Jamie Johnson, a full-time working mother of two, recently wrote a poignant blog on what she wishes she could apologize to her coworkers for. Although we never want mothers to feel guilty about trying to do it all, Jamie's post definitely resonates, because hey, balancing parenting with a career is dang hard.
"Please stop judging me for leaving the office at exactly 5 p.m., but my kids are waiting to be picked up from the sitter," she wrote. "I know I'm missing this meeting, but my kid's preschool graduation is more important. I know I was late today, but I can't drop the baby off at daycare until 7:45 a.m. I know that I seem distracted, because I am distracted. I have a sick toddler and I am waiting to find out when I can get him into the pediatrician."
As much as Jamie works to be professional in her day-to-day, sometimes the lack of sleep and stress catches up with parents. "I don't want to look exhausted when I show up to the office, but I have been awake since 4:30 a.m. with an inconsolable kid," explained Jamie. "I know that my eyes look glazed over, but I spent the last twelve hours trying to soothe a baby to sleep. I didn't mean for my email to seem snippy, but I have a 5-year old who cried this morning because he didn't want to go to school, and I am worried about him."
"I don't want to look exhausted when I show up to the office, but I have been awake since 4:30 a.m. with an inconsolable kid."
While being a mom is great, the gig often comes with some not-so-pleasant surprises that ultimately can't be avoided. "Yes, I just banged my head against my desk. I received a text message that my kid has pink eye and I have to leave to get him even though this report is almost due," she said. "I know my eyes are very swollen right now. I spent last night crying because I am exhausted, never get to be alone, and haven't taken a hot shower in five years."
All in all, Jamie wants her colleagues to know that her occasional seemingly impatient response has nothing to do with them. "Sorry that I was short with you, but I spent the last hour arguing with a toddler over the necessity of wearing pants to the babysitter," explained Jamie. "I know I am supposed to leave my personal life at the door when I come to the office, but when you are a mom to two small kids, that is hard to do."