The Hardest Thing About Being a Working Mom

Last Updated on

Sharing is caring!

The Hardest Thing About Being a Working Mom

A year ago, I became a mom. I retired my red lipstick because I didn’t want to leave lipstick on my baby that I couldn’t stop kissing. I became the baby bouncing mom making mom friends. I started crafting and taking my son to library story time. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a mom, but as soon as I saw my baby boy, I fell head over heels in love and into mom life. My career was what I always said I would never give up for the sake of being a mom. To that end, I went back to work when my son was only six weeks old. I convinced myself that my career I loved kept me sane and kept a part of me separate from being a mom. I kept telling myself it was good for my family, good for my son and good for my sanity, but still the mom guilt set in. Little did I know this would be my biggest battle of the first year.

Mom guilt is not something I ever thought I would struggle with. I mean, I was unapologetically me. I loved my career and grew up with two parents who worked long hours. I turned out fine, so why would my son be any different? But once I went back to work it hit me hard. Guilt about missing out on the majority of my son’s waking hours, guilt about taking time out of my workday to pump. Guilt about missing the first word, the first crawl, the first clapping. Guilt about getting to work at the last minute and leaving right at the end of my shift. Guilt about skipping out on girl nights to go home and spend time with my son. Guilt about going out with friends and missing out on my limited time with my son. The list just keeps going.  There was no winning.


Other Posts You May Like


I really thought that those things would all balance out as I got better at being a working mom. I wouldn’t be pumping forever, and my son would start napping less and being awake for longer hours that I could play with him. I would develop a rhythm that would allow me to see my friends but still spend time with my son. It would all balance out. But a year after becoming a mom, it hasn’t balanced out. If anything, the guilt has only gotten more pronounced.

Everyone keeps saying to cherish every moment because time goes by so fast and they grow up so fast. And everyone is right.

I feel like I blinked and missed this past year. My snuggly little newborn wants to get into everything now and snuggles only slow him down. Maybe I should be listening to everyone and loving every minute of the messes and noise and snuggles because sooner rather than later they will be over.

Enter more mom guilt. The initial mom guilt-inducing situations have gone, or I’ve gotten used to them. Now I feel guilty when my son is snuggled with me and I’m thinking of the million things that I need to do. I feel guilty when I let him play by himself so I can get something on my to-do list done. I feel guilty enjoying his super long naps because it means I can get a ton of things done. I feel guilty not checking work emails while I’m home with my son but feel guilty when I do. And the list keeps going.

Now that I’ve been a mom for a year, I’ve added another dimension to the mom guilt.

I’ve remembered that I used to be someone with dreams and goals before I was mom and that someone was pretty awesome.

I had a full-time life prior to becoming a mom and now I’ve created a full-time mom life where my career is about all that resembles that previous life.

I miss me, or at least the pre-mom me.

The problem is that fitting any of my pre-mom activities in requires taking time from somewhere which often means time I could spend with my son. Now I feel guilty when I’m reading a book instead of doing household things or leaving my son with dad while I go ride my horse.


Related Content

I reached the point where working instead of being with my son was pretty easy to justify. Now though I’m trying to justify non-work things that don’t involve my son. And every time I do one of those things, I get a constant stream running through my head about how my son is only little once, and the years fly by. And it’s even worse when my son doesn’t want me to leave. I had a rare opportunity to leave my son with his grandmother while I spent an afternoon at a coffee shop and went to dinner with a friend (2 of my favorite pre-mom activities that I almost never do anymore). I was excited to go and sure that my son would have fun with grandma. Then he saw me and crawled over and wanted to be held and snuggled and my heart melted. He didn’t want me to leave. Cue the mom guilt.

Despite the ever-present mom guilt, I will keep pushing forward. I know that there is more to me than just being a working mom. I know that having multiple dimensions to my personality and how I define myself makes me a better mom. I know there is a balance to be found, but it’s a work in progress. I will continue to be positive.

So, in the meantime, please quit reminding me that the years are short and I’m going to miss this stage because I already know all that.

Mom guilt may be the hardest thing about being a working mom, but there are plenty of great things. For a list of reasons why being a working mom is great, check out this post.

If you are a working mom and struggling to fit everything in, these tips from other working moms may help, and here is how I organize my week..

If you are getting ready to head back to work after maternity leave, make sure to check out these tips for returning to work.

The Hardest Thing About Being a Working Mom


22 thoughts on “The Hardest Thing About Being a Working Mom

  • December 31, 2018 at 5:51 pm
    Permalink

    Lauren, I can relate to this on so many levels. I did the working mom thing for a while, and now I am blessed to be able to stay at home. BUT, I certainly miss that working me and the career that I loved! I recently took on a very part time position, but I am excited to get back into teaching. I’m also thankful to be at home with my kids, and try to take each day as it is, without thinking of how quickly it passes.

