10 Things Only Working Moms Understand

10 Things Only Working Moms Understand

There are some angles of parenting life only working moms can understand.


By Maria Mora

Moms who work outside the home live a balancing act every single day. While it’s challenging to “have it all,” juggling a career and kids is totally doable. But along the way, working moms learn a few things only other moms in the same situation can understand. Here, 10 things only working moms know all too well.

1. Missing the school memo - You aren’t going to miss an important meeting at work, but you might drop a few balls related to school. “Even though it's picture day, she still may not match or have cute hair,” says Karen M. from Florida. No one’s going to fault you, Mom.

2. The summer scramble - When summer rolls around, working moms aren’t planning vacations. They’re planning child care options. “As a single working mom, my challenge was finding affordable care during the summer months,” says Kelli M. from Florida.

3. Skipping volunteering - It’s no fun having to pass on opportunities to help out at school and for field trips. “When I say I can't volunteer at school, it hurts,” says Amy H. from Illinois. “But I really can't, I have to work.”

4. Career pride - Every mom has the right to be proud, but working moms have a unique lesson to teach their sons and daughters. “I am not wracked with guilt for not being a stay-at-home mom, and that I think I am teaching my kid a valuable lesson by having a career,” says Leta B. from Tennessee.

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5. Not having mom friends - Working moms miss out on weekday playdates, and find that many stay-at-home moms are busy on weekends. “There just isn't time,” says Erin J. from Mississippi. “I wish I had a day off in the middle to fill with playdates just so I could hang out with other moms.”

6. Having multiple jobs - The workday doesn’t end at quitting time. That’s when mealtime, housekeeping, and laundry start. “Just because I work full time doesn't mean someone else does those things for me!” says Laura W. from Arizona.

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7. Getting to skip some of the gross stuff - Sometimes working means outsourcing the nastiest to-dos, like cleaning up after a little one with a tummy bug. “I know [my kids] want me, and I want to be there to help them feel better and yet … I'm also a little relieved that I don't have to deal with throw-up and runny noses,” says Tara A. from California.

8. Always feeling inadequate - Being pulled in too many directions makes it difficult to feel like a success in any of them. “The feeling of extreme mediocrity in home life and work life,” says Janelle H. from California. “Like you're just barely pulling through in both.”

9. Passing on after-school activities - It’s hard to get kids to after-school activities when you’re still at work. “Everything starts between 5-6 p.m., and I don't even get off work until 5:30 p.m., and then have to commute home, which is at least an hour,” says Jenny H. from Florida. “Dad is in the same boat.”

10. High-speed breakfast - There’s nothing like the morning crush when everyone needs to make it out the door in a hurry. “The quest to find 100 percent mess- and stickiness-free breakfast options so the goodbye hug doesn't require me to change my work outfit as I'm running out the door,” says Katie H. from Illinois.

What else would you add to this list of things only working moms understand?


Maria Mora is communications director at Big Sea Design and Development in St. Petersburg, Florida. She lives with her two sons and their rescue terriers.

Image ©iStock.com/STEFANOLUNARDI


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