On the Perils (and Blessings) of Being a Working Mom: Part 1, The Negative

This 'bout sums it up.
This ’bout sums it up.

Sometimes I think I am incredibly lucky to be a working mom.

Other times I think I am incredibly cursed to be a working mom.

As I finish my dissertation, teach, attend committee and certification meetings, and search for post-graduate jobs, my exhaustion level rises. As my daughter’s needs change, my house gets dirtier, and I need more from my friends and family than I can give in return, my anxiety level rises.

Once someone told me that life was “simpler” when women were homemakers and men worked, and while I think that the roles can be reversed, I wonder if having two parents work full-time isn’t a recipe for severe cardiac and/or cerebral complications. I have recently begun consciously (desperately) trying to make my life simpler, and nothing seems to give. Neither my professional nor my personal life seems to be getting less stressful; truth be told, it seems to get more stressful daily.

Who has time for the gym? Who has time for window-washing? Who has time for hobbies? If we are constantly in supportive roles and yet need support just as much as what is required of us, how are we to avoid mental/emotional/spiritual collapse?

I wonder if as working women we have not invited more hardship into our lives than what might have been previously experienced. And if so, is that hardship worthwhile? Or is the simpler life to be missed?

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