The Real Reason Working Moms Struggle To Find Happiness
It’s another early morning, Mom. But you don’t need a reminder, do you?
You dragged the kiddos off to daycare at 6am before departing for the saltmines once again.
Your boss is waiting for your arrival and you know you’ll be a few minutes late this morning, so you catch yourself speeding a little through that school zone.
“Crap,” you mutter, and hope there aren’t any kids around.
In the back of your head, you’re wondering if having it all really means losing out.
The daycare’s raising your kids. Your son barely recognizes you at 5pm when you’re dragging him home. Your coworker’s mad because you left her a 90% finished project and jumped out the door Thursday night.
Online, of course, working motherhood doesn’t look anything like this. Pinterest-perfect moms are always on-point, put-together, and absolutely happy.
We have to become carbon copies of the best stuff from Instagram. And if we’re not, we’ll keep our tarnished lives hidden. Mum’s the word!
Goodbye, Big Social Media Charades
You know, deep down, it must be a farce — and it is. Behind that Pinterest curtain, of course, is what everyone hides. These perfect moms struggle too. I don’t have to tell you that, because you already believe it.
That doesn’t stop you from being hard on yourself, just because it’s fighting an impossible battle.
Imagine if we applied that logic to parenting!
You wouldn’t walk into your daughter’s kindergarten class with 10 snacks for 15 kids, would you? Because you’d have a fight on your hands.
You’re riding into a battle armed with food for only 2/3rds of the hungry young children around you. Moms know this stuff. You only make a mistake like that once.
No one can single-handedly take a baker’s dozen of enemies, but having dozens of friends can strengthen any mom.
The thing is, those other moms — like those little angels in your kid’s class — aren’t supposed to be your enemies. Of anyone alive today, your fellow mommas are probably the best people to understand what you’re going through. That’s the plain truth, folks.
It’s a shame we don’t all realize just how lucky our kids are to have us.
Your Kids Lucked Out
You’re a great mom.
I know that because you’re reading an article about working motherhood. You care a great deal about your kids, even if you kinda fail a lot.
Here’s the thing about that “failure,” though…
Those people who’re constantly trying to improve themselves are also their own worst critics. The downside of trying so hard to improve all the time is sometimes you’ll fall short of your new goals, and this will probably sting a ton.
So, what’s a mom to do? It seems like if you try hard enough at a lot of things, you’ll hit failure now and then. But we can’t succeed without trying! This is, as it turns out, why a lot of people just give up and stop trying at all.
Don’t, though. It’s not you. Maybe you weren’t meant to be Pinterest perfect, but you could still be Pinterest awesome. You can, and you should, set and pursue great goals.
Just don’t be your own frenemy when you fail them.
After all, if you’re going to try, you’re going to fail often — that’s reality. I know that sounds like a letdown, but it’s actually your secret source of power. Here’s how.
You Should Only Compare Yourself To You
I’m not asking you to give up comparisons. I’m asking you to change-up that comparison game entirely.
Here’s the new yardstick — you. Psychology calls this temporal comparison, but that just means using yourself instead of other people when you compare your life.
According to science, temporal comparison may be a lot healthier for us. It helps you picture your better you.
Alongside the effort or adjustments you’ll need to make to get there, you start to visualize yourself doing those different things, and maybe even becoming a new person. The type of person to reinvent themselves daily, maybe.
Why do some kids make so much progress year-to-year in school, only to plateau after graduation? Maybe it’s because school gives a structure to their progress. It’s expected that next year will be better than this year — they’ll be smarter, stronger, more accomplished.
Once graduation hits, they’re suddenly on their own. To succeed, hopefully. But it’s definitely harder when success isn’t spelled out for you.
Sound familiar? You’ve got your work cut out for you.
Here’s the good news: yearly progress, new beginnings, and do-overs don’t have to end at graduation, and you can absolutely channel the craziness and failures and challenges in your life into becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be.
Channel that stress, energy, and both the good and bad into what you can learn, how you can love your kids, how you can follow your dreams.
It’s not easy, but it’s so worth it. And you’ll only make progress once you can: 1) unconditionally accept yourself for who you are; and 2) commit yourself to unapologetically chasing your dreams.
Become “That Mom” Without Going Nuts
Here it is. You know you need more time and energy for what makes you happy.
You chase “better,” and better isn’t bad. You know you want better in your life.
This is why comparing ourselves to other moms is toxic. Yes, you’re special — your goals, your happiness, and your family’s needs should drive you, not what other families are doing.
If you’re ever going to become “that mom” who has it all, it’ll only happen with your raw honesty and a dose of self-caring grace.
You’re strongest when you customize and personalize that comparison game instead of falling for the social media trap.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s still late morning and I gotta run.