I have a pretty important guest post today from great friend and regular contributor Stephanie. I think once you read it, you’ll understand why she can’t put it on her own blog, which we won’t name for many reasons, but you can follow this link to learn more about her and follow more of her working-mom journey.
This whole working mom gig can be such a mind-fuck sometimes.
You can get to a point in your role as a mom where you’ve come to terms with the fact that you’re not going to be with your kids as much as you’d like to. You understand that you won’t make every school play. You’re okay with not being there to greet them as they hop off the bus. You’ve resigned to the fact that you might miss field trips or Mother’s Day lunch or volunteering for the Fall Festival.
You can get to a point in your role as a working mom where you can confidently maneuver past the judgmental naysayers. You know your kids are well cared for. You know they’re thriving in daycare or after-school programs. You know that they’re independent and smart and that one day, they’ll understand why you spent time working out of the home and towards your family’s financial goals.
You can get to a point in your career where you know you’ve made a smart choice, professionally. You enjoy your job. You like working towards something you’re proud of. You feel like you’re accomplishing something worthwhile and valuable for the company you put so many hours of your precious time towards.
And then, all of a sudden, you get sucker punched. It comes from out of nowhere and completely knocks you off balance and onto your ass. You’re left blinking into a bright light and thinking, “what the hell just happened here? I had this all figured out; why do I feel so unsure about all of my choices now?”
Because the sucker punch to your gut didn’t come from a snide family member’s remark. It didn’t come a ‘friend’ who sometimes lets her insecurities over her own choices show in the form a passive aggressive comment. It didn’t come your child crying when you explain why you won’t be able to make it to their school event.
It came from another professional. Someone who apparently sees you as a “mom” and not a peer. A peer who in a moment of insecurity decided to grab at the only leverage they thought they had to pull you down – your motherhood. Your family life. Your role as a parent. The “mommy” in you trumps the “professional” in you.
As a woman working out of the home, perhaps I was naïve to think that I would never encounter such blatant sexism in a professional setting (silly me – to think that we might have come further than that in year 2015). But it still does, apparently, and it knocked me flat on my ass. It knocked the wind out of me, and stole my self-confidence, and made me second-guess every choice I’ve made in the past seven years.
And then I shook that shit off – because fuck them. Screw their own insecurities trying to pull me down with them. I will not have that negativity in my life, I just won’t. I know who I am, and I know who my family is, and while they are fused together with golden thread they are not the same thing.
I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a professional. I am a woman. And I am damn proud of all of that.
I’m so damn proud of Stephanie. Seriously, she amazes me with her devotion to both her family and her career. I hate that she even had to write this.
You shake that shit off, girl.