I had the privilege of staying home with my children for three years. I loved every aspect of that season of my life. I loved the play dates, lunch dates, dates with my girls and being able to set my schedule (under the demand of my kids) as needed. I could make doctors appointments in the middle of the day , run during nap time on my treadmill or stay in my yoga pants all day long. This sounds like a rosy picture, but I also had the demands of the housework, laundry, and a husband. I had bad days, where screaming babies were the norm. Yet, looking back, I would not have changed any of those moments for the world.
Recently, I have blogged about going back to the work and the feeling that goes with it. The struggle of the balancing act. The how to’s of relationships with my husband, children, church, outside obligations of work and my girlfriends.
After a slight melt down with a friend on the phone and the questions was asked : “How can I support you? How can we hang out now?” My answer was “I don’t know”.
I had felt disconnected. I had this picture in my mind of all my friends getting together having all these play dates, lunch dates and social lives without me. Forgetting I even existed. Your mind can paint pictures that reality does not support. Pity party of one please. Ugh, extremely self-serving and frankly not my style.
I began to really ponder the question posed by my friend. How could she help me? How could we still be friends? Then I came up with my list of “helps” that I thought I would share with the rest of the blogging world.
Here is my list of 5 things that might help a working mom, especially one that might need a nudge to get out.
1. Invite a working mom on a play date on a day and time she can do it. This might take planning and work. I know this may just be me, but I felt like no one wanted me around the minute I started working.
2. Be interested in the struggles of the working mom. I have one working mom friend. One. It’s hard. I don’t feel as though I relate to anyone.
3. Couples night. We have a two household income. This means both of us works. We never see our friends, because I used to set those up. I have had not one friend ask us for a night out.
4. Judgment free zone. Working mom’s struggle with lots of different things. I believe the divide between working moms and stay at home moms is the perception of judgement. People judge no matter what choice you make. “Oh you work. I could never do that!” or “Oh, you stay at home, it must be nice not to have to shower.” I have actually heard both. Yet, nothing drives me more batty than judging someone on the basis of their choices.
5. Calling your good friend and asking what they need. I can’t do last-minute anymore. Everything in my life takes planning. But sometimes, especially if you are good friends, you can call them to make sure everything is okay. Maybe some coffee on a Saturday morning with kids running around is just what a working moms need or just calling their husband to set up a blind date with your girlfriends.
This survival guide for back to work moms is not for everyone. Really this is to help others understand that we all have different situations. These tips can be applied to anything. This is a list I came up with to help me deal with how to allow my friends to help me. This list is things I pray on to help me work through, when feelings of insecurities creep up. This is also a list I wish I had known to show support to working moms, while I stayed at home.
What other tips could other working moms add?