Working Mom Woes

I just wiped a smudge of breast milk from my glasses. There are patches of crusty yams on the nursing tank underneath the (slightly) wrinkled top I’m wearing at work. There is either dried spit up or baby snot on the shoulder of my work top. I am on my third cup of coffee. I need a pedicure. I really need to get my eyebrows done. I haven’t worn anything but flats since I killed myself in heels on my first day back to work. I have been late pretty much every day since Christmas.

I am a mess.

My mom was a single mom for pretty much my entire childhood. She worked hard. She climbed corporate ladders. She always left the house in pantyhose with a fresh layer of hairspray and makeup. My makeup bag is in the front seat of my car. I haven’t touched it all week and I’m not even remotely a single mom.

The thing is that I could take the time to not be a mess in the morning, but it would mean not spending 15 minutes on the floor playing with my baby girl. I could be on time for work, but it would mean skipping the ten minutes I spend nursing her right before I leave. I could wear pantyhose, but—well, no. I won’t wear pantyhose.

I used to be all about climbing ladders. I fought hard to have the position I’m in right now. I don’t technically have a director title, but my new boss is always referring to me as a director. Two years ago, that would have THRILLED me. Now, the only thing that thrills me about my position is that I have no one sitting outside my office shaking a finger at me for the inordinate amount of time I spend pumping every day.

My heart just isn’t in it. My heart is at home with my little girl singing songs and reading (eating) books.

I really need to find a way to snap myself out of this. I need to turn my ambition back on. I need to find a way to streamline my mornings. I need to make more of an effort.

I “work” from home tomorrow, but next week is a new week. I have a huge project to start, and I need to get my shit together.

My goal for next week is to sort out all of my work clothes for the week before Monday so that everything is ready and wrinkle-free. I am going to try to find some time to shop for a few things this weekend. Maybe a comfortable pair of lower heels, a top that doesn’t need ironing, and a new pair of pants. I will shave my legs.

I am going to use the blog to hold myself accountable. Let’s see if I can pull myself out of this working mama rut.


Why I was late this morning.


26 thoughts on “Working Mom Woes

  1. Just the other day I left the house thinking I was all put together. I put on nice work cloths after I said bye to Baby MPB so I knew I was baby fluid free. I looked decent. Heck, I even flat ironed my hair! Then, I went through a drive through to grab a drink and took one sip and spilled it all down my pants. And it stained. And I walked into a meeting with the president of a huge firm with a giant dark stain on the crotch my beige pants.
    So, the lesson I learned that day is don’t even try. Spend the time with you kid, it matters more in the long run. 🙂 But I love your ambition and wish you the best! And if you figure it out, please share your tips!

    • Oh man. I have so been there with the coffee. Wait until the little man is old enough to start grabbing at your coffee. Yesterday I had my just-filled travel mug sitting on the kitchen counter and C reached over and knocked it onto the floor. Coffee was EVERYWHERE. It even got inside our drawers and cabinets somehow!

      • Ha! It’s one thing to have to drink lukewarm coffee (or chai tea lattes in my case), but to not even be able to drink it all? Mommy life is tough. Haha! I wouldn’t have it any other way.:)

  2. I’ve been back at work now for 2 years, and I have to tell you…my heart *still* isn’t in/at work. Yeah, I go through the motions. And I do a good job at work. But I give ZERO fucks about promotions, or more responsibility (in fact, I do NOT want it!). I just want to get home at the same time every day to be there with and for my little girl.

    PS – who cares if you go without makeup? You’ll never look back on your life and wish you’d spend more time looking put together. 😉

  3. I totally know these feels.

    You are absolutely fine to keep doing what you’re doing… but if you want to change some things to make yourself happier, that’s fine too.

    Also, fuck shaving. Seriously, stopping shaving was like the best decision I ever made. 🙂

    • I always feel better mentally when I’m more put together. I guess I’m just hoping that if I pull my exterior together, it will help my interior fall in line! I wish I could quit shaving, but I really hate the feeling of having hairy legs. I don’t do it for anyone else, though–I do it for me!

  4. You ARE different remember? You are not just you or part of a couple or a loyal employee… you’re a Mum and your gorgeous little person has changed everything about your whole life.
    It’s okay to make changes that make yourself feel better – so long as they are your own valid expectations.
    At the end of the day you really are just earning the money to come home and have a wonderful life.
    You have a way more important unpaid 24/7 job now anyway xx

  5. I got so into this that I wrote a post about it. One thing that got me started was this idea that even if you look like you have it together, you really don’t. Or in reverse, you probably look a lot more put together than you think you do.

