I Can Have It ALL: The Hardships of Working as a Mom
This month has been tough. There’s been a lot of realizations in both my role as a mom and someone who works. My situation is a little different being mainly a stay at home mom but also on occasion working as a freelance video editor/marketing manager. The beauty of freelancing is that I can make my schedule and take work that I want. The only thing I didn’t realize was how easy it was for me to overbook myself. I felt that I had this whole “being a mom” thing under control but boy was I wrong and had a brutal wake up call.
For months I have been doing work here and there, marketing for a local production company and some one off video editing work. It was pretty good because I could do a lot of this during nap time and even could work on my own personal projects (aka this). So, when I got contacted to do some work for Adobe I was like “sure this should be easy! NO PROBLEM!” I should have known that false confidence when I heard it in my head but I ignored it and took the job.
The work I was doing was editing simple tutorial videos. Easy enough but these videos were not only time sensitive but very particular and a different way of editing I basically had to learn. It was work that I could do but as I was in the mist of doing realized it wasn’t what I wanted to spend my little free time on. I felt not only disconnected from my son but also myself. I was stressed about getting these edits done and it seeped out into hanging out with my familyand I didn’t like that. I kept acting like I had it all together when in reality I was struggling. Sure it was good pay and could lead to more work but I kept asking myself if it was truly worth it? As I tried to keep myself a float one of the women who was leading the Adobe team emailed me and asked how everything was going. I had an urge to tell her it was all fine and that I could handle it but felt that it was important to be true to myself and let her know what was going on. So, I told her that I took on too much. She was very understanding and even told me that she has been in this situation before too. It just makes you realize how much pressure we put on ourselves as mothers and that we need to be honest with ourselves on what we feel like we are capable of doing and if that means not taking on a million jobs than that’s ok. (I also know that sometimes we don’t have a choice and have to take a million jobs too and it just shows you how strong we can be by taking on it all.)
It’s hard enough that we are trying to navigate a new identity of being a mom and now we have to add on the new identity as an employee. It’s just tough and these are situations that no one really prepares you for. I felt lucky to be working for women who understand this and can relate to this pressure and open to having the conversation. I felt instant relief that it wasn’t just me and I wasn’t alone, though somethings gotta give because frankly this sucks. As long as we can start having these conversations and opening peoples eyes to the hardships that mothers face can be the first steps in not only giving ourselves a break but also the confidence to know when too much is too much.