Hey you, welcome to the working moms club. Like most working moms standing in front of the cupboard trying to decide what work clothes you can fit back into whilst brushing your teeth and holding your baby is just another day before heading into the office.
Whether it’s a rite of passage or merely an on-going practical joke to welcome you to the motherhood fray, there are some things that nobody or no glossy magazine can prepare you for. Shaking hands at a meeting used to be the easy part of the meeting; these days you’re probably horrified at the condition of your hands (raise your hands if you’ve not had a manicure in months). Yip, rifling through your bag is like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolate’s analogy – you just never know what you’re going to get. It could be a spare pair of baby socks, a Spiderman party favour from Jessie’s birthday party last Saturday, a juice box, a spare nappy – oh here’s the extra dummy I was looking for. Sound familiar? Silver lining: There’s always a wet wipe in there.
As a working mom, have you ever noticed how the rest of your colleagues suddenly seek your counsel around domestic issues in the office kitchen - little do they know that your idea of dried fruit is half-eaten apricot rolls discarded in your handbag. And, the closest you’ve come to spending your ‘free time’ baking is swooning over those Pinterest Stepford wives who bake six-layer, dairy-free rainbow cakes with speckled eggs as lava just because they can. Grrrr…
So you’re at your desk, typing a passive-aggressive email to Susan in HR because you indicated the wrong leave on your application and your peripheral vision alerts you to the fact there’s something on your blazer. It’s not lint but it’s a substance that’s become as household a name as lint: spit-up. Working moms know this is only classified as a catastrophe if it cannot be scrape off with a finger or tissue. If it can be, keep on trucking – at least you’ll look 65% put together and that’s a win. Hands up if you can relate that professional is far more flexible a term when you’re a working mom. Buns are always in, and my Google search history will reflect that: ‘seven new ways with a bun’; ‘how to bring back the pony tail at the office’ and of course ‘office-worthy looks with a hair band’. It’s a thing.
As far as who’s the boss goes, when you’re at work it could be you, you go-getter, or if you find yourself further to the right-off the company organogram, all working mamas know the day care or the au pair is the ultimate boss. This institution that gives you a few hours reprieve from spit ups and gum-in-the-hair is the boss – speed dial, FaceTime and private WhatsApp all apply.
Whether you are so sleep-deprived that you’ve used the post box key to start the car or forgot the steps to making your mom’s trifle, working moms somehow still manage to own their workspace like a boss – doing payroll, executing marketing communications plans and running successful businesses. Who runs the world? Working moms.
And, if the old mom guilt trips you up, know this: you’re bursting with inner strength and you’re handling your business and your family all the while showering your children with love. So, you know what, this (guilt) too shall pass – you’re just fine.
Date Published: 09 May 2017