I know you’re out there. Are you looking for me, too? I hear there are a lot of us these days, but I don’t stumble across many when I’m out in the wild (but I get it, because I spend my evenings at home trying to convince myself not to go to bed earlier than 9:00, also). I’m talking to the other working moms of the world. Stay-at-home moms don’t have it easy, there are moms who work from home while their kids are napping and at school, and there are tons of moms who fall somewhere in-between. I’m looking for the moms who get up at 6 a.m. every morning, get themselves (and their kids!) in real clothing, and are out the door in less than two hours, ready to report for another eight (or nine or ten) hours at the office.
I’m not “working just for now,” or trying to make money from home. This is who I am: a woman with a career and a family. I’m the mom who works in an office building, Monday through Friday, 40 hours a week. And I’m looking for the rest of us. When I see calls for motherhood friendship online, I rarely see gatherings that are suitable for working moms. I can’t make it to Tuesday morning playgroups, or Wednesday afternoon MOPS. Not this week, not ever. I’m not saying these groups aren’t justified, I’m just saying I can’t find mine.
When I first had my daughter, I mostly worked with single, recent college grads. I was one of two people (in a department of 30) who had a child, and it was isolating. In Texas, it took me over a year of motherhood and a career change to find my people. Since moving back to Colorado, I’ve started over. I need friends who understand having to save up your sick days so you can use them when your child is sick, dealing with daycare and preschool enrollment, and the moms who have had to coordinate FMLA and short-term disability insurance when they gave birth.
I’d like to find the moms who can commiserate about how, even after years of working, there are still days when you have to pry your child off your leg when you leave the house in the morning and you try not to tear up about it on your morning commute. And, because of this, I’m not very dependable for frequent social activities. Sure, I can get together once a month or so, but I also really value the evenings with my family and the few, precious hours when my daughter is asleep before I turn in myself.