On many Monday mornings (or Tuesdays for that matter :) I used to wake up with my mind spinning: “I am tired. I don’t want to go to work. How much longer do I have to go through this? Maybe I should just quit my job.”
But despite my inner dialogue, I managed to get up, get dressed, help my kids get dressed, make breakfast, and then, luckily, after the first cup of coffee, I felt better and more energized as I started my day.
One thought that really helps me get through my days now are the words a colleague (also a working mom) once told me: Take it one day at a time.
It sounds quite obvious, but for me that was a revelation. It was a reminder that I do not need to think about how to manage this forever. Just one day at a time.
So now, when I notice that I am feeling overwhelmed by all of the things there are to do and all the places I need to go, repeating that phrase like a mantra helps me.
This is how I have successfully managed to be a working parent for the past nine years. And believe me, I've had some extremely stressful situations during this time. Not only at work, but also in my personal life.
What also helps is thinking about the encouragement one of my mentors has provided. She's told me, "Hang in there. It is worthwhile." And she is right. Once I arrive at work, I feel grateful for my colleagues and the challenges that energize me. Occasionally when I talk with a stay-at-home mom friend, I'm reminded that we all face challenges, regardless of our roles, and I feel confident that I've chosen the best challenges for me and my family.