This is Part II of III. To see Part I, click here.
As I shared last week, I moderated a Women’s Panel at my office. The topic was “Working Moms and Having It All.” Three moms from my office answered questions sent in from our female colleagues. The discussion tackled both challenges and changes at work as well as challenges and changes at home.
This week, I will focus on the challenges and changes at home. See last week’s article for challenges and changes at work.
Challenges and Changes at Home
As a working mom, do you still feel like a good mom? How do you deal with “working mom guilt?”
Some days these women feel like a great mom and some days they don’t. When their kid is crying as the leave for a business trip, they feel like a bad mom. But when their kid is so excited to see them when they come home from work, they feel on top of the world. The best piece of advice they had was to not let this guilt get to you.
As a working mom, you will always have two things tugging on you and you just have to do the best you can. For one mom, that means making sure the two hours she spends with her son before he goes to bed each night are of a really high quality. For another, this means reminding herself that she could not be as good a mom to her daughter if she stayed home all day.
How does your relationship with your spouse change? Does your spouse end up being a third priority behind your child and work?
“Yes,” the women all said. Having a kid is tough and it is easy to take it out on your spouse. Each of these women found themselves bickering with their husbands much more after having children, and often over silly things like leaving a plate on the counter.
One of the women makes a conscious effort to go out to dinner with her husband twice a month. They get a babysitter, engage in real conversations with each other, and are reminded why they love being together.
Do you have friends who are stay-at-home moms? If so, does that ever create a strong dynamic between you?
I expected to hear that these working moms felt judged by their stay-at-home-mom friends. However, none of them said they felt that way. Rather, one working mom said she often feels weird about talking about work around these friends. The stay-at-home moms she knows struggle financially with only one income so talking about the luxuries two salaries can afford can be awkward.
At the same time, she occasionally feels jealous of her friends that stay at home and are able to grab coffee with each other in the middle of the day. However, she knows that over time she wouldn’t enjoy this as much as she enjoys coming to work each day.
Another mom actually found her husband getting more flak from his friends than she does herself. When her husband has to go bring their son to a doctor’s appointment, his colleagues ask him why his wife can’t do that and are surprised to learn that his wife has a full-time consulting job.