Being a parent is hard. We are all working parents even if you are a stay at home mom or dad. We're all just trying to raise some decent human beings and anyone who doesn't see that as an overwhelming and an incredibly hard job is crazy,
When you are a mother, you give up a lot...outside of the obvious things like your body and sanity. You leave a life that was yours and yours alone and begin a life that partially belongs to someone else. You know that one day, your child will create a life of their own but until that day comes, you are their whole world. This is why I think it’s so important as a “working parent” to have a job that you love.
I wanted to be a hairstylist long before even the thought of having a child existed in my mind. Once I found out I was pregnant, I knew if I was going to be a working mom, I had to do something I was excited and passionate about otherwise, what would I have to call my own?
I always thought if you worked a job you hate, you’re just another employee-there’s nothing making it yours because eventually you’ll quit or get fired and someone else will take your place. But if you love what you do and make it yours, no one can take that from you.
As a mom, there isn’t much I can call mine. My living room is overrun by toys, my car is full of crumbs and the “special” pinecones my son refused to leave behind at the park, I can’t even go to the bathroom alone or if I do, there is always tiny fingers poking out underneath the door and apparently my food always looks more appealing than his own. Needless to say, sometimes going to work is more like a mini vacation from parenting. Now, don’t get me wrong, if I could afford to be home everyday with my son, I’d probably do it. I don’t like having to say goodbye to him in the mornings and not see him again until that evening - it totally sucks. However, being young parents who live in Portland, we have to have two incomes, at least until we win the lottery.
Part of being a working parent is finding the perfect balance between home and work and being happy with that balance. It took me a long time to feel okay about working after my son was born. I was torn between feeling like I should be with him constantly and knowing if I didn’t work I couldn’t provide for him. Like most things though, practice makes perfect. This was true in both the work I did on clients and in finding my balance as a working mom. I started to get more and more excited about the work I was doing because I knew I was becoming a better stylist. It finally dawned on me that this was my self care and that when I took the time for self care, I thrived as a mother and as a partner.
I’ve been told a lot that work doesn’t count as a hobby. I love what I do though, so more often than not, it feels like a hobby. It’s just an added bonus that I make a living off it. As my son gets older, too, he has made it easier for me to indulge in my “self care” aka work. He knows which days I have to work and knows it means that we get to hang out all day the day after. Anymore, he actually how work was and always wants to see the pictures of hair I did that day. The little bit of guilt I have when I leave or the envy I have for his dad when I see their adorable snapchats disappears when I get home from work and they tell me all they did that day.
I know not everyone has the opportunity to have the job of their dreams but I think that even if you're not working your dream job, at least approach it from a new perspective. The commute might be long but it's probably the only time you don't have to listen to Kidz Bop or your coworkers may be the worst but at least you don't have to wipe their butts, too.
Being a parent is hard, but don't forget about taking care of YOU, too. Even if that means work is your hobby ;)