Work will always be there, but my babies won’t always be small

“For this brief time when I am [my children’s] everything, I will let the other version… the ladder-climbing, corporate version… of myself go. Because I’m sure we’ll meet again down the road.”

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Alone Time on Mothers’ Day

Mothers-Day

“Alone Time is when I distance myself from the voices of the world so I can hear my own.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

“What do you want for Mothers’ Day?”, my husband asked one day.

Honestly, I really don’t know. Money would not even be an issue. Not because we have loads of it (which we don’t), but I think the thing that I want the most cannot be bought in a store. We already have more than enough material things, both for me and my family. God knows I’m even trying to Marie-Kondo barely used toys/clothes/random stuff for the condo, so adding more things does not really appeal to me right now.

If I was really honest with myself, what I want is uninterrupted sleep, a good massage, peace and quiet. That would be so heavenly! But I cannot do that even in my own home, because I would think about the next meal or the next load of laundry, or answer the next phone call from work. Even if I locked myself in the bedroom, my daughter would still know that I’m there, and I cannot resist her even if my body and soul are so, so, so tired from the daily grind.

So lo and behold, the husband gifts me with a night off— an overnight stay in a hotel where I can relax and do whatever I want. He will take care of the house and our daughter for the meantime.

It really is a wonderful and thoughtful gift! I toyed with the idea for a while, before settling down on a weeknight— my MIL was home to also help around the house, and my boss was in vacation leave so no meetings will be called. I packed my luggage on a Thursday, and off I checked into a modest hotel.

The room is not so big and not too expensive, but it has all the amenities that I needed— a spa, a rooftop bar, free wifi, and nearby grocery in case I need anything.

I’m no stranger to hotels. We often go to staycations as a family, and we are often billeted by the office on business-related events. But to stay in a hotel just to relax and be my self… this is definitely a first! First time to not think about taking care of other people’s food and clothes (what to order for room service, fix the toys and clothes, etc) and first time to not hurry because of early call times (ingress, start of a meeting, etc). No time but my own time— to write and blog and finish my next chapter, stan and ship my Tumblr feeds, read bff eBooks, drink my Moscato, splurge on an hour of Swedish massage, and enjoy the city skyline by the rooftop, without the guilt.

Is Mothers’ Day supposed to be celebrated without your family? Is it ironic to be alone without your family, on Mothers’ Day? I’ll have a couple of those over the weekend, for sure. But to feel like myself again… to remember how and who I was before I was a working mom, juggling responsibilities and to-do’s, is the best healing time for a tired working Mom. If I give this time to myself, I know that I can give more of me to my family and to my company, to everyone who demands every little part of me every other day of the year.

For now, I am thankful for this time. I wish every Mom would also get a chance to let go and feel free and enjoy life and be herself, even for just a little while…sans the guilt.

Happy Mothers’ Day to all Working Moms, and to all loving, hardworking Moms! No matter how you spend your day, know that you are loved and appreciated by your family and the people around you. Cheers!

WorkingMom Thoughts #1

My heart breaks when I have to leave for work, and my daughter is sick in bed. It is in these moments when the difficult choice whether to wear the hat of a mother or a career woman has never been more apparent, and even more agonizing 💔 #torn #workingmom

A Letter to the Working Mom

Here’s an excerpt from a really poignant letter by Alicia Keswani:

Hey there Working Mama,

Can we sit down and breathe for a sec?

Let’s set our stuff down and give permission to press pause on the ever-running-to-do-lists that runs like a news-ticker on our minds.

We need this break more than anyone but are probably the last to get it.

I know the fatigue that sets in when all you feel is guilty: guilty that you like going to work, guilty that you want to go home early to be with your baby. Guilty when you miss a milestone, or guilty when you have to stay late to catch up on a project. Guilty when you forget about an upcoming meeting or guilty that you have to leave early because the baby got sick.

Hear me friend–we may not know each other but I do know this: You were chosen to be your baby’s mama.

All of who you are–your passions, your fears, your job, your living situation, your marital status, your heart, your soul–is being used to create something so, so precious: a childhood.

You are not a bad mama for working. You are not a bad employee because you are a mother.

Either way, you are working because you’re a great mother.

You are brave and I admire you.

Link to the Full Letter can be read here.

A Day in the Life of a Juggling Mom

“Working Mothers’ Laughter comes hardest when our double life is revealed for what it is: a juggling act in which the balls can drop at any time, invariably on our own head. – Allison Pearson”

Today was one of those days, when everything and everyone was pulling me in all directions.

My daughter was sent home from school, having sudden head lice. I had to give training presentations in the afternoon, which means I cannot take a full day leave from the office.

Deep Breaths.

Quick decisions must be made: I needed to bring my daughter to the doctor in the morning, but I must bring her also with me to the office in the afternoon. After making some calls, I took the morning off and brought my daughter to the pedia and derma. While in the waiting area, I made some emails and calls using my phone. Lunchtime, we made a quick lunch in the car while I submitted three documents to the embassy. In the afternoon, I gave my daughter paper and coloring materials to keep her busy while I finished my presentation. Five in the afternoon, I was exhausted, but turned in early.

Meals must be ordered since I cannot prepare and cook anymore. Even if I had pre cooked meals prepared, I contacted our friendly neighborhood food delivery, and ordered our meals in advance. We made it in time for Ash Wednesday Mass.

For days like these, I’m thankful for my “village” – officemates understanding enough to help with project tasks and looking after my daughter, and quick access meals/laundry when I cannot do chores anymore.

Working Moms are truly resourceful and resilient. Cheers to a productive yet stressful day. Ready for the next one!

Hurdles

I’m not thin, but I’m strong – plus my balance is such that I can navigate a flight of stairs with a basket of laundry and a stack of Pottery Barn catalogs, vaulting over cat-and-dog hurdles, never once spilling my coffee.” ~ Jen Lancaster

Working mothers can be found at the top of many professions, and the current generation of fathers are doing more than the dads that raised them, but we can’t pretend that working mothers and working fathers are on the same playing field.

We are jumping over hurdles while the men beside us are sprinting down a clear track. This simple metaphor illustrated by a Peruvian cartoonist at La Republica captures the complex challenges faces by working mothers.

Read more from this article here.