happy, caring, loving little boy. He is loved by everyone at his school and for that I am grateful.
- Having a “mom tribe”. I still haven’t found that mom tribe that I can relate to 100%. I will admit, I have found my “tribe” that I can relate to about 95% of the time, but there are those few moments when I catch myself being jealous of the activities that they’re doing with their kids or that they can go to Disneyland randomly on a Wednesday morning when it’s not crowded or that they can have spontaneous water balloon fights when it’s 100+ degrees outside. I hear about those moms that find their best friends in a stroller strides group when their baby was just a few weeks old and they were trying to get back in shape. Just the other day my friend posted pictures of her kids at the park, running through the sprinklers with the kids of three of her best mom friends. The kids are all similar ages and the moms have just bonded. They’ve been friends and each other’s support system since their almost four-year-olds were just four weeks old. I want that.
- Lessons, lessons, lessons! Swim lessons, soccer lessons, tee ball lessons. You name it, my kid is enrolled in it… on the weekends.
I do have to admit though, while all of the above sounds fun (and IS fun!), the flip side of the coin is not all bad either.
We have a PO Box for work where customers mail their payments to. While my co-worker usually gets the mail on his way into work, occasionally I will stop on a Monday morning or on my way in if he is out of town. Since I’m the one who drops my son off at school, I bring him too.
What started off as a work trip that I had to do has turned into a work trip that I WANT to do. I crave to do. And this may sound crazy, but it makes my son SO HAPPY. As silly as it is to say, I started taking pictures of him helping me mail my letters, buy stamps, or check the box for mail.
He LOVES to stand by the mail trucks and loved it even more when I had to ring the bell to sign for something and he got to see in the back. This. This is what life is about.
Making memories with your kids. Working mom or stay at home mom, we are all making memories with our kids. And THAT is what’s important.