The Working Mom’s Credo

As working moms we bear the burden of carrying our families on our backs. Indeed, this life is exquisite yet excruciating. Part of the reason it is so hard is because of the inequities at home and at work. While those inequities may make us weary, we can never give up.

One Secret to Working Mom Success: Stay on The Right Track (My Lesson from 2023)

 
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul. 
-William Earnest Henley (Invictus excerpt)

So, we are three weeks into the year. I have plans to create a post that includes my best success tips for last year and I will. However, in the interest of candor and maintaining our relationship, I have to share something. 2023 was really complicated.

Spoiler Alert: I was reminded that I am resilient!

   

 1.    How 2023 was hard.


The accident

In many ways, it was hard. I lost a dear friend unexpectedly who was an amazing mom, wife and friend. Her death was a reminder that life is not always fair. I was involved in a potentially tragic accident with my kids, I endured some difficulties at work because of transitioning and my biological father died right before Christmas. So, while I was trying to create Christmas magic for my kids, I found myself embroiled in planning a funeral, family conflicts, and participating in said funeral. And because the funeral was in Buffalo, New York in the winter, I also had to endure the weather. And in addition to those challenges, there were the regular life challenges--schedules, work BS, and marital strife. And, I learned of his death weeks. after learning I failed to get a job that I was in the running for. The entire year was an emotional roller coaster. When I am processing, I retreat. It's great for me personally. However, it ain't great for maintaining my online community. So, thank you so much for not giving up on me. And know, this post is a sign that I am back.


    
2.     How 2023 was amazing.

Me on a very happy day!

In other ways, it was amazing. A dear friend got married and asked me to be a part of her wedding. I am beyond grateful that she entrusted me with that honor. And, participating in that wedding filled me with hope, strengthened my faith, and reminded me of who I really am--apart from being a vehicle to pay bills, my ability to be an uncompensated Uber driver, and my other care duties. Somehow, despite my busy schedule, I managed to take a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate my girl's birthday and visited Barbados with my sister. Both trips lifted my spirits and allowed me to reconnect with some old friends and make new meaningful connections. My mom had an amazing adventure at The Chautauqua Institution running the African American Heritage House and took us along for the ride. My daughter spent two weeks there with her and it was an amazing experience for both of them. 

My daughter continued to dance, dance, and dance! I had the privilege of seeing her perform five times, including her Nutcracker performance with Pittsburgh Ballet Theater where she was a clown--her sought after role! My older son developed a passion for basketball, really improved as a player and was asked to "play up" on his school team. That means he's on two teams, which is a ton of practices and sometimes four games per week. Still, he loves it and is thriving. And, the baby, my sweetie pie, continued to steal hearts with his smile! He also took up hip hop dance (I had to find his own activity with all that the other two were doing) and he had his first recital at the end of the year. He was a star!


Christmas Eve

    3.    Staying on the Right Track

In all candor, after the death of my friend, the accident and the death of my biological father, I processed each event the same way. I was fairly disconnected for awhile--going through the motions of life without fully participating. And, I spent a lot of time on the couch. After processing each of these events,  I know this for sure. Life is a vibrant ever changing thing. And, our ability to bounce back is everything. Inertia is real and it can perpetuate stagnation or movement. 

If we allow hardships to make us stop or take us off our courses, we give them too much power. Instead, we should feel them, process them, and learn from them. Indeed, take a break off to the side of the race if we need to. But don't allow them to make us stop or take us off track.  So know this, I am moving forward one step at a time. And, to quote "The Color Purple", "I am here"!

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