An Ode to the Working Mom During Summer

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In the sweltering summer heat, working moms everywhere put on their non-breathable business-casual and questionably comfortable shoes. They haul their kids to daycare and camps for sunny fun. These moms are longing to spend just one lazy week with their kids by the pool or at the park without calculating whether that will make it impossible to take time off at Christmas. And you know what? That part of being a working mom, especially in summer, really stinks.

Yes, there are great parts about being a working mom — stay tuned. But in the dark corners of texts and weekend playdates everywhere, you will hear the echoes of working mom life. As one myself, I offer these thoughts in solidarity with those also wearing synthetic fabrics when, really, cotton and swimwear are where it’s at in summer. We have nothing but love for our stay-at-home mama sisters (who most definitely deserve an ode of their own), but sometimes it just helps to know you’re not alone.

moms working on computers

You Just Might Be a Working Mom If:

  • You’ve had to explain to colleagues why you have toothpaste/oatmeal/snot mid-thigh on your work pants. 
  • The sight of the daycare/babysitter/nanny’s phone number calling strikes terror in your heart and unplanned absences in your leave balance. 
  • You lose all control and adherence to the “rules” when you’re already 10 minutes late leaving the house in the morning (e.g. What do you want? Tablet? Ten lovies to bring to school? Popsicles? Whaaaaat?! Please, oh please, just get in the car!). 
  • Your heart sinks when you see an awesome kid event advertised on social media . . . for Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. 
  • You’ve tripped in heels trying to carry all your children’s earthly belongings into daycare on a Monday morning. Like a Nepalese sherpa in completely inappropriate footwear.
  • At least one of your co-workers has seen an accidental peep show by walking in on you pumping. Sorry, Brenda in HR. 
  • Pictures, videos, and updates about your kids throughout the day are like GOLD!
  • Holidays where the daycare is open but you’re off work (I’m looking at you, President’s Day) are also like GOLD! Hello, my quarterly pedicure.
  • You spend whatever tolls it costs in the express lane for that extra 20 minutes it buys you with your kiddos at the end of the day.
  • The Crock-pot, Instant Pot, Lunchables, and frozen everything are reasons your children (and you) don’t have scurvy.
  • You pull out your laptop to take notes at your work conference and dozens of Legos follow.
  • You get up at 5:00 a.m. to be to work at 7:30 a.m. (and your hair isn’t even dry). woman kissing baby's cheek
  • What’s for mommy’s dinner? Bites of whatever’s for kiddo’s lunch tomorrow. 
  • You’ll fight a mom to be the first to the PTA potluck sign-up so you can secure chips, napkins, or drinks.
  • You’ve called the school to tell them your kid’s backpack is now 30 minutes away in the parking lot at your office, and it’s not coming back till tomorrow. Whoops!
  • You feel like you’ve earned Ninja Warrior status when you remember to bring diapers and wipes the first time your baby’s teacher asks.
  • You’re counting down the days until you’re “public school rich.” 
  • Your coworkers or students inquire why your hair smells faintly of vomit. Do you really want to know?
  • Someone at work has openly told you, “You look tired.” Uhh, I haven’t slept in two years, Brenda in HR. 
  • You can’t make the after-work happy hour because: soccer, basketball, dance, softball, piano lessons . . . this list goes on.
  • You wake up at 5:00 a.m. to get to work at 8:00 a.m., and you’re still late.
  • You overcompensate on teacher gifts so they know how much you adore them since you can’t come to all the school events you desperately wish you could. And by the way, those gifts are coming via Amazon Prime (like virtually everything else you buy).
  • Your kids can recite your work schedule to strangers faster than you can.
  • You can’t leave your house on a weekday without looking like you are packed for a European vacation. SO. MANY. BAGS.
  • You’ve dropped off your toddler daughter with her hot mess hair and picked her up to a gorgeously coiffed updo. Thanks, teachers!
  • Peer pressure potty trained your toddlers. Thanks, daycare!
  • You’ve received a call from daycare to come back before you even made it to work. Sorry, teachers! I really didn’t see that puke coming! 
  • You’ve found a pacifier in the pocket of your trousers.
  • You go to pull out your wallet at the networking lunch and . . . wallet? What wallet? It’s at home in a basket of PJ Masks figures, and you won’t find it until 11:00 p.m. tonight.
  • You notice at 10:00 a.m. that one shoe is brown and one is black because you got dressed in the dark.
  • Your kiddo has asked why you work and you said, “It’s so we can afford cupcakes and dinosaurs,” and they’re totally good with that answer for years.

You Might Also Be a Working Mom If:

  • You’re busting your bum daily to help create a wonderful life for the ones you love most.
  • You’re fulfilling what you told your mom when she asked, “What do you want to do when you grow up?”
  • You’ve earned a black belt in multitasking. And it’s leather and pairs well with that suit. 
  • You’re setting an example for your girls and boys about a version of what womanhood and motherhood can look like. 
  • You’re balancing it all like a boss . . . because you are the boss! 

Hang in there, supermoms!

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Graduate school brought Laura from her beloved home state of Colorado to Texas (hard to beat the Rocky Mountains!), and meeting her beloved husband Jonathan convinced her to settle here. Now the two are overjoyed and exhausted parents to sweet Christopher (2015) and a little girl on the way (2017). In addition to her role as a mama, she also works full time as a clinical psychologist working with military veterans who continue to amaze her with their strength and humor. When she’s not busy juggling career and parenthood, you can find her cycling, enjoying local culture (and food!), baking, “hiking,” and embracing her love of travel.

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