Working Mom In All Things

Working Mom In All Things | Twin Cities Mom CollectiveI’ve always worked outside of the home and I’ve never really thought of doing anything else. My husband is self-employed and has always wanted to be a stay at home dad so when we talked about family, we knew that was the best solution for us. I’ll tell you though, even with the roles reversed in that aspect, it doesn’t always mean the expectations change. I still take care of the majority of the finances, the grocery shopping, the appointments I coordinate and schedule. Let’s be honest, I am still more organized than my hubby. Working mom guilt doesn’t go away either.

There are days when I am needed at work for a late meeting or I’m traveling and I get home in time for bedtime or I’m gone for a night or two. Those days can be rough. I felt like I had my routine down, and then the boys got older and more involved with school and activities, and then add in a new baby. I felt like my life was falling apart. I felt like I was failing at everything. I was sleep deprived from waking up in the night with the baby, I forgot about things happening at school, birthday parties to RSVP for, plans made with friends, and I felt like I was procrastinating at life. I kept thinking to myself: This isn’t me, what’s wrong with me??? Get it together. My forgetfulness was getting noticed by my family and I swear they thought I was losing my marbles.

Working Mom In All Things | Twin Cities Mom Collective

{Photo Credit: Whims and Joy Photography}

Then after one stressful day at work, all I wanted was to go home and hold and kiss my kiddos. To remember how good it was to see them, even if it was only for a moment before bedtime. But when I got home, the baby was asleep and the older boys were doing their own thing, and all I got was a quick “hi” as they went on with their evening routines. I was so upset inside. I couldn’t even make it home to put my baby to bed! I felt like I was about to break down and I sat there in bed blaming myself for not being there. I worried that my baby, my last baby, would start to do what the other boys did: get used to me not being around all the time and become more attached to the family that was there with them every day when I was at work or traveling for work.

Let’s be honest, this was of my own doing, I knew that. No colleague or client at work was making me work later. This was my choice. My mind was running a thousand miles a minute and I felt like I couldn’t rest until I finished what I was doing at work. I wanted to get ahead and make sure I wasn’t behind, thinking that if I did that, I would get home earlier to spend more time with my family. Yet this was not working. I admitted to myself that night that I needed to make a change. As much as I wanted to make sure my clients were having the best experience, I wasn’t doing anyone any favors by stressing out about work/life balance day in and day out and letting my family life suffer. Routines needed to change, what I did to make it work 5 years ago wasn’t going to work now. With three boys in school and activities and a new baby, I knew I needed to adjust again. Make it work for me.

Since then, I’ve been able to have a more flexible schedule, making the choice to work from home on Mondays and Fridays. This helps tremendously with being able to get up to help with the baby and get the other kids to school since my meetings tend to start later in the morning. On days I go into the office, I make an effort to come home earlier and after the kids go to bed is when I will catch up on emails (and then only if it’s something that cannot wait); leaving plenty of downtime to spend time with my hubby, or just to decompress by catching up on a show or reading before bed.

I also put all our appointments and schedules on my work calendar, our shared calendar, and on a whiteboard at home. Having things in three different places forces me to think more about the week and helps me organize and figure out when I can stop by the store, get in some time with friends and scheduling appointments for the kiddos.

Most important of all, I’ve been open about how I’m struggling with my close friends and family. I’m trying to not keep it in and share, so that I can get support when I feel like I am failing. I’m for sure a “yes” person and I am still working daily to remember that it is okay to look at my plate and say “no” to things I know will make it overflow. I’m still working on not letting the guilt build up and let it consume me.

I know this is my choice to work outside of the home and I love it, I really do. But I also need to take it easy on myself and remember I don’t need to do everything. If we need items from the store, I’m getting really good at ordering online and having things delivered so I’m not spending another hour on my way home from work shopping. If something at work is stressing me out, I need to remember to step away, take a break and come back to it with a fresh mind. I’ve noticed that when I do that, I come back with a better idea or solution to present to the client. Not only does that apply to work, but it applies at home too. If I need a break, then I need to take it. I can’t let guilt make me feel like just a minute away will be the end of everything.

I love my kiddos so much and I want to show them my work ethic and how important it is to do a good job in the workplace. I think they see that, I think they know that, but I need to remember that it’s not all I want to teach them. I want to teach them how to find that work/life balance. This takes effort and work every single day. No matter what they choose to do with their lives, they need to be able to find a balance that will make them happy.

It’s hard and it’s okay to say that. It’s okay to show that. I know the mom guilt will never go away, but I can at least try and figure out how to manage it better by the actions I take every day.

Aimee Norasingh
Aimee is considered first generation, born and raised right in Minnesota made possible by her parents who are Vietnamese refugees. She is married to her husband Paul and they have four handsome boys - Davis (2010), twin boys, Miles and Quincy (2012), and Jones (2019). Aimee works as a Relationship Manager for her day job, has a love for delicious food, and is always ready for the next adventure with her little family. Follow Aimee and her family through Instagram Pinterest Facebook

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