Are you a part-time working mom? I don’t need to tell you how much it sucks. Moms everywhere comment about how you have the best of both worlds. You and I know the truth. Most days it feels a lot like having the worst of both worlds. Your schedule sucks, you lose friends by the minute and you aren’t sure what free time means. I totally know what you’re going through. If you think the part-time working mama has it made, let me set you straight.
For most of us, the idea of a flexible schedule was how we ended up here in the first place. We like the ability to make our own hours or work around pickups and drop-offs. With that flexibility comes the fact that nobody wants to watch your kid. Hey are you free on Tuesday from 2-7 and Thursday from 8-2? Nope. Babysitters everywhere are looking for a steady schedule with predictable hours. Some only want a full-time gig with a set number of hours. Most part-time working moms cannot offer that kind of employment. Our schedules often change by month or by week. The delicate balance can be upset with even the slightest variation.
Being a part-time working mom means that you will probably end up using 75% of your paycheck paying the only babysitter available for your weird hours. Most weeks, you will wonder why you are actually working until you remember that you have to keep your head in the game so that nobody will think you have been “out of work” for any extended period of time. If you work for yourself, you will look at your 1099 and wonder if you have even cleared minimum wage. You will keep telling yourself that it will be worth it in the long run. You will still have lots of doubts and wonder why your bank account is always overdrawn.
The Weight of Both Worlds:
If you are like me, you probably try to schedule your working hours while your child is at school or when that child is sleeping. This means that instead of enjoying some down time, you will be working. Because your pay sucks, you can’t afford a cleaning lady or meal delivery services, so you will be doing that on your own too. Because you only work outside the home a few hours a week, you will still be responsible for all of the household chores. You will get no rest whatsoever.
We Don’t Fit In:
Since you straddle two completely different worlds, you won’t fit in anywhere. You cannot complain to the working moms because you don’t work as many hours as they do and you can’t complain to the stay at home moms because you get to make extra money. Everyone will think you have it all, but most days you feel as though you are failing as a mom, employee, wife or all three. You will start looking for other part-time working moms to hang out with so you can complain to someone who understands your unique predicament. Since they have the same awful schedule, they won’t be able to hang out with your either.