A Mom's Gotta Do What a Mom's Gotta Do ( Now, Get Out of Our Way) !

I’ve really got to stop mom bashing myself, but it’s so tough! Just when I think I’m doing well, I jump on social media to check out some funny memes. Instead, I’m greeted by the onslaught of the parenting experts (with no children, mind you)! 

Society has taken a dislike to moms who work for a living ( we’re such selfish bitches ) – but wait – they also complain about moms who stay home ( lazy, love to live off their husband’s hard earned dollar). I’m sure you’ve heard them all!  

 What they fail to realize is how damaging their assumptions are, especially for moms dealing with postpartum depression. I know this firsthand. 

 Y’all know I love to tell stories and I’ve got like a million of them! 

 When I was in my 20s, I worked retail. I loved the environment, the people I worked with, and how quick and easy it was to be promoted. I was living the life! However, I failed to realize that my kids were miserable. There were times when I wouldn’t leave work until 10 pm, and they were already asleep. I would only see them in the morning before they went to school. I was a working mom and I was hurting them. Guilt. 

 I finished my degree and was able to pursue a career in education. I worked as a substitute teacher for CCISD, then snagged a full-time position at King High School. The hours were the same as my kids, and we got to spend evenings and weekends together. That should’ve solved my problems, right? Wrong. The pay was crap and I couldn’t afford to give them the luxuries that their friends had. Again, guilt. 

 I decided I needed more money and I sought out a career in teaching. The pay was amazing and the hours were still  the same as my kids. I figured I was on top of the world. I could finally afford better things and still get to spend time with the kids. Could this be the light at the end of the tunnel? Nope. Wrong again. Now, a lot of my free time was spent planning lessons, grading papers, and finding strategies to gain my students’ trust and make them enjoy my class. Basically, I was putting other people’s kids above my own. Guilt. 

 Why can’t I get this right? Am I a horrible mother? Why can’t I work to provide for my family AND be there for them? I was really putting myself down at this point. My husband jumped in and told me I should focus on my writing career, which allowed me to work part time at Del Mar College. I was the happiest I’ve ever been. I was at the top of my game – then the semester was over, and I was back to minimal pay. Guilt. 

 I got a job at a retail store that I won’t name. I was offered a position in management and I thought everything was going to be great. Then, came the abuse. I won’t go into details, but I was berated by my boss. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t take a break, I came home crying every night, my body was in constant agony. All my kids wanted was a hug. Every morning, all they wanted was to talk to me about their previous day. I was so tired. They spoke, but I didn’t hear a word they said. Guilt. Misery. Lots of tears. Self-loathing. 

 Thankfully, I am no longer at this job. No matter what I did, I found myself questioning my ability as a mother. No matter what we do for our children, we’re always going to feel that we don’t do enough. It’s up to us to let the naysayers, the mom shamers, and anyone who has nothing but negative things to say, fall on deaf ears. Only you know what is good for you and your family. You want to work – do your thang! You want to be a stay home mom? Whistle while you work!  Hang in there, moms; I know it’s tough, but our kiddos need us more than anyone else in this world! You’ve got hustle in you- it’s up to you to find it! 

 As always, our peer support groups are available for you. Come talk with us. Vent. Let it all out. 2019 is a year of change! Let’s do this!