I’ve apparently been diagnosed with an affliction that is met with great sympathy and the look. You know the “I’m so sorry for you” look that causes the lips to press together in a pouty line accompanied by a head tilt. Yes, it’s working mother syndrome. “Hey girl, you should join us for that bible study on Monday mornings, oh you work? Oh I’m so sorry…”, or “we sure could use help decorating for the class Christmas party, oh you work? Oh I didn’t know”. Don’t get me wrong I know it’s not meant to come across in the punch to the chest manner I am receiving it. Most of the time these women are some of my greatest supporters, that truly do get it and don’t mean anything by this, but still others I can tell have just classified me as the career minded mother who would rather not be involved. So how do we find that balance?
Set boundaries on where work ends and home life begins. This is not easy to do as undoubtedly something comes up that crosses over into the other, but try and at least have a guideline that is respectful of the two worlds.
Say no…be able to commit to extra activities and don’t be afraid to say no if the plate gets to full. Just today I had to decline an invitation to work at the church on Wednesday nights with the children’s choir because of the stress it puts on the family trying to make it there mid-week. Living in a major city like I do the work commute is a natural time factor and in my case it’s a big one that makes it very hard to be anywhere extra in the week after work. Even though I feel that this time at church is a good investment of time, it still puts a huge strain on the family.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I have had to ask my mom to bail me out and pick up the girls from daycare or school, take one of them to the dentist, etc. It’s not a sign of weakness and if the help is there take it! Give yourself a break. As I have said before mom guilt creeps in and is deep rooted but understand that you can’t do it all, be all, and know all.
Hang in there momma!