What do you think of when you hear that word? Someone who’s conceited? Full of themselves? Someone who disregards the needs of others?
But what would you say if I said all working moms have a bit of an ego?
That’s a pretty controversial statement, isn’t it? But hear me out before you get upset with me. I have a reason for saying this.
The ego affects us all in different ways; for many it gives them a feeling of superiority, but for others it tells us we’re not good enough and we need to do more.
If you’re new here, WELCOME! I encourage you to check out the following blog so that you know you’re not alone in this mama...there are many of us, we are just so consumed with getting it all done that we can’t find each other!
And this is where the ego of the working mom comes in.
And, even with all this and then some on our plates, we still ask our husbands for minimal help because we feel bad that they worked so hard all day.
Wait, didn’t we work hard all day too? So...what’s up with that?
We do this to ourselves, really, no one forces us. Sure, some of it might be an innate motherly instinct and some of it may be learned, but ultimately we are intelligent enough to not do this, but we do this anyway.
And because we think we have to be the best, because we think we have to do everything for everyone, we neglect ourselves, and we might actually also be unknowingly neglecting our family.
Let me tell you part of a story so that you know where I’m coming from. I had a whole thing written out and scrapped it, you don’t need all the background at once, it’ll come up as we develop our relationship.
My story, the cliff’s notes version…
And then my boss announces that he’s leaving the company.
He gave a six week notice and I sat with him to learn all that I could.
It was three months until they had found his replacement so many of his tasks were left to me. Management expected a lot from me, I expected a lot from me.
12-14 hour days…
Mama...I know you know what this feels like...it feels FREAKING INSANE.
3am wake-up, 3:30am log on, work until 6am, get ready for the day, 7am take the kids to daycare, 7:30 arrive at work, 1:00pm either take a 20 minute lunch or work through completely, 5pm pick up the kids, 6pm log on again, 11pm finally log off and go to bed.
Minimal interactions with the kids, minimal interactions with my fiance, eating while I worked, you get it, I know you do.
And then it happened...
I got up to get something to drink and my son, who was just over a year old, climbed into my chair and pretended to work.
When I tell this story, people smile, tilt their head, and “awww”.
THIS IS NOT A F-ING AWWW MOMENT PEOPLE!
Watching him do this killed me. My stomach jumped into my throat while my heart sank to my feet at the same time. Has anything ever triggered that feeling in you, mama? It is the effing worst!
Is this how my kids were going to remember me? Was I showing them a good work ethic or was I showing them that work was more important than them? Was I showing them that they didn’t matter? Was I starting a cycle that I never imagined I would ever create?
I stopped working that night until after they went to bed; I did feel I still had to prove myself so I still had to work until I was half asleep. I still had to do ALL.THE.THINGS. What was upper management going to think if I didn’t put in all these hours?
As much as the next promotion meant, as much as I anticipated telling people with pride that I worked my way up from customer service to operations manager, as much as that would look freaking amazing on my resume…
Was it worth the relationship with my kids?
Was it worth the relationship with my, then, fiance (now husband)?
We’d had the conversation many times that it was best that I focused on my career. Focusing on his would come in due time.
But was this image, the image that’s still stuck in my head four years later, worth all of it? Was it worth my kids thinking that mom’s reports and meetings were more important than field trips and fundraisers?
We were years away from that, but they would be here before we knew it. And was all this worth it?
No, it’s not…
Believe it or not, that WAS the cliff’s notes version of what happened.
So, back to EGO…
That ish would put even the most career driven mom’s ego in check...agree?
Working moms usually wake up earlier than everyone else by at least 30-60 minutes, just to get ready without someone hanging on us or walking in while we’re in the shower.
From there, we get everyone else ready and fed, we get everyone off to daycare or school, and we get ourselves to work. Somewhere in there we make a checklist (in our heads, in our phones, in a notebook).
While we’re at work, we get our jobs done, help our teams and our co-workers with their jobs, we attend countless meetings that should have been emails, we talk about how swamped we are, we run errands on our lunch, we skip eating or we only take five minutes to eat, we rush out the door at five or six only to have to rush to the next place, be it home or daycare or a doctor’s appointment or wherever.
And once we finally get home, we ask our husbands for minimal help. And when they offer to help, instead of saying, “”That would be great, honey,” we say, “Nah, I got it.”
We rush through dinner, homework, quality time, dishes, laundry. We avoid phone calls because holy hell, don’t these people know I talk to people all day and I don’t want to talk to anyone but my husband and kids after work?
And then we sit on the opposite side of the couch from our husbands, have a ten minute conversation and fall asleep while trying to watch whatever series you’re behind on.
Does all of that REALLY need to be done by us? Does it all need to be done NOW?
THAT is where ego comes into play.
Can we ask our husbands to wake up a little earlier to help out more in the mornings?
Must we accept every meeting we’re invited to? Can’t we just reply with a message that has our thoughts on the topic?
Must we involve ourselves in everyone else’s work?
Can we accept our husband’s offer to help in the evenings? If we did, maybe we wouldn’t have so much to do on our lunch hour.
Our egos tell us we’re not good enough, our egos tell us we need to do more, our egos tell us that no one will do it as well as us, our egos are causing our lives to be off kilter.
So, what do we do about this? How do we keep our ego in check? How do we avoid being the mom who puts work before her kids? How do we avoid being the wife who is overwhelmed, stressed and feeling underappreciated?
You’re not alone!
You are NOT alone...please trust me. There are other working moms out there, just like you and I. We enjoy our jobs...for the most part...our jobs give us a sense of purpose. We love our husbands and kids, they complete a whole other part of us. The thing that’s missing is the village, the tribe, if you will. It’s hard to have a tribe when we’re all working and we’re all trying to be the best mom and the best wife.
If you’re looking for your tribe, click below and head over to the Facebook Group The Working Mom Partnership. It’s where we can all celebrate the good, vent about the bad, have a laugh, get some ideas for recipes and anything else we need to share.
I look forward to seeing you in the group!
One more thing…
We’ve heard the phrases, “Happy Wife, Happy Life,” and, “If mama’s not happy, then no one’s happy,” right?
Aside from being amusing, it’s kinda true...because when mom is stressed and unhappy that translates to everyone else in the house being stressed and unhappy.
Do do yourself a favor, mama, and click below to download my 10 Tips to Decrease Family Stress...here’s a secret...many of the tips are meant for you to take time to take care of yourself!
Even if you’re usually short on time and self care isn’t anything more than a seven minute shower in the morning, take a look at the tips and pick your favorite to try at least once a week!
Click below to get my 10 Tips To Decrease Family Stress
Hey, I'm Natalie and I'm an author, a wife, and mom of two kids and two dogs.
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