It’s only natural to want to be there for your babies. You carried them inside you, you love them, and seeing them is the best part of your day. When you’re apart for eight or 10 or even 12 long hours, it can seem as though your relationship is fracturing or you’re failing in your duties to your little ones. It stinks.
But it’s important to remember that you (or you and your partner) chose your lifestyle for a reason, and that very likely you wouldn’t be happy at home with your kids full-time. Even if you like the idea in theory, the accompanying financial stress wouldn’t be worth it.
However, while you can know these things cognitively, emotionally you may still experience a guilty tug toward your children. When such feelings crop up, remind yourself of why you’ve made your choice, and if that isn’t enough, take a page out of these ladies’ books.
No list of working-mama lit would be complete without good ol’ Sandberg, so I figured we should just knock her out up top. “Lean In“ is the quintessential take on what it is to be a successful woman in love with her career — and still love your children. If you haven’t read it, stop reading this article, and go get it right now.
For one of the world’s most hilarious women, Tina Fey is also one of the most eloquent on motherhood. She discusses “doing it all,” the “right” age for having children, and the clash between loving career and loving babies. She had kids late and waited a long time between them, so this is a good read for anyone who worries about timing. Plus, her book “Bossypants” also offers tons of insight about life and love in general. It’s a win.
Bestselling author of “The Happiness Project“ and “Happier at Home,” Gretchen Rubin provides a wonderful model for what it’s like to have peace and balance in work and motherhood. As a writer, she gets to work from home and the library, so she probably sees more of her kids than many working moms. Despite this, she spends an inordinate amount of time “at work” and openly admits that she works every day, even when she’s on vacation. Because she believes her kids are well-loved and cared for, she doesn’t express guilt about her choices.
OK, we’ve got another funny lady to join the ranks. Award-winning actress of shows such as “Parks and Recreation” (and, incidentally, Tina Fey’s BFF), Amy Poehler discusses her struggles with being a working mom in her book “Yes Please!” She talks about the competition between stay-at-home moms and working moms, and she advocates for more understanding on both sides.
Of course, it’s important not to set yourself up for failure by comparing yourself directly to these women. Nor can reading their helpful, humorous or heartrending words solve all your problems or wipe your guilt away. But sometimes, as a mom, you just need to know that someone else is in the trenches with you. If that’s the case, these girls get it.