Why I Write about Working Motherhood

11.09.2017


Since starting back to full time work after having R, I've written pretty regularly about the topic of working motherhood. And to be honest, over the past two years, sometimes I've wondered if I'm hitting the working mom angle a little too hard. Like, maybe I'm being obnoxious or whiny or making a big deal out of something that really isn't that big of a deal. 

I know this is my blog and I can write about what I want to write about, so it's not really about that but just more that sometimes I wonder if it's all a little too much. I know that not every mom who works feels similarly to me about how hard it is, and sometimes I wonder if maybe it's just hard for me because I'm focusing on it more than I should.

In my seven years of blogging, I can count on one hand the number of times I've had trouble thinking of a blog post idea. Titles and topics just come to me, and oddly enough, the ones that are the most vulnerable or the most controversial are often the easiest to write, the words pouring from my fingertips and basically writing themselves.

I had no idea when I became pregnant with R that I would end up writing posts about being a working mom, but clearly I have a lot to say about it. I consider myself pretty active in the online world, at least as far as blogging goes, and when I was having such a hard time returning to work after my maternity leave, I wanted so badly to find someone who could share my struggles. I wanted to find someone writing publicly about what it was like to be a working mom, what it was like to have their child in daycare, and I either found nothing at all, or I found negativity. We were going to place R in a traditional daycare setting, and everything I found online about what it was like just made me feel like a terrible mother for even considering putting my child somewhere like that.

Blogging for me has always been a creative outlet and also a cheap form of therapy, helping me sort through my own thoughts and emotions about big life events. If I were to sum up my goals in writing about my experience being a working mom, I would say it's these: 1) to encourage other working moms that they aren't alone, 2) to spread positivity about different aspects of using childcare and being a working mom, and 3) to give other people insight into the life of a working mom and ways they can be supportive even if they aren't in our situation.

Because I wish that three years ago, I could have read something encouraging about working motherhood and daycare instead of just horrible stories and layers of guilt, and I want to offer other moms in my situation some hope and positivity.

I will also tell you that I personally feel like God is leading me to write about working motherhood. Maybe that won't totally make sense to you, but I just feel strongly that writing about working motherhood is important and that God has given me a (small) platform from which to share and the ability to put my thoughts into words that others can hopefully connect with.

We've probably all heard the saying about how when you're out in public people aren't really paying as much attention to you as you think they are. And that's true. People are often too wrapped up in their own lives to pay too much attention to things going on around them. However, I also am a firm believer in the fact that you never know who is being influenced by you. You never know who is paying attention or how one small action on your part can affect someone else in a big way.

Occasionally someone will send me an email or come up to me in person and tell me that they shared one of my working mom posts with a friend/sister/cousin of theirs who is a working mom. They tell me that the person was encouraged by what I wrote, and that makes me so happy.

A little over a year ago, a friend of mine mentioned to me that her sister had recently returned to work after her maternity leave and was having a hard time. "I shared your blog with my sister," my friend said, "and she's thankful to have someone to relate to." A couple of weeks later, my friend mentioned that her sister would be in town and attending our church that coming Sunday. 

After the service, Jordan and I were walking through the parking lot back to our car, when I saw my friend and her sister walking a little ways ahead of us. I sprinted after them (naturally), and when I caught up, I immediately pulled my friend's sister into a hug and said, "Hi, fellow working mom." Then I properly introduced myself and explained that her sister had told me about her, and I said I knew how hard it was, but she was doing a great job and it was so nice to meet her.

I walked away and felt completely ridiculous.

If you know me at all, you know that I try to avoid hugs at all costs, and initiating a hug with a complete stranger is unprecedented for me. "She probably thinks I am a total weirdo!" I told Jordan. "What on earth was I thinking?"

Fast forward a year later. I had written a post on working motherhood a few days prior, and I got a message on Instagram from my friend's sister. She thanked me for the blog post and for being so encouraging through my writing. Then she said this:

"The first time I met you, you hugged me because I'm a working mom too, and it meant the world to me! Now when girls come back to work from maternity leave, I just hug them and tell them that it sucks and only us working moms understand."

I couldn't believe it. That awkward stranger hug? The one I had felt like such a dork about? It had been encouraging, and not only to her, but now she is an encouragement to other working moms because of one small thing I did. 

I say that not to pat myself on the back but to tell you how encouraging it is to me to be able to share my stories with you. I do sincerely hope that people can read my posts and be encouraged and informed on this topic in a way that I don't feel I was able to be when I started this journey.

And I also want to let you know that I so very much appreciate all the comments, emails, and messages over the past few years as I've shared about working motherhood. I want you to know that it's been a huge encouragement to me. So thank you.

Find all the posts I've written about working motherhood here.

31 comments:

  1. I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but I'm not a mom and I still love your working mom posts. I know that when we decide to have children I will go back to work (unless we win the lottery some time between now and then LOL) and although I love my work and will love doing it, I know it will be hard to leave future munchkins. So I really love hearing perspectives on it so I'm prepared when the time comes!

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    1. Thank you so much for reading! I think it's good to have different perspectives for all types of lifestyles so we can better sympathize with one another!

