I woke to a cry from my six month old daughter and rolled out of bed with my eyes closed. When I got to her room I realized the sun was up (when did that happen?) and tried to nurse her back to sleep. Even though the daylight was steadily creeping through her shades, it still felt much too early to be awake. Either way, she wasn’t having it; she was up for the day. I brought her back into our room because I was so tired and I just needed to lie back in bed for a few minutes. I glanced at the clock and it was 7:02!!!!! I immediately felt almost embarrassed at my lack of togetherness at such an hour. Just eight short months earlier I’d already have been on my way to work (already at work, on a good day) and yet here I was struggling seriously to even remember my child’s name. I immediately thought, “there’s no way I could have done this this year – have a career and a child.” And that thought was immediately followed by a feeling of a bit of shame. There are millions of women that work in the corporate world and are mothers. Some of them wouldn’t have it any other way, but for others it is a daily struggle. Either way, I salute every type of working mother. Being a working mom is not something I think I could do, at least not well, at this point in my life.
If you’re a working mother I want you to know that I salute you. I salute you because I think of you so often when I am having a difficult day. My feet are achy and my eyes are red, but if I plan accordingly sometimes I can snag a nap when the baby sleeps – even if it is a mere twenty minutes (or less!). I know many of you have heartstrings that can’t stretch any further, and I salute you. Know that you are doing the right thing by helping provide for your family. Your children understand or will one day. And while a lot of my day is filled with mundane tasks, like laundry and dishes, I am grateful to do them at my leisure throughout the day. I’m also able to get my post office, bank, and grocery store trips done before 5:00. I salute you as you get these done after a long day of work or on your weekends. And as you show up to your corporate meeting with a strand of who knows what in your hair, a stray Cheerio rolling out of your portfolio, hiding your smeared paperwork, autographed nicely by your two year old, I salute you. You are doing great things, mama, keep it up.
While I sit here with my own challenges as a stay-at-home mom, I salute you for the very different challenges that you face every day. You take on the load of both career and motherhood. I salute you, respect you, and I thank you, from the deepest part of my heart. You’re not only shaping your child’s world, you’re shaping my child’s as well.