Working Mothers: What about Us!?

k13816553

For some reason I woke up this morning with the thought what about me? What about me, the working mom? I’ve read many blogs, posts, articles, comments and feelings on the stay at home mom. Their many sacrifices, the difficulties of staying home and the lack of understanding the world and often their husbands have for them. Well, I think the world has a lack of understanding for me too, for all working mothers! The working mother  has also made a host of sacrifices and much like the stay at home mom, it takes a shot at her career.

#1 Sacrifice: I’ve returned to work after each maternity leave and I’ve often wondered where does all the juggling really get you? I’ve had the thought many times that I certainly have potential to be in the top ranks of some business by now if it weren’t for the “mommy track”. What’s the mommy track? I’m glad you asked. The mommy track is that very invisible line corporations draw between you, your actual contributions vs. their perceived contributions. In plain English it means, “I can work late whenever you want, I can be here as early as you need me, I’ll never want to chaperone a field trip, I’ll never have to leave work five minutes after I arrived for a fever at school, and I’ll never-never never ask for a week off at time to be home for (choose one, there’s too damn many) break! Yea, that’s actually what they want to hear. The reality is, that’s actually EVERYTHING the mommy track will ask for plus working from home if you’re really a negotiator! Ha! Unfortunately, the mommy track often leads to your actual contributions being perceived much lower than actual value. Surely a semi chaotic, very spontaneous, semi inflammatory, I mean explosive (not helping) calendar worth the tapered lenses we’re often viewed through? Society says?? (insert your opinion here)

#2 Guilt: In addition to the ticking time bomb calendar there’s also days where I’m quite certain we could equal our body weight in the number of tears we’re fighting back heading to the office having sent a child to school a little unsteady. It can be a lot of guilt! STOP! Before you judge, by unsteady I mean; a splinter in a foot, a cheese sandwich with no cheese (oops), an unsigned permission slip, a hole in the khaki’s, a permission slip marked cannot chaperone etc. Yes, we’re ALL mothers…fevers, green goo, pink eye etc. YES! We stay home too. Clearly, all items are survivable, but none the less the things we beat ourselves up about all day long (while working).

#3 The Trophy: Ahhh, the sought after “trophy wife”. I’ve read in so many blogs this is the part where stay at home mom’s often say we have the advantage? We get the pleasure of heading to husband’s Holiday Party, cocktail party etc. and having an all too impressive resume to dazzle his coworkers. It’s more than “I’m a mom.” In reality the five-minute elevator speech about our high-powered careers left out the following; before work I wrestled with a blood blister on a ballerina’s foot, frantically ran after boys making sure they remembered deodorant, picked out a tie for the hubby, asked myself 100 times should I iron this shirt or not? (the answer is always not), fussed in the carpool line while listening to my email notification “bing” my ears to death and calculating if I have enough time to grab coffee. Note: Traffic never allows time for coffee.

I also left out while at work; sat on hold to request a fax from the Dr’s office for one child, while taking a business call on my desk line, responded to the teacher’s email, got a phone call from the school about said blister and also managed to accomplish returning an insane amount of emails, attend meetings on time while earning that paycheck baby! You don’t get to say all of this at the Holiday Party but it’s what you’re thinking! Note: Assistant? Something to consider.

#4 Adult Interaction: Let me keep this short and sweet. The adult interaction at the office often leads to emails that raise my blood pressure, conversations that raise my blood pressure, meetings that raise my blood pressure and unhealthy frequent lunches that raise my blood pressure. Do you see the pattern here? An advantage? I suppose it depends on who’s paying for lunch? Okay. I am glad we cleared that up. Moving on…

#5 Lack of Understanding: If I read one more blog that says “my husband doesn’t understand what I do all day.” Ladies, they’re men! Do you think being a working mother somehow mysteriously makes him an all-knowing expert on any one thing I juggled in a day on top of item #1, #2 and #4. Husbands don’t get the working woman either.

So you see ladies, the moral of the story is we have it hard too. Some would say harder but that’s not for me to judge. We all made our choice. I haven’t walked in any other shoes but my own and I make an effort to understand all walks of life and that’s all I’m trying to do here (be understanding and be understood). The common thread between all of us is motherhood! We keep our guilt, our adult interaction, lack of understanding etc. in different places in different ways. There’s no right or wrong choice, and we’re all being challenged to raise our kids the best way we know how.

To all mothers…keep being amazing!

Single? What Your Closet May Say About You!

closet

I woke up this morning to the site of a closet overflowing. Filled from top to bottom with shoes, hats, clothing and random belts and purses lopsided on the shelf. It’s clear our impending move could not come at a better time, we’ve outgrown our space. In years past, waking up to this site would have immediately put a crooked smile on my face and urged me to overlook really important things in life to reorganize this dastardly site. Thank goodness I’ve matured a bit in this lifetime.

Today, instead of the crooked smile it made me fondly look at my husband as I remembered my life just a few short years ago. When we began dating he would poke fun at the organization of my closet. The color coding, the neatly placed belts and shoes, the boxes filled with neatly stacked purses and more. While he appreciated the organization, I recall him saying to me one day “there’s no room in your closet for me?” He then went on to explain that I parked in the very middle of my 2 car garage, I utilized every single inch of space in the closet, all the drawers in my dresser and I often had a single Dr. Pepper in the refrigerator. I, of course, took his observations to mean that I was a super put together single woman powerhouse and what more could he want from me? The observations said to him the available space in my life was looking extremely limited and where exactly did he fit in this picture? After giving this clever metaphor some thought it turns out he was absolutely right! As much as I enjoyed spending time together I had never considered “making room for him” in that way inside of my tidy little life. I mean, why in the world would I ever consider a new system in my closet, garage, or Dr. Pepper runs? It had been that way for years! Well, you do consider those things when you open your heart to everything love has to offer. I was guarded, he recognized that and the clever metaphor was the beginning of the end of my single lifestyle as I knew it.