    Remember, you have a front row seat to the crazy. Most people are only watching (and cheering you on) from the bleachers. 😉

  6. Too hard on yourself, but I know exactly what you mean. It’ll feel good to put yourself first for a change. It doesn’t have to mean that the priorities change, but mommy deserves to feel like her old self from time to time too. (I rarely shower daily anymore, if I do I rarely dry/do my hair, makeup is usually used to prevent me from scaring someone off, otherwise not used, plucking & shaving omg I feel like a wildebeest most days! As I write, I’m walking back home in the same jogging pants I wore to bed last night! Lol

  7. I know it probably doesn’t make you feel better, but I feel like I was in that mommy rut for ages after going back to work. You’re in good company. Good luck with sorting your stuff out and putting yourself first! Xx

  8. Solidarity. My priorities shifted so much after our first was born. Never wanted to be a stay-at-home parent (still don’t) but I definitely look for different things in a job than I used to. My boss now is talking about promoting me to the next level and I haven’t been able to muster up any excitement. The ONLY motivation I can get behind is to increase my earning potential because I have two kids to provide for now. So much for intrinsic motivation in the workplace.

  9. Oh I so relate to this. I really have no interest in work. I have the job I always wanted and worked hard to get and now I’d give anything to not need it. I just want to be with my daughter all the time. I so get how you feel.

    When Bumbi was a baby she had horrible reflux and I wore it on me every day. Now I do have time to look a bit more professional but I sit down and have my coffee with my daughter every morning and the makeup still sits in my desk at work. My hair is always a question mark but if I have board meetings or public hearings then I run and get it done at lunch. I just don’t want to miss out on my time with my little girl doing it at home.

  10. Charlotte is more important than any career. I get it. Leaving every day is so hard. I love the ten minutes of nursing and the ten minutes of playing. I’m late every day as well. You are so hard on yourself. You’re doing a great job. And remember, our babies are still very young. You’ll get better and better at being a working mom and Charlotte will have an amazing role model.

  11. One of the best things I learned at my last job was a great way to start your day. I had a chart I made on Excel with five boxes across, two boxes down. Every day I would write three things I’m thankful for in the top box, and on the bottom box three things I was going to accomplish that day. “My Top 3”!

    It helped me reflect on the wonderful things in life outside of my job, and it also helped me stay focused on those top 3 things I needed to get done that day. It kept me on track and positive through my day.

    You can do this! 🙂

  12. I came across a quote on fb that was something along the lines of “Some days I’m a great mom, some days I’m a great employee, but never both” and it rang so true for me. 3 into this working-outside-the-home thing I’m still trying to find the balance, but it does get easier as they get a bit older.

  13. I’m not a working mom yet, but I think it is totally legit that your priorities have changed. It happens. And it doesn’t mean that you aren’t doing good work or making a difference while you’re there. I’ve been through a lot of self-recrimination in the past couple of years after my priority changed from career to family-making. My mind is elsewhere sometimes. And I’m most likely not as efficient. But I’m also still making a difference for the kids and families I work with, and doing what I need to do to get the job done and go home at the end of the day and pay for fertility treatments. I think it’s normal to feel like you’re not as “in it” when your priorities have changed, but give yourself credit – you’re going to work every day and whatever you’re doing has your boss referring to you as a director. So don’t beat yourself up, mama 🙂

  14. Best thing about pantyhose is when you take them off and scratch your fingernails lightly over your skin cause it can finally breathe again!!!


    Little C is worth a little dishevelment.

    I find aerosoles to be a good heel height for me, btw. I don’t feel like I’m about to break an ankle. Some people find their stuff mumsy, but I swear, hips 20 somethings stop me and ask where I got my shoes when I wear them with modern work clothes.

  15. That’s a pretty cute reason to be late. I talked to my office about the details of my first day back today (April 25) and I am sooooo dreading it. I worked from home when I went on bedrest in November so I will have been away from the office for SIX months when I go back. I’ll be right there with you.

  16. I shaved my legs this weekend, for the first time since 2nd trimester. I felt all fancy-like. Lol. You are an amazing mom, Molly. Even if you feel a bit like you could use a make-over, Charlotte sure looks perfect!

  17. Pingback: Working Mom Woes – Part 2 | Hound Mamas

    • Going back to work sucks so much. Have you seen the news about the city of San Francisco offering people 6 weeks of paid family leave time? Everyone is applauding them like mad for being so progressive and I’m sitting here thinking SIX WEEKS? Talk to me when it’s SIX MONTHS.

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