The Working Mom Mirage: Do You Really See Her?

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Editor's Note: When you look at a working mom, what do you see? I mean, you obviously see her well-put-together look. Her not-too-high heels. Her makeup done, her hair fixed. But do you see her? For who she really is? Do you see the way she balances things? Grace at What If No One's Watching? asks some of these questions, comparing them to what she used to think about working moms. -Jenna

The Working Mom Mirage:

I thought I'd have a baby, go back to work, and slip squarely into their not-too-high heels. Armed with my cell phone and my caffeine addiction, I'd flit from meetings to doctor's appointments to soccer games, always in an appropriate outfit. It wouldn't be without effort, but it would feel innate. There would be no learning curve.

To the strangers and acquaintances I pass as I'm hustling my kid from the day care to the car, calculating that if traffic isn't too bad, I'll have almost an hour once we get home to get him fed and bathed before bedtime, it probably looks as if I did slip naturally into this role. I'm not crying, I'm not babbling, I'm not even wearing stained yoga pants or leaking through my shirt. Sure, a close inspection will make clear I'm a little tired and in a bit of a rush, but who isn't? To the extent that success means convincing those around you that you're capable, competent, even thriving, I've got this. But the chaos underneath bubbles so vigorously that I'm not convinced it will ever feel normal. It certainly doesn't now.

Working Mom Mirage
Credit: marius_boatca.

Read more from The Working Mom Mirage at What If No One's Watching?

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