Jessica Miller-Merrell | , , , , , , , ,| By
As moms who return to work after our child is born, we often dream of the carefree life of a stay at home mom. Little do we know that the life of a stay at home mom is not all sunshine and roses. We live each day fighting a battle with our own selves.
As a mom who is experienced in her career long before I became a mom, I was not fully prepared for the feelings, thoughts, and emotions I would have when I returned to work. I love working. I have an important job that I love and people who depend and rely on me. Just like being a mom, this is a job I have trained for, dreamed about, and worked towards my whole life. Without it, I don’t somehow feel whole. I wouldn’t be me.
I often feel guilty when I travel for work or even dropping her off at daycare which I do four days a week. This phenomenon called mommy guilt is something that is often experienced throughout a child’s life. Leaving my daughter as I head to the airport, there is a hole in my heart. I love her, and I know she loves me. The adrenaline sets in as I work navigating the conference calls, emails, faxes, direct messages, and texts I get when I’m working with a client or traveling to a conference or an event. I’m an expert who’s important and needed for more than the standard diaper changing, bandaid kissing, and magic momminess I possess.
One day not too long ago I realized that I could not be one without the other. I’m a mom who loves to work and is better at both being a mother and working because I’m both. These roles and responsibilities define me driving my creativity and time management. We can do both, and I’m not apologizing for it any longer to myself or to others. By accepting the reality, I believe I’ve become a better mom and business woman. I’m learning to love and live with being a mom and professional setting aside my guilt and embracing what makes me special. It’s a balance that finding and maintaining is not going to be easy, but I’m ready, willing, and able to be up for the challenge.
It’s okay to want to have it all. Because of my daughter, I feel I’m a more focused business partner who makes time for work as well as play. As parents, mentors, leaders, and bosses, we need to be prepared and understanding as our employees, friends, and peers face these daily struggles. The guilt, the anxiety, and the questions are real. And that’s okay. I’m a better mother and business professional because I’m not perfect. I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Are you? How do you tackle your mommy guilt? Does it work and will it really ever go away?