Working Mom Explains What It’s Like to Forget to Kiss Her Kids Goodnight

“We are asking too much of mothers.”
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profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
August 31, 2018
woman working office late
Image: Getty Images

Once you become a working mom, your work-life balance is drastically altered.

Rasha Rushdy, a mother to two, knows the feeling. In a recent Facebook post, she recounts how she felt when she forgot to kiss her daughters goodnight, perfectly summing up the guilt many moms face as they try to juggle work and kids.

“I left the office at 8.30 p.m. last Friday. If my husband were writing this post, I suppose most would consider this detail inconsequential,” she writes. “But I’m the mother. And good mothers don’t work late, or miss bedtime, or prioritize work over their family.”

Throughout the post, she grapples with the seemingly unrealistic standards placed on working moms.

“I’ve been back in the workforce for just over three months now, and I’m exhausted. I’m loving it, but I’m exhausted. And I’m realizing that the exhaustion is not actually attributable to the work I’m doing outside the home, but it’s because of the mental and emotional energy I’m expending trying to be the ever-sacrificial, ever-present, wholesome, activity-creating, meal-planning, all-bases-covered mother.”

It’s a feeling many working moms know, and it comes at a high price. “The cost, which is sometimes that mother’s sanity, her sense of self, her confidence in her identity, or her feeling of fulfillment in other areas of her life, is too great,” she warns.

“During the cab ride home last Friday, I felt the guilt that I’d been pushing to the side for the past few hours bubbling to a peak,” the mom explains. “I beat myself up about the fact that I hadn’t kissed my daughters goodnight, or asked about their days, or spent any time with them other than the chaotic, yelly, 45-minute, let’s-all-get-ready-for-work/daycare/kindergarten dance we do when I’m on drop-off duty.”

Even though it was only one night, it weighed down on Rushdy until it became impossible to hold in.

It forced her to come to the revelation that, “you don’t need to give up every last drop of yourself…A mother who pursues her own goals, her own passions, her own ambitions, is not taking something away from her children. In fact, she is giving herself back a piece of someone she perhaps once was, or one day wants to be, which will only set her up to mother those children even better."

The mom says how this shouldn’t apply only to work, but to all areas of life. “I’m not just talking about paid employment. If it’s your regular workout routine, or a catch- up with your friends, or a course of study, or five hours painting, or writing or whatever it is that reconnects you with you.”

As a mom, it’s easy to get caught up in your kids’ lives and forget you have a life of your own. But, as Rushdy explains, “By putting herself—and not just her needs, but her wants—first sometimes, she is giving her children a better mother.

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