Work + Mom Can = Isolation: Dig Out!
Let’s get this thing back up and running!
I have to admit – being a new Mama, a wife, fitness/nutrition lover and full-time professional in the tech world has really taken me away from my time on this blog as well as my podcast. Though I have goals to re-ignite both, I also have to be realistic about my bandwidth and my PRIORTIES. Which include my Faith and Family first and foremost.
That said, I still love spreading the love for the things that light a fire in me:
Positive body image
And most of all, I love how many messages I get on an ongoing basis of encouragement, tips and education I have put out there that has helped so many women (and men).
So let’s get to the bulk of today’s post already!
Who I really want to reach out to today are working-Mamas. Ya’all this is HARD work. Being a Mom is hard work – and worth every single minute of joy, tears, cuddles, tantrums, late night wakings and everything in between. I’ve never felt so blessed to hold any title than ‘Mom’. It is such a beautiful thing.
I have never been the kind of woman who wanted to stay-at-home with my kids. In fact, I never wanted to have kids prior to my 30’s (and not til 35 at that!). I was always a climber with big career aspirations, drive and ideas I wanted to put out in the world. That part of me is STILL there – but now I have more that pulls at my priorities: a little man.
When Dubs was born, my entire life changed in an instant. I used to eye-roll at women who would say that ‘kids changed their lives in an instant’ – but the joke was on ME because it was SO. TRUE.
But even then, I looked forward to being BOTH a Mama and getting back in to my career. I feel FULFILLED in my career. In my role, I am able to influence others, have an incredible team to work with each other’s strengths and can innovate and create things that are impactful. My job and company make me FEEL good and that drives me to be a better Mom, wife and human.
I love that baby Dubs sees his Mama working just like his Daddy. I love that as he grows, he will understand the value of talents and experience, ideas that can take life, creativity and passion. I love that he can see how hard my husband and I both strive to have a work/life balance so that we can be with him as much as possible while also remaining true to our career passions and goals.
I believe this is GOOD to instill in him.
[Enter the Mom Guilt]
The hard part that comes in is the GUILT. Oh Mama’s- I never understood Mom-guilt until I had him in my arms. It’s REAL and it REALLY needs to go. Especially for working-Mom’s who are so hard on ourselves.
But to add insult to injury, MOST if not all of the parent/child activities that exist are during the work week AND work day, leaving most working Moms to feel as if they are failing by not being able to attend these enriching experiences with their littles. They either have to opt for them to not go or trust in a caretaker to attend with them.
But where the real toll comes in is isolation.
Yes – working Mom’s are some of the most isolated people in the world. Remember that little dirty word ‘guilt’? Well that Mom guilt comes in to play because we spend time away from our babies since we work. So in off-hours, we want to spend allllll the time we can with our babies.
Which leads to -> ISOLATION.
We work, we spend time with baby, we help in our household, we coordinate and attend doctors appts, research illnesses, schools to attend, get on waitlists, schedule vendors for home needs, spend time with our spouses, take care of pets, schedule family time…….but where in this do you see FRIEND time? Time to connect and relate to other Mamas?
It’s virtually non-existent.
And speaking of virtual – us working Mamas who work-from-home in a remote setting? We are THE MOST ISOLATED of all.
We see people on video calls all day but not often in-person. We see people at the grocery store on a quick errand but who has time to stop and talk? We see Mom’s in their stroller groups as we are driving our babies to childcare or to a meeting and wish we could take part.
It’s a struggle.
Myself and other working Mamas I connect with talk about how we are envious of the Mamas attending fun stroller workout classes WITH their babies everyday at 9:15am, a prime time for work calls and meetings. We talk about how we would love to take that music class with baby or attend story-time at the local library. Not only so that our kiddos can have these experiences, but so that WE CAN MEET AND TALK TO OTHER MOMS! Oh how lovely would that be! We also don't want to be away from our babies. We spend ENOUGH time away from them and they are only little for so long. As they get older - sure! But for working Mamas with little's, it's tough to want to have 'girls nights' after you have just spent 40 hours away from them all week.
I myself am still coming to grips with how much my isolation is affecting me. I am good at my job. I am damn good at being a Mama. I am a great wife. But I SUCK at being a friend.
I can’t get more hours in a day. I don’t want to spend less time with my baby. So what’s to do?
If you do a quick internet search, you will find TONS of Mom-groups, but most do not cater to the daily schedules of a working Mom. So here’s my call to action:
Working-Mamas! UNITE! I live in a small community but there are plenty of us out there. I love the camaraderie of groups like the stroller Mom's and other Mom workout groups so I have decided to start something in my own community for working Mamas (and you know what? ANY Mom can join!) but plan to tailor it to weekends and pre or post-work hours and WITH our little's in tow. I want it to be workouts, coffee, play-time, fun time, heck even a margarita while the kids enjoy a dance party that we can partake in while we are OFF THE CLOCK.
Details to come 😊
Here are a few other 'doable' goals I am setting for myself:
Coffee or Lunch dates DURING the work day with friends
One playdate or brunch a month with another Mama and little for connection
Host something fun at the house this quarter - brunch and crafts
What else do you working Mamas do to connect and not isolate yourselves?
In Health, TNutritionista