– “Upper management doesn’t care if you’re a single mother. What they care about is if you’re here, meeting business needs.”
– “I’m not telling this to put you down but you do have the highest number of absences in this office.”
– “Can’t you find a teenager in the neighborhood to watch your kids?”
– “You’ve already used your personal days to tend to your kids. Moving forward, you’ll need to use your vacation days.”
– “Why don’t you go live closer to your parents?”
– “You’ll need to make up the hours you missed when you left the office for your kids.”
– “It doesn’t matter that everyone else here is fresh out of school with no parenting responsibilities, I’m sure they have other responsibilities.”
– “No, we are not able to change your shift schedule.”
The popular term ‘working mom’ is a redundant one. Being a mother is a job on it’s own. Annabella asked me about 15 mins ago, “is it hard being a mom?” It is. Of course it is. Being a mom to these two girls though? It’s a dream. Really, it is. I get them to myself for three weeks? Dream.
The quotes above were said to me directly, verbatim, during the times I struggled to be 100% present in the corporate world and 100% present for my children. What I learned was: it isn’t possible.
I often spent my rides on the TTC after having these conversations, sobbing, huddled into myself, wondering if I’d ever stop feeling like a failure. Until one morning I literally could not get out of bed because of the heaviness. I knew if I continued on like this, killing myself to get to an environment surrounded by negativity and uncompassionate behavior, that the light inside of me would burn out.
I chose motherhood. By choosing motherhood it meant also choosing myself. If I am mentally and emotionally unavailable for my children, being there physically is meaningless.
I had to evaluate myself, inside out, head to toe and decide to heal so my daughters can look at me without evaluation and say, “We love you mama. You’re the best.”
Tantrums, tears and tattle tales are rough, however feeling worthless is worse.