I’m a corporate mom. I have been ever since my youngest (now 4) was 8 months old. At the time, I thought it was only a temporary solution to my husband temporarily not being able to find work while we temporarily lived with his parents.
Here we are, almost 5 years later, and I’m still a corporate mom. The only difference is now I’ve come to enjoy my role as a provider for my household as well as the people I work with and the invaluable lessons I’ve learned over the past several years.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s been really really hard. Like, really hard. Only last year did we start having both kids in school. Up until then, I was working from home WHILE the kids were at home. Talk about bonkers.
I have thousands of memories of grabbing fruit snacks as fast as I could and handing them to hungry little hands while my coffee was reheating with about 20 seconds to go until the meeting I’d been prepping for all morning was about to start. Memories of me losing my cool because I just couldn’t think over normal kid noises. And memories, of course, of the life I’ve been able to provide my family all while being able to work from home with only the occasional visit to the office. Talk about blessed.
It’s a whirlwind, I’ll tell you that. But you’re here for the best and worst parts of being a working or corporate mom. So here they are:
The worst parts—
When I got my first “real” job, it was for a small startup based out of NYC. For a while, I was one of the only married women and for years, I was the only parent. The rest of my team didn’t start work until close to 10am and didn’t head home until closer to 7pm where they would jump online again after a late dinner.
Like I said, this was my first job and at the time, I was the only remote employee so I was terrified of anyone having any reason to question my commitment or effectiveness. So, I was online late into the night, too. Not only that, but at the time, we lived on the west coast so my team would always sign on at what would be 6-7am my time. So from the time I got up to the time I went to bed, I was behind some kind of device.
We’d often run errands or take the kids to the park in the afternoons to break up the day and even then, I was often on my phone. And whenever my husband would point it out to me, I’d get defensive saying, “This is my job. This is how I support us.” But the truth is, I didn’t need to make myself available to everyone, all day. No one needs to do that.
Not being able to give 100%… to anything
I am the hot mess mom. And as the kids get older, I do slowly and surely get my act together. But I’m pretty sure I will always be the hot mess mom.
To put it simply, it’s just impossible to be an amazing mom, an amazing wife, and an amazing employee. And friends? Coworkers are your friends now. It’s just hard. There’s no other way to put it.
On days when I felt like I was rocking it at work, I felt like pretty mediocre-ish mom. And on days when I felt like the best mom, I was inwardly super stressed that I wasn’t putting in my best effort at work. And back and forth that feeling goes.
To be honest, I don’t think there’s a solution to this. It’s just a truth of working parenthood.
The best parts
Pushing yourself beyond what you thought capable
Ok, I’m not here to toot my own horn. But oftentimes, I feel like a superhero for getting a few work projects done and doing one or two household chores in a day. That, to me, is a great day. And it’s more than what I thought I was capable of before I became a corporate mom.
There are so many lessons I’ve learned in the corporate world that help me function in everyday life. I grew up with a crippling fear of authority. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the corporate world, it’s that in a good workplace, authority figures are your friend. They want ot help you succeed because when you succeed, they succeed.
Setting a great example for my kids
I didn’t go to school for what I do now. And to be honest, I don’t think I’m that special. More and more people are changing career paths entirely or get jobs that have nothing to do with what they studied in college. And without sounding too idealistic, it’s really given me the sense that most people can do whatever they want if they’re able to work for it and find helpful resources.
All that to say, I believe my story sets a great example to my kids that they can do whatever they want to do if they’re willing to work hard, ask for help, and push themselves out of their comfort zones. I want to always remind them of that and encourage them to push themselves throughout life.
Are you a working mom? What are some of your favorite and least favorite parts about balancing work and home life?