On Being a Working Mom…

Motherhood is amazing.  I am constantly in awe of my child and can’t believe how much joy Connor brings to my life.  Just today, I said to Matt, “can you believe we made this kid? How amazing is that?”  I have so much love in my heart when I look at him.  I want to be there for every new thing he does.  My weekends with him fly by so quickly.
mama baby time

This working mom gig is hard.  Way harder that I would have ever imagined…like heartbreakingly hard.  And most days I really like my job.  I am extremely passionate about teaching and feel like I really do make a difference.

Despite feeling very strongly about what I do as an educator, it is extremely exhausting.  I often work 10 hour days, teaching and mothering squirrely middle schoolers.  I usually shove my lunch in my face in less than 10 minutes and don’t sit down for more than 15 minutes all day. When I get home, I try to spend quality time with my boys.  If I can muster up the energy, I’ll cook dinner.  I savor every minute of our bath and bedtime routine, especially since I don’t get to see little boy in the morning.  On most nights I do an hour of work after Connor is in bed.  I try to spend some quality time with my husband before getting 6 or 7 hours of sleep before I do it all over again.  It makes me wonder what in the world we did before we started a family when we thought we were so busy.

On rough days, it is really difficult to remind myself why I spend so much time away from my kid.  It is really easy to get caught up in the cycle of stress and negativity.  It is really easy to feel like I need to take care of everyone else all of the time.  As I get pulled further into that cycle, I continue to not take any time for myself…which in turn makes me a perpetual cranky person, particularly to those closest to me.

I work with a really wise woman who has become a friend that I lean on often.  She says that people have unlimited wants, and if I continue to say yes to people they will continue to ask.  I am figuring out how to say “no;” how to know and respect my limits.  I appreciate her wisdom and her friendship.  It’s because of friendships like hers that I have survived the past 16 months as a working mama.

At the end of the day, I work to help provide for my family.  I work to be an example for my son, to show him that passion and dedication can make the world a better place.  I am trying to get better at unplugging from my phone and computer when I’m at home and really being present for every moment I have with my family.  I am trying to live in the moment and embrace the chaos of life.  I am trying to be gentle on myself and throw away this have-all-my-shit-together version of what it is to be a working mom.

I don’t think it will ever be easy, but I think I can get better at managing my stress and developing some sort of balance.  How do you other working mamas survive, have some sort of balance and manage to do something for yourself once in a while?  Share your wisdom!

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3 Comments

  1. Julianna
    Posted October 13, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    You go girl!! Love ya 🙂

  2. Laurie Streiner
    Posted October 13, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Ali – you are an amazing mom and you and Matt are incredible parents and the love you have for each other shows in everything you do. I know how hard it is to be a working mom. I have been a working mom all of Jessie’s life. It is hard. But you are teaching Conner valuable lessons about your passion and to follow your passion. The good news is that you do treasure every moment you have with your boys. And as for work? Always keep that passion in mind and think how lucky Conner will be when he gets a teacher as dedicated and committed as you are. Love ya.

  3. Posted October 14, 2014 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    beautifully said!

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