Just a Working Mom

Exterior family portrait of man, woman, two children

I love my kids. And I love my job. And ever since my first was born six years ago, I have found ways to find that magic balance between being a present parent and a fulfilled and productive professional.

When the world closed down for the pandemic, I sprang into child educator mode - starting week one in quarantine with a school like schedule, a daily art project, reading, and more. And by week 2 this slid. By week 4, even TV wasn't enough of a distraction for my one and five year old kids.

By June 2020, I was done. For the first time in my life, I understood the depth and indescribable darkness of depression. I felt like a shell of myself, neither able to focus on my kids nor on my work.

When my kids went back to in person daycare on June 29th, it felt like a literal life preserver in an endless ocean.

On Feb 20, when my father who's a doctor was vaccinated, I felt a second life preserver start to float towards me.

The pandemic has affirmed my life choices. It has reminded me of the importance of work life balance - for my own mental health, for my family, and for my community. I have always liked to work because it helps me feel fulfilled, and in turn, helps me be a better parent.

I love my kids, but the pandemic made me feel like a bad parent and person because it became untenable to love them when I felt so empty myself.

Every day feels better, as teachers, family, and friends are vaccinated.

Every day I gain back some of the patience I lost, and remember how to be a mom and a professional.

We've learned to live outside more, and that will stick with us. We've learned to stay connected to family online more, and that will stick with us.

We've learned our limits, and that will stick with us.

Everyday I am reminded of how much I appreciate the ability to be a mom and a professional because the pandemic reminded us all that this can't be taken for granted, and there are so many lessons that I know will stick with us.