An open letter: To the working mom
To the working mamas out there, we salute you
To our dear friend, the working mother,
I am in awe of you, inspired and moved. I see you juggling so much, disciplined in your drive and determination and ability to switch gears, focus and make your time count. You’re efficient and organized and you have thoughtfully and purposefully arranged your priorities. You set a wonderful example for your children, living and leading by that example. You teach the values of hard work, dedication and commitment, responsibility and self-motivation. You make an important contribution outside the home as well as inside and I want you to know that you are admired and respected in both worlds for all that you manage and especially for all that you give. And you give so much.
I know your sacrifice. Maybe you didn’t have the choice and you had to go to work. It’s especially tough for you. You constantly rearrange things in your mind, shuffling thoughts about to see where it’s possible to squeeze more time out of your day, to search for alternative solutions that give you what you most want. You provide for your family, you make ends meet and I applaud you. You are doing a great and honorable job.
Maybe you love your work so that it’s a part of who you are and to leave it would be like leaving a piece of you some place; you wouldn’t feel whole, wouldn’t feel “you” without it. Motherhood is difficult to navigate with our changing roles as a woman, a new gained perspective and the emotions and hormones that flood our bodies and cloud our thoughts. Holding on to something that strengthens you at your core, that’s familiar and entangled with your sense of identity and that gives you purpose or makes you feel in control, can be important. It can be essential. You may even feel like it makes you a better mother. You know, that I am with my kids every day, and I love to be, but there are times I wish they could see their mother at work, with a burning passion for what I do, a deep belief that what I am doing is important and a drive to contribute to something bigger than myself. My children see these qualities in me in a different context but there is a certain kind of wonder seeing someone shine from the inside with a burning passion and desire. A particular kind of confidence that is awe-inspiring. Your kids are watching, friend, they are learning and to them, like you are to me, you are a Wonder woman, even if you don’t feel it. You are strong, fierce, capable and confident.
I know it’s not easy to be apart from your kids, you worry that they may not be getting enough time with you or know just how much you love them. Maybe you find it easy to be away, and that makes you feel guilty. Either way, I know you ache inside. You know all too well, how fleeting time is, how quickly children grow and you don’t want to miss it – the milestones, the sweet stages of childhood. You want to be there for all the “firsts” and to soothe the discomforts and offer your reassuring presence. You hope and need whomever you’ve entrusted to care for your children in your stead to give them more than just supervision. You want that person to give them the care and attention you would be showing them, to be a guiding hand and a source of comfort.
You crave more time – more to spend with your kids, more for just yourself and some to rest. For you the traffic on the drive home from work or the long commute is more than just an inconvenience. It’s time at the dinner table with your family, bath time or a bedtime story. Time passes so quickly but especially for you. Your time is precious and balanced and constantly measured.
I see you friend. I am proud of you. I make a conscious effort to direct my children’s attention to you. To have them see you as they would in another time, see me. I point you out in the storybooks we read, in our day-to-day when out in the world. I explain to them what you do and why you do it and together we are so grateful and thankful and impressed. You are shaping our world, mama. You are helping to create it for your kids and mine, and you are forging pathways and breaking new ground. Please know, your energy, stamina, endurance, dedication, commitment, sense of purpose and above all, sacrifice does not go unnoticed. We are in the wings watching you, applauding you, rooting for you. We need you, the working mother; we rely and depend on you. You push the boundaries and show us what is possible and you make your mark on the world and in doing so you make us mothers proud.
The stay at home mom
Penned By Ishbel Kölsch