Why I Work
This morning, as I kissed Olivia goodbye, our conversation went a little something like this:
“No, mommy, stay here”
“Oh sweetie, you know I wish I could, but I am going to work. Aren’t you excited for gymnastics today?” You like how I redirected a potential meltdown? Me too. #proudmommymoment
Halima chimed in and asked “why does mommy go to work?”
[my initial reaction, that I actually said] “to escape you crazy kids. Just kidding [not really]. Mommy works because I love what I do. Remember what I do? The stores in the mall we go to when we visit Santa, I help put those in!”
Keep in mind she’s too young to grasp exactly what I do, eventually things will click. Homegirl shops enough to understand what a store is #thanksmom
It got me thinking, as did a text convo with my girls about working from home and the flexibility (or sometimes lack thereof) in the corporate world. For better or worse, I dig the corporate world - it’s structure, hierarchies, rules - even though I tend to think I royally suck at the game of politics and optics, it is something I am working on this year. Honestly though, who has the time to worry about that shit?! #justdoyourjob
I was also asked recently by a dear friend about balancing “it all” as she is headed back to work after taking a year off with her first and only child. Providing some guidance on the logistics of making it work, but moreso, the emotional sacrifice of leaving my kids every day, here is what I shared. Completely prefaced with my honest opinion of trying to achieve this unicorn idea of balancing it all, is just simply not attainable. Some days you feel like you are on top of your shit, and other days, you literally get shit on and have to change your entire, beautifully curated outfit and run late to that important meeting with Mrs. Bosslady. Let’s be honest again, most likely, your boss is a man.
It’s simple - you have to like what you do, not just bare it or collect a paycheck, but genuinely take an interest in your career. There comes a certain point when you might start to resent the fact you can’t spend all day staring into your baby’s curious eyes or taking your toddler on adventures throughout the city. Having a career you have passion for, paired with the independence it provides, can make you a more well rounded person. Personally, I think it teaches me a whole boatload of stuff - how to be present with your child, practice patience, be more efficient, don’t sweat the small stuff.
I want all the stay at home mamas to know that because I do not specifically address you, I do not think this does not apply to you as well. Being a SAHM is a REAL job. And I am not afraid to admit that I can’t do it. I can’t stay home and raise my kids. At least not now anyways. I found my maternity leave a struggle and we had Halima full time! Ha, another topic for another day.
So I work because:
I genuinely like my career and negotiating and the hunt of it all
I like to be strategic, creative and also enjoy the people I work with
It affords me independence and a sense of self that I fear would get lost if I were with Nemo & Dory all day
I like to contribute financially to our life
I want my daughter and son to see a strong, working woman
I want them to see how messy life can be
I want them to see how full life can be
My husband and I are in the same industry and it super fun to discuss each other’s jobs (most of the time).
I would like to continue to foster the growth of my overpriced shoe collection
The list goes on, but these are some of the important ones. I am not really ashamed to say, but kind of nervous to put it out there, that I don’t feel fulfilled enough being a mommy. I need something else. I love my kids and adore them and clearly this subject pulls me in various directions. I’m not sure that I’ll feel this way forever, and I have guilty days where I’d rather stay home and make forts with Liv and work on Grayson’s physical therapy. But my kids and my family will always have my heart; they know that and so do I. So I can feel good about being excited to head to the office and crush it :)