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  2. What a great story! It's true that you never know how and when you might touch someone's life. It's amazing and wonderful the way that God works in our hearts.

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    1. I know it really is cool. I couldn't believe that hug made such a difference!

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  3. Your blog is my FAVORITE due to your writing about being a working mom. As a fellow FT working mom - it's HARD!! And I feel so lonely...but YOUR blog....your blog keeps me grounded. Your blog makes things feel OK most days. I've never met you but you might just be one of my most favorite people ever! Keep doing what you're doing!!

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    1. Wish we could meet in person someday! Keep on keeping on. You are awesome! :)

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  4. I'm not a mom, and still love these posts - it's just interesting!

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  5. Keep doing it. You are right, you're called to write about it for a reason! Glad we are in this together.

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    1. Yes! So glad we could connect. You are awesome!

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  6. "I just hug them and tell them that it sucks and only us working moms understand." I love this. I'm a working mom and this says it all. I work with very few working moms so its tough when your department doesn't understand, they can empathize, but if they don't know they just don't know. I am so grateful for the few working moms in my life. I am grateful I found your blog. I know we're out there and we're all doing our best. HUGS to you! Thank you for writing for all of us!

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    1. You are so welcome! Thank you for reading :) Hugs to you also!

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  7. i totally needed this today! i went home for lunch, and it was so hard to leave. i kept asking jared if we reeeeally need my income. haha! most days are fairly okay - other days, i just want my mom to hold me so i can cry it out. but i'm learning to just take one day at a time and pray A LOT.

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    1. Definitely need to take it one day at a time! That's a good reminder. And prayer too, of course :)

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  8. Keep on keeping on!! I also returned to work and during the dreaded pumping sessions I just wanted to find encouragement from anywhere I could find. I live in the middle of nowhere rural America and the small town we live in, there are very FEW working moms. Being stuck behind a computer all day is a total drag, but once I found your blog, I come back just because of your working mom posts. Thank you.

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    1. I feel you on the computer! I know you know ;) Thanks so much for reading.

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  9. That gives me hope that all the times I've made a total fool out of myself in public have actually been positive for other people! Sometimes, anyway. Your blog is awesome!

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  10. I absolutely love your working Mom posts because they are reality for so many moms! Thank you for always sharing this side!

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  11. You are awesome. I'm so proud of you for being so vulnerable and honest. You are blessing so many other working moms!

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  12. I'd say that God played a little role in that random, out-of-character hug :) I think you're a wonderful voice for working moms that might otherwise feel lost and voiceless!

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  13. That's such a neat story! Even though I stay at home full time, I've really learned a lot about time management from your blog-and I love recommending your blog to friends who are full time working moms, because it seems like working-mom-life can be isolating at times, from what I've seen!

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  14. Even though I've never met you and don't know you (except through your blog) you have been an encouragement to me on my journey of being a working mom! I've definitely shared your posts with other working moms. Keep at it, girl! God is doing a good work through you.

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  15. I'm not a mom yet but love reading your working mom posts. I've shared some with my SIL, who is a doctor with a 2 year old and 3 month old, and she has really, really appreciated them.

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  16. Amanda. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm not a mom, but I am a working wife and I still enjoy your posts on working motherhood. My husband is currently in nursing school and I'm the only income right now, so I can definitely relate to being a in a situation that doesn't always feel ideal or comfortable. My dream is to be able to eventually come home and write short stories/devotions and be at home with my (future) children. But... In the meantime, I'm just trying to focus on serving God where I am and doing everything as unto Him. And your posts encourage me so much!

    Also, I also know what it's like to have very specific things I want to write about that I know everyone can't relate to (autoimmunity, being a writer, even writing from a Christian worldview...) but I'm learning to try and focus less on the audience and just write what I feel called to because I truly believe that if you feel called to write something like that, the person who needs it will find it. Even if it's just one person.

    I love your blog (and have loved it for years) even though I don't comment much (because life and busyness and all the things...) and I read every single post. Keep up the good work!

    - Ashley

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  17. Aww! That's such a sweet story--sometimes a hug to/from a stranger in a tough time can strangely be exactly what's needed. And "virtual hugs" can happen in the blog world while we share our stories on the internet. I think the USA does have an unusually high population of SAHMs which can definitely make the working mom life seem more lonely. Here, it's not at all normal for moms to stay home--babies are usually taken care of by some older relative while both parents work. With all of the foreign workers here from Indonesia and the Philippines, a LOT of them are moms who leave their babies behind for a year or so at a time and send back money for the grandmas who take care of them. I don't know yet what kind of arrangement we'll come up with. I figure I'll keep doing what I do now and just bring baby with me (more doable since I don't work in an office setting!) or try to coordinate schedules with Angel a little better. We'll figure it out when the time comes!

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  18. I really appreciate your working mom posts! I have no idea what my experience will be like as a working mom, but I've always known I'd go back to my day/desk job after having kids and your posts have been really helpful in preparing me for some of the challenges I might face. Thank you!

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  19. I'm glad you have this platform to encourage other Moms. I'm obviously not in this stage of life but I know lots of women are and having a community is so important. I wonder why more Mom's don't post about this? Maybe lots of Moms that work don't blog too but I'm glad you do. I'm sure you area blessing to many.

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