Moms are the strongest forces of nature. Let’s face it. Society still hasn’t gotten to the point where dads are expected to participate equally in the nurturing of the child. Nurturing goes beyond breastfeeding and bathing. There is a need for a deep connection between the child and the primary caregiver, and since she birthed the baby, the mom is generally assumed to endure most of the sleepless nights and exhausting days.

“I used to hate flight delays. But now that I have two kids, an extra hour or two in the airport is a luxury.”  –  Anonymous

Working moms are superhuman, in my opinion. I’m pretty sure there’s no working mom out there who hasn’t had one of those “I-think-I-Just-have-to-quit-moment”.

Well, this Facebook user hit the nail on the head with an aptly accurate post about the daily pressures placed on working moms [1]. In a post that has garnered 76K likes, 17K comments and 69K shares (talk about viral), Sarah Buckley Friedberg called on every member of the society to quit judging working moms and expecting so much of them [2].

Society to working moms:

-Go back to work 6-8 weeks after having the baby. The baby that you spent 9-10 months growing inside of your body. Go back to work before you have finished healing or have had time to bond with your baby. Keep your mind on work, and not the tiny helpless baby that is being watched and cared for by someone other than you. Make sure to break the glass ceiling and excel at your job- you can do anything a man can do! It is your job to show society this! Show the world that women can do it all.”

The mom has to breastfeed for at least a year, and if she doesn’t, then she’ll be barraged with the guilt of not having done right by her baby. She has to take time out at work to do some pumping, and she’d better not let it disorient her.

Losing the baby fat is not a suggestion: it’s an obligation, and she has to lose it ASAP. If she wants to function properly, she has to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.

“But also get up at 5 am to workout, unless you want to do it after your kids go to bed when you also need to clean the house and get life ready for the next day and you know, sleep.
-Maintain a clean, Pinterest-worthy house. Take the Christmas lights down. Recycle. Be Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the birthday planner, the poop doula (seriously when will this end), the finder of lost things, the moderator of fights. Be fun. Be firm. Read books. Have dance parties.”

Also, the mom is the family’s official steward and everybody’s unpaid personal assistant. She has to stay ahead of every activity going on in her children‘s lives, along with teaching them the basics of being the perfect human being.

“Don’t forget they need to dress as their favorite book character on Monday and wear something yellow on Thursday. Oh, it’s totally your call but most parents come in on their birthday and read to the entire class. In case nobody told you, if you have more than one kid you will need to buy new shoes approximately every other day. See also: winter coats, shorts, pants that aren’t 4 inches too short. There will never be matching socks or gloves for any member of the family, ever again.”

Even the dog you loved before those kids came needs care too. She’s old, weak, and requires living aids. You’re going to provide all the funds for keeping her afloat. And she stinks.

Kids get sick or hurt themselves easily, and asides from the regular doctor’s appointments, you have to be ready for any emergencies.

Parents have to be fully involved in their children’s academic ventures. Attend all the conferences, meetings, dinners, and FYI, you have to volunteer to chaperone at something.

“Sorry, you are now out of vacation time because you used it all for time taking your kids to appointments or when your childcare is unavailable. You should go on vacations though. It’s good to relax and unwind from work. Makes you a better employee. 
-Don’t forget the kids need healthy meals (and so do you! you are trying to lose that last 20 lbs before swim season right). That requires meal planning, grocery shopping, and meal prep on the weekend. But also hang out with your kids on the weekend since during the week you only get to hang out with them when they are exhausted and angry that you made the wrong kind of spaghetti for dinner.”

Next, she has to keep the fire burning in her relationship with her partner or spouse. Date him, literally. Don’t let the lack of attention caused by exhaustion and stress put him in a rut. Uh, he should be exhausted and stressed out too, but he’s dad, not mom. So, he’s excused.

To have enough time for him, hire a nanny. They’re expensive, but you have to do anything to hold it all together, even if it means working two jobs.

Despite the stress tearing you apart, you are expected to have a hobby and time for fun, keeping up with the latest gist on just about every topic there is.

“Make sure to have friends. Social time is SO important. Surely there is an hour or two left in the week after all of the working, appointments, exercising, cooking, scheduling, cleaning, imparting lifelong morals and learning on the kids, the usual. Maybe go out after the kids are down for a glass of wine and a bite to eat. Make it a healthy bite though. And you may regret that wine at your 5:30 am spin class.”

As a mom, you have to look perfect and collected at all times. Despite having strong urges to do away with the discomforting wavy hair and wear yoga pants and flip-flops all day, society’s going to be mad. You’ve got to look good and absolutely perfect at all times. Society wants you to wake up an hour earlier so you’d extra time to fix your hair and make-up.

“Self-care though. SO important. See also: getting in shape. See the general doctor, the dentist (TWICE), the lady doctor. Probably need to get your eyes checked. Full body skin checks 2+ times a year (just me? okay well). Mental health too. Postpartum anxiety? But you look fine and your kids are so cute. Everyone should have a therapist. Good luck finding one that takes your insurance and has hours outside of your normal working time (out of vacation time, remember?). That leaves evening time when you want to hang out with your kids. But it’s important, so make time for it. “

Hey! Working moms out there. Sit your partner down and give him the pep talk of his life. He can’t sit around while you split in two from physical exhaustion. If you’re a single working mom, get your mom or someone else you trust up to town to watch your kids for a while and then run off on a relaxing vacation. You’re probably going to want to run back home to them in a couple of days, but you have to resist the urge. It doesn’t make you a bad mom. You’re the best, and no one can change that. Go somewhere. Seriously, get some sleep. Go to a spa. Go watch the ocean. Just do something to rest and recuperate, and don’t wait years to take some time off. Don’t listen to what society or what people will say because even if you give your child one of your kidneys, they’re going to fault the fact that you gave him the left one instead of the right.

References:

  1. Sarah Buckley Friedberg. Facebook. April 19, 2018.
  2. Woman’s post about the pressures on working moms goes viral for how real it is. Bronwyn Isaac. Some Ecards.April 23, 2019.
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