In four years I managed to take the color coded closet (still is on my side-ha!) and make room for his not so color coded semi organized WE closet. It started with me clearing a drawer for him and that drawer turned into a marriage. So you see, I couldn’t be happier to wake up to a closet that is far from the closet of my dreams. It will forever represent a part of myself that I had to let go and remind me daily of all that I gained by doing so.

My single closet is now a distant memory but I’d like to challenge any single women looking for love to inventory their single ways, how much space is available for Mr. Right?

The Wife with a “Y” AKA “Wifey”

Photo courtesty of Pinterest

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

The Wife with a “Y”, lifestyle or cover up?

In this day and age the term wife and wifey have become completely synonymous. Why are so many women getting caught up on the “Y”? It’s being flaunted as if it’s an imaginary ring, an equally strong commitment or a substitute for the bigger issue, is this man going to marry you? While I strongly believe marriage is not for everyone, any woman willing to be called wifey more than likely wants to be married, is hopeful that is the direction the relationship will take and secretly holds this as her deepest desire for the man she’s with. No need to be coy, when you know you know but the feeling ought to be mutual.

Let’s face it ladies, men will do what you allow them to do. Respect is defined by showing what you want for yourself, and setting the standard that nothing less than what you deserve will be acceptable. Dating endlessly, living together with no goals and allowing yourself to serve in a household as wife with a “Y” has to raise some eyebrows for you? Why the “Y”? What not action?

The urban dictionary defines wifey as “a real lady, not your only but your favorite, different from them hood rat chicks. Sexy in every way possible, when she smiles it’s sexy, even when she’s mad at you it’s sexy. That same dictionary defines wife as the woman you marry and live with for the rest of your life. Now, we all know there are much more detailed accounts of the meaning and purpose of a wife in the bible, Quran, dictionaries and other literary references. The underlying point here is the wife with a “Y” is on top of all the rest (the rest of what? Aren’t we in a relationship), and she’s a step above those “hood rat chicks”. I am no expert here but does that say to anyone else he’s just not that into you?

download

Don’t get caught up on the “Y”…

(1) A man who intends to marry you wouldn’t settle for the wife with a “Y” either. Let’s face it, he looks and is a much better man with you in his life. If you’re dating a man who doesn’t know this after all the years invested, RUN!

(2) A wife knows there is no “list” to be on top of. Not only is she the favorite, she is the ONLY 1 and number 1.

(3) The wife with a “Y” is the “cool for now” chick, “side chick”, “when I’m low chick”. There is a reason you have to carry that extra letter around and it’s only removable when he finds “the one” which probably isn’t you.

(4) If being introduced as his boo thang/wifey/baby mamma/down chick etc. (depends on the day) doesn’t make you cringe? A quick self-esteem check is most likely in order and if you check yo self and it’s not ok (which it shouldn’t be) RUN!

(5) A man with a plan doesn’t need the “Y”, he’s already answered the question of why he should marry you and is showing you the path to becoming his Mrs.

These are the rules of engagement ladies. The wife with a “Y” should be asking herself that exact question, why the “Y”? No more cover up.

Lynette

FitBit, Fit Fat, Fat Fits

FitBit is me attempting to be inspired to start a regular workout routine. What a brilliant idea! Attach a device to yourself to record how many steps you take in a day which should encourage you to walk, or workout more. Here’s what it really did for me; throw me into a pity party once I realized how little I actually walk in a day, destroy my hopes and dreams that simply walking was a solution and return me back to the beginning of how to inspire a regular workout routine.

Fit Fat is me over said device, and entering a phase of mental illusions alternating between “Acceptance of current bod” (fit) and “Unhappiness with current bod” (fat). This phase at least keeps me happy in the moments I am feeling fit but when I enter the moments of fat it leads back to being inspired to start and maintain a regular workout routine. Sure, I’ve been the same size since I had my daughter, I know I can eat better, outwardly I’m not the worst I’ve seen but internally I feel like a giant failure that I can’t conquer this. I want MORE!

This leads to the last and final phase, fat fits. It sounds pretty self-explanatory but I will explain anyway, “Constant Unhappiness with current bod” (nothing fits like I want it to, feeling frumpy, just flat out discouraged). Let’s define “unhappy”. In my mind, unhappiness is being unwilling to accept reality. Therefore struggling to embrace what is and mentally resting your thoughts elsewhere, either in a “what was” or “what could be” state that has not yet been achieved. Regardless of where you rest your thoughts, the present is what matters today and that is the only real reliable source of what we need to do to change.

With that said, I’ve heard all the stories about 21 days being the path to forming habits, supplement shakes, Insanity, Zumba and all the other things out there that everyone else (except me) seems to be falling in love with. You would think as much as I desire to improve the tone of my muscles, turn up sexy a notch and have more energy throughout the day I continue to find working out a difficult task to put into my schedule. Time is always a factor, and I find this to be the case for many other women with careers, and families to look after. Getting up at 4AM sounds great, yea, not really. =(

I suppose the end result is this: I either have not yet hit rock bottom (the point where I completely disgust myself) OR I am accepting that working out and my body will be a constant struggle in my life. Either way, I am immensely unsatisfied with both options. I dislike unhappiness or negativity of any sort in my life and this is an area that it seems to constantly arise. Finding ways to take charge of this battle, well, has been an ongoing battle that I am consistently losing!

I would absolutely love suggestions from my happily toned, healthy eating, maybe a 4 pack women out there! 6 packers need not respond. Kidding.

Signed,

Workout Hopeful