Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed about being a big career woman. I would make my own money, do whatever I wanted, just be living and thriving in a successful career. I also knew I wanted to be a mom. The oldest daughter of six, I always knew I wanted children of my own one day. But what I never knew was how those two desires would mesh, how I would juggle being a career woman and mom.
Well, that day is now.
I work full-time as a proposal manager, and am a full-time mom of a three-year-old little girl, and it is NOT the daydream I imagined. For one, the world feels designed for stay-at-home moms or more so those moms working more part-time hours.
When considering daycares, our choices were extremely limited as many of our area daycares have a strict three o’clock pick-up time, while my workday is nowhere near wrapped up at that time. All those fun weekday activities like story time at the local library and open gym at the local gymnastics studio, are always scheduled early afternoon, never after working hours.
I feel like such a disappointment when I can’t take my daughter to those fun weekday activities because of work. And if by some miracle I am able to rearrange my schedule and make it to something during the week, I usually have to spend all night working, playing catch up.
And with my job, like many others, my laptop isn’t often shut at five o’clock. My daughter has missed dance class and play dates because my work ran over. I can’t tell you how many nights my daughter has gone to bed screaming because I still have hours of work left and have to pass off bedtime duties to my husband.
It’s a lot, and I often feel like I’m pretty much failing at both — not enough time to accomplish everything I want to with work and never enough time to spend with my daughter.
But as hard as it is, I’ll never stop trying.
I’ll always move my schedule around for my daughter. I’ll always skip out on a few hours of sleep to catch up on work. I’ll always stay home with my daughter when she’s sick, and I’m always reachable for work, even on weekends.
It’s a hard balance. But it is important to me that my daughter grows up watching her mother do both, sometimes not always successfully, but always trying my best at both.
Before my husband came a long, and way before my daughter was ever dreamed of, I worked very hard for many years to accomplish both my bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. I’ve always considered that an investment in my future and it’s important to me that I still utilize that. So while I’m knee-deep in motherhood, I don’t want to forget my other goals. I also don’t want my daughter to all of a sudden grow up one day and for me to have no idea what to do with myself.