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REXBURG, Idaho — The life of a working mom is jam-packed. All of it.
Here's what a typical day might look like:
You wake up at 5:30 a.m. to greet your alarm clock with a hefty smackdown of your fist. The reason you wake up this early is not because you’re aware it’s an actual time on a clock, but because you need at least 15 minutes of peace before your children and husband need you.
You’re a lucky lady when you get a half-hour of uninterrupted time to rush through your bathroom routine of hair, makeup, clothes, etc. to prepare for work. The baby stirs and starts to cry at 6:05 a.m. The husband is still snoozing away, which means you’re on “Mom duty” and need to prepare a bottle. The baby is finally settled and back to sleep. By now you have a half-hour left before you have to leave for work, and dishes are still dirty in the sink from last night’s dinner. Do you wash them or eat breakfast?
Now it’s 7:30 a.m., and you’re heading out the door with an empty stomach and the dishes cleaned. Before leaving, you kiss your husband goodbye and whisper to him to listen for the baby. You place the baby monitor right next to his face and you’ve prepared another bottle for the baby on the kitchen counter. You then make the half-hour drive to work, barely walking through the office doors by 8 a.m., in time to start your day. Thank goodness you have a box of oatmeal at your office you can eat.
You work eight hours, checking on your husband and baby during your lunch break via texting and calling. Also during your lunch, you wonder if you pulled any meat out to make dinner with and question when you’ll have time to go grocery shopping and scrub the bathroom for a good cleaning, along with the laundry you have piled a mile high since last Thursday.
You’re able to walk through the door at 5:30 p.m., give the husband and baby a kiss and spend some time with them before preparing for dinner. You do your best to cook the pasta, chicken, green beans and anything else you may want to eat while the baby is hungry and wants to spend time with you since you’ve been gone all day. You do your best to balance both dinner and your baby.
By the time dinner is cooked and served, the baby is baby fed, and everything is cleaned up, it’s time to put the baby to bed at 8 p.m. You then have a few minutes to spend some time with your husband, though your mind is distracted by the mile-high pile of dishes in the kitchen.
You try to get to bed by 10 p.m. so you can get some sleep before the baby wakes at 2 a.m. for a feeding, and then again at 5:30 a.m. when everything starts over again for the next day.
The one thing the working mom tries to do is not burn herself out. But it's the one thing the working mom most easily succeeds at. I’ve learned that if you don’t take 5 minutes for yourself then you won’t have the energy to care for all your other responsibilities. Use your drive time to listen to your favorite song or audiobook. Give yourself something that will boost your confidence and self-esteem. Do your best, and do what you can. As a working mother, I understand the days when everything seems to fall apart, and know of the triumphant days when events seem to fall smoothly into place.
No matter your situation, or any other advice anyone tries to give you, remember this one thing: Do your best. And, don’t beat yourself up when you have a rough day. You’re helping provide for your family — you’re already doing a fantastic job. Hang in there, and keep doing well.
Micah Klug graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She currently resides in Rexburg, Idaho with her husband and daughter. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.