Sunday, April 6, 2014
encouraging a working mom
Disclaimer: To all my stay-at-home-mom friends (and I have many!), please know that I believe your job is work and I do not mean to downplay that role in anyway. I believe we've been called to our roles even if only for a season.
Next week, I will have been back at work for six months following my first daughter's birth. Going back to work has been one of the hardest things for me, but it has also given me so much perspective. I think it's made me a better employee and taught me to treasure each moment I get to spend with Maggie.
Lately, I've been thinking about the things that friends have said or done that encourage me as a mom who works (full-time) five days a week. Who doesn't love to hear an encouraging word? Motherhood can be a lonely place (at times) and I think it's especially helpful to hear words of affirmation from friends whether they have walked in your shoes or not.
1- Friends verbally offer to help with my daughter. From single friends to married without kids to friends with four children, so many have made it a point to say something like, "if I can help out with Maggie in anyway let me know" or "please know that I can be a backup to your usual childcare if needed." Those words are so welcome. They assure me that Maggie is loved by our community of friends. I still find asking someone to watch my child a bit uncomfortable, but at least I know if they've offered previously I'm not going out on a limb.
2- We (still) spend time together. It can be a challenge to find time to get together (my closest friends live a minimum of 30 minutes away), but we make a point to get together to catch up. Even though our conversations look different than they used to (with more interruptions), I am so grateful for a lunch date or walk with a supportive friend.
3- Friends ask me about my job. Whether they work or not, my friends know my job is important to me and often ask how it's going. Having the freedom to talk about the challenges that come with balancing all that's been happening has been so helpful.
4- They extend grace when conversations are interrupted or plans have to change. Before I became a mom, I thrived on efficiency. I think it was a bit of an idol, so it's been hard for me to learn that things take longer with a baby. Along with things taking longer, comes changing plans and I've had to cancel plans due to sickness or naps gone awry. I'm so thankful for the friends who generously extend grace to me when I have to call something off or tell them I am running very late.
Do you have other ways to encourage a working mom you would add to the list?