“Working Mom” is No Longer My Excuse

Since I went back to work in April 2010 after having Abby, I found myself more and more invested in a “Woe is me,” mentality.  My job involves me bringing work home. Woe is me. My husband has to work on Saturdays at times. Woe is me. I don’t have family close by to help out. Woe is me. I have to make last minute sub plans from home because of a sick kiddo. Woe is me. My kid is cranky after work. Woe is me. I don’t have any time to clean the house. Woe is me. I’m tired. Woe is me.

I could keep going on and on, but I think you get the gist.

Since last May, though, I’ve made a huge mental shift. A lot of it stems from my vow to stop consuming all the things. As I began this journey, I found myself having a more positive outlook on life. I started to embrace being a working mom and all of its challenges. Instead of feeling like working was getting in the way of all the things I wanted to accomplish in life, I viewed it as a small hurdle to overcome.

Everyone has hurdles they need to overcome whether they work or not. It’s just the nature of life. So why was I constantly saying I couldn’t do certain things, wallowing in misery, just because I work?

I love working. I truly do. But I found myself struggling to remember why I chose to work because of all this self-pity I clung to. And since I began setting priorities, the tension I hoarded, the negativity I hung on to, well, it’s just all melted away. I’m able to appreciate and love my profession all over again, and now I find myself setting more challenges for myself.

The biggest challenge I have facing me is a physical one. Now that my foot injury is on the mend, and almost back to 100%, I’ve decided to sign up for a half marathon the day after school gets out in June. Instead of freaking out about how hard it will be to train due to the limited time I will have to run, I’m researching plans that will allow me to stick to 3-4 days a week of training, planning ahead, in order to make sure I’m successful. A year ago, I’d be sitting her doubting myself, thinking I was nuts for setting this goal. And now, I’m excited.

What I’m trying to say here is that no longer can I say, “I can’t…I won’t…I don’t know how I can…” Just because I work doesn’t mean that I live in a world of limitations. Do I sometimes have to get creative? Absolutely. Does it sometimes take me longer to accomplish some tasks? For sure. But I refuse to use “Working Mom” synonymously with an excuse in mind. And if I find myself veering back in that direction, I put myself in check, think about what needs to happen, and I figure out a way to get it done.

What about you? Do you find yourself living in a “woe is me” mentality? Do you see working as a limitation? How do you snap out of it to figure out a way to accomplish all you hope to?

Photo DonkeyHotey via Flickr

9 Comments

  • Jessie says:

    I just wanted to say that training for a half marathon with a 3-4 run/week goal is totally doable. I’ve run 3 half marathons, 1 last April as a working mom (and set a PR), and I only ran 3 times per week. I believe in quality versus quantity. I never found a “perfect” training plan, so I just combined a few into a plan that worked for me. Good luck!
    Twitter: jessieyeager

    • Tracy says:

      Thanks for this. I’m kinda figuring I’m going to have to do a mash up of plans to make it work for me. Plusalso, I don’t know this word “perfect.” You do the best you can, right ;)
      Twitter: wa_tracy

  • cayley says:

    When my daughter was born we decided to run the “triple crown” of 3 1/2 marathons in the san Diego area. I’ve run one more since. Another thing to remember, along with it may take you a little longer or you may have to get creative, is that you don’t have to be perfect. My world didn’t end when I injured my leg and walked half of the La Jolla 1/2 marathon. My goal for the recent one was to finish before the cutoff, not to run the whole thing, and I had an hour to spare. It is good to push ourselves, but sometimes life gets in the way of aspirations, and especially when there’s a timeline like an event it’s even more important to give yourself a (psychological) break (dont stop training!) if things don’t go quite as planned. This is a hard lesson for me to internalize, but worthwhile. Set high goals and strive for them, but congratulate yourself for how far you come rather than a more black/white divide of did you succeed/fail. If you train 3-4 days a week between now and June, that seems like an enormous success, race day aside!

    • Tracy says:

      Totally agree…I just want to finish the damn thing. I’m not going for time at all. Doing a 5k was a huge accomplishment for me, and I just want to keep setting goals and challenging myself.
      Twitter: wa_tracy

  • Cheryl says:

    I think that’s an awesome attitude to have. I feel like working affords me the opportunity to do things I wouldn’t have the income to do otherwise – the occasional concert or play, dinner out at a fancy restaurant – so if it means more juggling to find the time to get everything else done, so be it.

    Though I do wish I was a little less tired. Imagine how much I could do if I didn’t sleep at all! :)
    Cheryl recently posted..Better ConversationsMy Profile
    Twitter: cherylstober

  • Law Momma says:

    Yay!!! Training buddies! Want me to send you the training plan that I have?
    Law Momma recently posted..Horses are Scary (but not as scary cute as my kid…)My Profile

    • Tracy says:

      YES!!!!!!!!!!! I’m on day 2 of no pain from my foot…I’m going to try to run this weekend…not a ton as I’ve got to build myself back up to 3 miles slowly. I’m looking to start training in February or March for a June run. I’d love to see what you are doing!
      Twitter: wa_tracy

  • Bethany says:

    I trained for and ran a half marathon with twin boys that were 5 at the time. With a supportive husband and a great running buddy, it was VERY doable.

    I read several plans and and made my own weekly goal to expand my distance and then each week or so established a weekly plan based on my schedule. I did it VERY flexible like and it worked well. You can make it work for you. Good luck!

    I ran/walked that half marathon 6 weeks pregnant and can’t wait to get back into running someday. I haven’t figured out how to work it back into my schedule yet though. :(
    Twitter: Beth_ismyname

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