How often do you find yourself running around feeling like you don’t have it all together? Always behind, not giving enough time to your family, and definitely not feeling in the moment with your kids? Then you get to work and you still feel behind, like you’re not giving enough time to your work, and not feeling in the moment at the office. Working moms – we get it double – at home, and at the office. We’re spinning our wheels and working hard because we want to prove ourselves as great moms AND successful professionals. Can we really be at the top of our game at work and also super mom? If so, to get there is exhausting.
In a recent chat with a colleague I mentioned that I was getting an activity bag together for my daughter for an upcoming car trip. (I wanted to surprise her with some new toys and games to keep her busy. A.K.A. I wanted this trip to go smoothly for me and my husband.) I try not to talk about my daughter too much at work with people who don’t have kids, for obvious reasons, so I wasn’t expecting her response…
“Wow, you are such a great mom.”
It really took me off guard. I don’t always feel like a great mom, and I definitely don’t feel like I’m going above and beyond anything. In fact, I often feel like I am failing as a mom, constantly trying to make up for time that I’m not spending at home. All the while, feeling like I’m not giving work 100 percent because I can’t stay past 4:30 and at night I choose family over checking emails. We all feel this way, right? You never feel like you’re truly doing a good job. Always trying to prove ourselves, but never proving anything. But everyone once and a while, if you’re lucky, you’ll get the opportunity to see how others see you. In that moment, I felt like I had it all together.
I thought “hey, maybe I CAN do this”. Maybe I am making a difference. Just maybe, I AM A GOOD MOM. What this experience did was shine a light on the fact that other people’s perceptions of you are different from how you perceive yourself. Your kids think you’re wonder woman, your husband appreciates you, and coworkers respect you. It’s possible. And it’s happening right underneath your nose without you even realizing it. It feels good to hear it, and to finally believe it.
And so I thought, if it feels so good, why aren’t we saying this more to other women we know? I know so many strong, talented women who excel at their careers, who are involved in their communities, and on top of it all are amazing mothers. I see them every day. I know them well. I live down the street from them. Many of them are my best friends. Some are colleagues I’ve worked with for years. How often do I tell them that they’re doing a great job? I know it’s definitely not as much as they deserve.
If we all took more time to tell our co-workers, our sisters, our neighbors, and our friends that they are doing a great job, more women could have moments of feeling like they have it all together. So, let’s lift each other up. Let’s make each other feel like we’re in this together, because we are. And we are all great moms.