This month has been tough. There’s been a lot of realizations in both my role as a mom and someone who works. My situation is a little different, mainly being a stay-at-home mom, but I also work as a freelance video editor/marketing manager in the little time I have during naps and when the baby goes to sleep. The beauty of freelancing is that I can make my schedule and take work that I want. The only thing I didn’t realize was how easy it was for me to overbook myself. I felt that I had this whole “being a mom” thing under control, but boy was I wrong, and I had a brutal wake up call.
For months I have been doing work here and there, marketing for a local production company and some one-off video editing work. It was pretty good because I could do a lot of this during nap time and even work on my own personal projects. I felt that I had my time management as a mom and “mom boss” on lock. So, when I got contacted to do some work for a bigger company I said, “Sure, this should be easy! No problem!” I should have known that false confidence when I heard it in my head, but I ignored it and took the job.
The work I was doing was editing simple tutorial videos. It’s easy enough, but these videos were not only time-sensitive, but very particular and a different way of editing I had to learn. It was work that I could do, but as I was in the midst of doing it, I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to spend my little free time on.
I was stressed about getting these edits done, and it seeped out into hanging out with my family. I started to feel not only disconnected from my son, but also myself. I kept acting like I had it all together, when in reality, I was struggling. Sure, it was good pay and could lead to more work, but I kept asking myself if it was truly worth it. As I tried to keep myself afloat, one of the women who was leading the team emailed me and asked how everything was going. I had an urge to tell her it was all fine and that I could handle it, but felt that it was important to be true to myself and let her know what was going on.
So, I told her. I was honest and said I took on too much. She was very understanding and even told me that she has been in this situation before, too. It just makes you realize how much pressure we put on ourselves as mothers. We need to be honest with ourselves on what we feel like we are capable of doing, and if that means not taking on a million jobs, then that’s okay.
It’s hard enough that we are trying to navigate a new identity of being a mom. Now, we have to add on the new identity as a working mom. I also know that in my situation, I am lucky that I get to choose to work and that there are other moms out there that don’t get that option. It’s just tough, and these are situations that no one really prepares you for. I felt lucky to be working for women who understand this—who can relate to this pressure and are open to having the conversation. I felt instant relief that it wasn’t just me and I wasn’t alone, though something’s got to give. Frankly, this sucks. We can start having these conversations and opening people’s eyes to the hardships that mothers face as the first steps towards giving ourselves a break and the confidence to know when too much is too much.
We don’t have to “have it all,” but we can have most of it.
Author: Stacie Sells
Author Bio: I’m a new mama who’s just trying to be honest with not only myself on how I’m feeling in this new role, but to also allow other women to know they are not alone. The other factor in this whole new life is that I’m not just a mom now! I had a life before a baby, and I still want to make sure that everyone knows I’m a person who loves cats, movies/TV, coffee and trying to be funny (though that’s been pretty difficult when you’re lacking sleep or sometimes makes it better?). Anyway, I love connecting with people and building a community of wonderfully talented women!
Link to social media or website: @leagueofextraordinarymamas