    Reply
    • January 2, 2019 at 2:12 am
      Permalink

      That’s great that you were able to go back to teaching part time and still get a lot of time with your kids! Focusing on one day at a time is something I need to work on.

      Reply
  • January 1, 2019 at 12:55 pm
    Permalink

    The juggle is super hard. You aren’t alone in feeling that way. I stifle some of my mom guilt by focusing on the time I do have with my son, namely on the weekends. I try my hardest to be present and engaged on weekend mornings and we usually do something fun together. It’s not much but it does help.

    Reply
    • January 2, 2019 at 2:09 am
      Permalink

      That’s a good idea to have a set time that you are intentionally present and engaged!

      Reply
  • January 1, 2019 at 11:52 pm
    Permalink

    I really don’t want to go back to work in a month and a half. I will have to keep both this and your “reasons why being a working mom is great” post in mind.

    Reply
    • January 2, 2019 at 2:08 am
      Permalink

      I didn’t want to go back and I only had 6 weeks of maternity leave. In Canada, you get a year, right? That would be really hard to go back after that long.

      Reply
      • January 2, 2019 at 3:03 am
        Permalink

        Yeah, Its 3 months maternity and 9 months shared paternity (at least where I work anyway). I took the full maternity and 6 months of paternity. My boyfriend took 3 months of paternity.
        There is also an option to up it to 18 months without upping the pay. So you’d get 18 months off, but you’d get 12 months of pay spread out over the 18 months

        Reply
        • January 2, 2019 at 7:48 pm
          Permalink

          Wow that’s so different than the United States!

          Reply
          • January 2, 2019 at 9:28 pm
            Permalink

            Haha yep!

  • January 2, 2019 at 7:12 pm
    Permalink

    I can’t even imagine the daily struggles you go through as a working mom! I go through similar struggles, but currently stay at home. Just remember that you are doing what is best for your son and your family. You will be constantly trying to find the perfect balance of everything, but I don’t think that truly exists. Just take it one day at a time! You got this! Happy first birthday to your little man 🙂

    Reply
    • January 2, 2019 at 7:49 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you! I’m working on doing my best and accepting that!

      Reply
  • January 8, 2019 at 7:41 am
    Permalink

    I love this post so much and I really appreciate your honesty. Thank you so much for sharing! You are a fabulous mom!

    Reply
    • January 11, 2019 at 5:28 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you! 🙂

      Reply
  • January 12, 2019 at 2:42 am
    Permalink

    I definitely miss the days I used to work full-time. Making money and being successful in my career was a great feeling. I love being a stay at home mom too though and who knows? maybe after the kids are grown up I’ll go back to working again!

    Reply
    • January 14, 2019 at 11:20 pm
      Permalink

      That’s great that being a SAHM has worked out for you!

      Reply
  • January 14, 2019 at 3:43 am
    Permalink

    Oh, momma. I love this. I too, wrote a whole blog posting about going back to work after baby & mom guilt. And HOLY MOM GUILT. It’s so true and so normal. I also went back to work at 5 weeks after our baby girl was born. I powered through, and still work 28 hours a week. But every week that goes by, I want to be home with our now 9 month old baby more & more each day. You’re doing great, helps to know you’re not alone 🙂

    Reply
    • January 14, 2019 at 11:21 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks for the support! Mom guilt is definitely hard! You are doing great mama!

      Reply
  • January 14, 2019 at 7:04 am
    Permalink

    Thank you for your sincerity in this post… I teach 9-13 classes a week, have way too many choreo commissions, and I’m in the process of online course making. My little boys are 3 and 18 months. It’s so hard to keep the balance, as you mentioned. You’re wise to see the need for both worlds, and I hope your journey with motherhood is blessed deeply. Keep up the great work! ❤️

    Reply
    • January 14, 2019 at 11:22 pm
      Permalink

      It sounds like you are as busy as I am trying to balance everything. Good luck with finding your ideal balance!

      Reply
  • January 15, 2019 at 8:43 am
    Permalink

    You have touched so close to home for many mom’s, me included. But like runnergirl84 said, you are doing what’s best for you and your family. Mahalo for sharing this post.

    Reply
    • January 27, 2019 at 4:39 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks! I hope that I showed other working moms they aren’t alone!

      Reply
  • February 18, 2019 at 11:34 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Lauren, I came across your blog through twitter. We follow each other on Twitter. Mom guilt is so common whether you are a stay at home mom, work at home mom or a working mom. There are so many things that can bring about the mom guilt. The thing to remember is that when we take time for self-care we are making ourselves that much better for our little ones. We can’t pour from an empty cup so we need to take care of ourselves to be the best version of ourselves for our little ones. Thank you Raheela

    Reply

Share Your Thoughts!