Dear Working Mom,
This is tough...and beautiful, and challenging, and fun, and exhausting and fulfilling. Trust me, I get it.
I’m a mom to three little ones - Ethan, 7, Bennett, 3 and Kendall, 1.5 - and I’m the founder of Ready Pretty, a web design and digital marketing agency that supports independent brands and businesses. In addition, I just launched a spin-off of that business, The Stylish Co., a membership-based virtual styling service that connects personal stylists to women in need of style support, while also showcasing several of our fashion based clients. So yes, working mom here. I get it, and I’m in it. Like all the way in it.
September 16th is officially National Working Parents Day (who knew?) and with that, I want to take a moment to applaud all of you out there working and raising little people. To be honest, I don’t have any advice to give, no quick tips to make things easier for us all (if you do, please share… I’ll take them!)
Instead, this seems like the day we acknowledge all the things that we as working mothers do, all the balls we’re juggling, the schedules we’re balancing (or sometimes failing to balance), all the roles we play on any given day. I looked down at a quick to-do list from earlier which was a giant hodgepodge of client deliverables, school forms and doc appointments and random life tasks that keep our family ship moving forward.
A look into my brain this morning…
Does Mac (our dog) have any more heartworm pills or do I need to order more?
Did I schedule that photoshoot with my client yet?
Does Ethan have gym day tomorrow?
What time is Bennett’s doc appointment?
Did my team finalize the presentation for the pitch meeting?
What in the world am I cooking for dinner tonight?
Did my client ever respond back to the final campaign concept?
Is it early pick-up from school today?
I’ve come to the realization that I’ll never get through the list, my brain will be a constant smorgasbord of things to do, tasks to complete (and most) importantly cuddles and kisses to give. It is what it is.
I’ve come to peace with the idea that I’m always going to have some version of mom guilt. You’ve heard it and know it. Too much work and you feel like you’re not being a good enough mom, not enough work and you feel like you're failing your business, your job that you’ve worked so hard for. I’ve done my best to turn my guilt into gratitude. Gratitude that I get to show my sons and daughter that women can run companies, gratitude that I get to build a business that I want to work at, gratitude that I created a fully female team and work with incredible female founders, gratitude that I get to do what I love without sacrificing being a great mom while doing it. Gratitude. The guilt may be there, but most days the gratitude outweighs it.
About two years ago I decided that I was going to have the best of both worlds. I was going to be my own version of the best mom and business owner. Period.
When I’m working I’m going to bang out the best work that I can in the time that I have and when it’s mom time, I’m going to be the best and most present mom that I can be. And while there are days where the lines blur and when I’ve burnt the candle from both ends and it feels like there’s no end in sight, I’m going to remind myself of all the reasons I have to be grateful. Healthy, happy kids, a job that I love, a support system of friends and family. There’s so much to be grateful for. And in those tough moments, that’s what I’ll try my best to remember.
So Mom, from one mom in the trenches to another, you’re doing a great job. Take a few seconds to breathe and acknowledge all that you do, each and every day for yourself, your job and for your family. And don’t forget to give yourself some grace. We’re all doing the best we can.
Happy National Working Parents Day. Once I (finally) get my little ones to bed, I’m going to toast to all of you.