My name is Mandy and I am a full time working mom. I struggle to get through most days without forgetting a child, burning down the house with whatever I forgot in the oven, or going to work wearing a shirt that looks like it spent that last 2 weeks in a ball on the floor (and it probably did). I’m the mom that forgets until 20 minutes before school starts that my kindergartener had 1 sheet of homework to do and I never made time to help her do it. Most of my days start around 6 a.m. and end around 11 p.m. And when I’m really lucky, I get to pull all-nighters with whichever of my kids are sick with the latest and greatest virus going around.
I say all of this to paint a picture of what life is really like for moms like me who are blessed with the opportunity to have a career but also struggling to balance the full time job of “momming” in what’s left of their free time. I always planned on cutting to part time once I have kids, but that wasn’t in God’s plans for me. My husband and I experienced job loss, financial difficulties that landed us back at home with my in-laws, and a very unexpected second pregnancy all within the first 7 months of my daughter being born. A full time job has just always been a necessity for me.
So how do you find time to be successful in both worlds? Really, I still have no idea so let me know if you’ve figured it out.
Here’s what I have learned though. Picture perfect is not how my life will ever be described. And I’m ok with that. I now expect the unexpected in my day to day routine. If I wear white, there will be dirty handprints on me before I ever leave the house. If I’m running late, both of the kids will suddenly need to go to the bathroom right then. If there’s a theme day at school, my kid will be the one not participating because I thought it was next week. If I sign up to bring a dish to the luncheon at work, I will leave it sitting on the counter on my way out the door. I will absolutely fail in some way Every. Single. Day. So I can never thank God enough for giving me a husband who doesn’t seem to notice how imperfect my parenting skills are or that the house hasn’t been cleaned in 2 weeks (he usually thinks it’s only been a day or 2, God bless him). Even more than that, I am so thankful for my children who still think I’m awesome! They always seem to tell me on my worst days how great I am. My favorite is when they get cereal for dinner and they say “This is the best cereal EVER mom. You’re the best cook!”.
I can say without a doubt that my strength and joy in life comes from the Lord and from the blessings he has so graciously given to me. It’s what makes it all worth it. I don’t love the feeling of pulling my hair out while trying to make sense of all of our work and school schedules. But I love the feeling of recapping my day and realizing how much I actually accomplished. It makes me feel kind of awesome.
My life is hard. It’s exhausting. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.