To My Superheroes

My toddler picks up a bag, swings the handles into the crook of his arm and closes the door as he walks out of the room. The door muffles his voice, but I can still hear him shout, "Bye, goin' to work!"

This short routine scene sends me down the rabbit hole. Is this normal? It this what he will remember of his childhood, his mama always leaving for work? Or will he recall the dedication and commitment I had for my family and career?

Will he recognize my full attention given in the brief evening hours? I know I will always remember my fixed position across the kitchen counter from him. I chop dinner ingredients as he talks and pinches out pieces of play doh from the yellow plastic pots. Now and again the music playing interrupts us for spurts of kitchen dance moves as the sun threatens to end the day. Sinking deeper into our lawn and summoning bedtime.

Will he look back on the weekends when my everything revolved around him? Quality over quantity. Will he recall homemade meals or the mass quantities of Thai takeout because I was too exhausted to cook? Will he have fond memories? Or memories of getting barely-there energy leftovers after an already long work day? My prayers is that his childhood hindsight will wrap him in warm fuzzies and not memories of his mama leaving for work.

My toddler stomps back into the room, bag swinging, returning from pretend work. The big goofy smile plastered across his face guides my thoughts to switch. I blink and remind myself that I am no worse for wear raised in a home of a working mama. Am I? No!


My mom had a thriving career throughout my entire childhood (and still does). I never felt abandoned or that I received less, actually I received more. Regardless of the hours spent building her career, I always felt to be the number one priority. My mom working didn't make her a worse mother, but a better one. She learned to make the most of her time away from work, excellent time management. 

The entirety of my childhood I never wore a store-bought Halloween costume. Each October my mom sewed a costume of handmade art. Every birthday celebrated with elaborate-themed birthday parties, I cannot pick a favorite. Our family spent various weeks throughout the year on vacations. We had home cooked meals. We celebrated every single holiday throughout the calendar year — even groundhogs day. Every February 2nd we would wake up to mini bundt cakes with paper cut outs of a groundhog sticking out. I digress, but my mom was and is a superhero. She did it all without an inkling of tiredness and no space for regrets.


On days pained with judgement for being a working mama or when I receive messages for playdates (I can't, I'm working) — I remind myself of my mom. And all the other inspiring career mamas I know. There is nothing easy about this path, but it is so very worth it.

Today is Mother's Day — for all mamas. But you career mamas, take an extra moment to soak in all the pampering today. Being a mama is tough, really tough. Being a working mama brings an additional set of hurdles to jump over, including scheduling nightmares and extreme exhaustion. We endure more than anyone knows or can imagine every single day — wearing a stack of hats — managing expectations and tasks from ourselves, family, friends and our careers. It is a balancing act to say the least, but we make it work. If there is a will, there is a way. To my mom and all other working mamas on Mother's Day, I love and admire your strength and grace. You all are my superheroes!

I think every working mom probably feels the same thing: You go through big chunks of time where you're thinking, 'This is impossible — oh, this is impossible.' And then you keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible. —Tina Fey

1 comment:

  1. You captured this so perfectly! It's so hard being a working mama - totally in the same boat, wondering if my boys will just remember me leaving all the time or will they remember all the weekends and time together, too.