Raising my three little ones while working four part-time jobs and freelancing combines to make me feel a hundred different ways on a given day. While there are numerous perks to being a so-called hybrid mom, sometimes the negatives out way the benefits. Often, I feel like I’ve been thrown into the deep end.
1. Tired – As a hybrid mom, I’m always pulled in a thousand different directions. When my children rest, sleep, or disappear for five minutes, I need to be working. If they are awake and in my care, I need to be engaging. It’s exhausting. Not to mention the crazy work hours I often keep and the the unrealistic expectations I consistently place on myself in all areas of my life. Sure, I have tons of work – but shouldn’t I be cooking organic, wholesome meals, have all of the laundry folded, and be doing an activity with the kids I found on Pinterest too?
2. Slighted – No one truly respects my job. Working mom’s who have to “go to” work, take advantage of my flexibility – “Oh, well I have to be at work. Can you do this?” Um… I realize I don’t “go to” work but I am still putting in numerous hours, probably even more than many traditional working moms. I often feel jealous of my husband who actually gets to “go to” work and doesn’t have to try to balance the children with his work. When he is home, he’s home. When he’s at work, he’s at work. Honestly, many days that sounds heavenly.
3. Guilt – Enough with the mocking statements of “I had to decide what was the most important and nothing is more important than my kids.” I honestly believe that no mom chooses to work because she loves her children less… I realize that this is just a way to justify a choice. but this type of platitude isn’t helpful. I always feel guilty when I’m not with my children – even when it’s to work – I don’t need that magnified by someone implying that if I just loved my children more I’d figure out a way to stay home with them full-time (168 hours a week instead of my current 146 hours a week…). And this isn’t a slam against SAHM’s, heck, I am one 90% of the time. We all feel that raising our children is the most important job we’ll ever have — just because a mom works doesn’t mean she doesn’t feel this way! My kids are the most important thing in the world to me – why else would I do this?
4. Frazzled (aka dirty) – I’m the stereotypical frazzled mom in yoga pants who can’t remember the last time she showered. While I attempt to take care of myself by using exercise as my “me” time, I often find that I throw my workout clothes on in the morning and still don’t manage to fit the workout (or the post-workout shower) into my day – mostly because I already have a full-plate. The concept of “Dirty Mom” has been making its way around the blogosphere recently and I have to admit that usually I fit the criteria. Wearing makeup typically falls to the very bottom of the pile when you’re juggling numerous jobs and small children. It isn’t that I don’t care about or respect myself, I’d just rather spend that half hour working for pay (or Heaven-forbid, sleeping myself) when my children are sleeping.
5. Alone – No one really understands my life. I have found no one in real life (and only a few people in the blogosphere) who can relate to my reality. When I’m waking at 3:30 in an attempt to catch a small window of quiet, uninterrupted work time, I feel alone. Yes, I actually am alone – in the way that I need to be to productive – but not that type of alone. Alone as in I’m the only mom on earth who tries to do this much. Alone in my struggle to juggle and balance it all.