Working Mom Woes

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READING TIME: 3 min.

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I never wanted to be “that working mom” that comes home and whips out the laptop and sends e-mails with one hand and holds the baby with the other while helping her balance a bottle (with my chin)…but I am. I think it’s inevitable when you’re trying to prove to Corporate America that working moms can be Vice President material and prove to your husband that you are superwoman. I didn’t realize I was “that working mom” until my sweet 11 month old picked up my smart phone and said “hi”. I about died. Yes, she said a word and that’s cute, but the fact that my child was mimicking me being on the phone and knew what word to say when holding that black rectangle thing just shocked me. Do our children start becoming us that early on? Is my child just a super genius?

As much as I’d like to think the latter, that’s not true. Our children truly learn from us before they are one and it’s scary. It made me feel guilty. I felt guilty that instead of my daughter learning that a book opens or the accompanying gestures to “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” she learned that the little black rectangle is a tool for talking. Granted not all calls I take around Caroline are work calls, a lot of them are. I am often on my phone as we rush out the door, are en route to work or when I am rushing into The Sloan School to make the 6:00 pm pick up time. What do I do from here? Do I completely unplug as I walk in the door and make sure that I limit work conversation from here on out, or do I tell her about my day to day and teach her that her mommy works hard for her so she can have a bow that’s every color of the rainbow and feel guilty when she doesn’t see me four nights in a row…what’s “right”? What will make her a better human? wife? mother?….prom queen? (kidding)

I grew up in a house with working parents and ultimately a working single mom, and although I can’t really remember if I appreciated it then, I surely appreciate all of her hard work now. I do (vividly) remember WAYYY too many dinner conversations revolving around mediations and depositions and subpoenas and all other things legal and knew at a very young age that I would rather eat glass than step foot in a law school, but I never felt neglected. So…what’s right? Who knows…this whole parenting thing seems to be trial and error to me, but what are your thoughts?

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Full time working momVanessa lives and works in Irving with her husband Matt and daughter Caroline.  She spends her days as a Corporate Communications Manager and her nights as a full time mommy and story-teller.  Motherhood was a big surprise but she is loving every minute of it!

4 COMMENTS

  1. I love reading your writing and thoughts V! I had a stay at home mom for the vast majority of my life and I feel lucky for having that, but at the same time I can’t help but feel like SHE was missing out on something that might have been helpful to her now that she’s on her own. And I think that even if she had focused on herself a little more, we still would have turned out okay…

  2. I think it’s helpful to try not to equate working with money or even bows. Because what do you say if your daugher one day tells you she’d rather spend time with you then have any more bows? Or what do you say if she empties her piggy bank and tells you that she’s giving you her money so you no longer have to work? If you teach her that you do your job because people are counting on you, I think that’s easier to understand. Just like when she goes to school, her friends and teachers will be counting on her.

  3. If it makes you feel any better, my son started picking up random objects (like blocks, even FOOD) and holding them up to his ear saying “hello” at around 12 months also, and I don’t even have a job where I talk on the phone. I am not sure where he got it from, but I just decided that hey, at least he knows what technology is for. Would I rather him be confused about how to use a phone? Probably not – it’s a valuable skill and it proves he’s observing things so I see it as a good thing, developmentally. What’s funny is that now he is almost 20 months he has much longer “conversations” with the random objects he is pretending are phones… he even walks around while “talking”. It’s pretty cute!

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