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I have been brainstorming this blog for a few weeks now and have shed tears just at the thought of the words I am planning to share. I am telling you now, you may need tissues for this one.
My name is Audrey Wallace and I am a full time working mom.
[Insert your judgement here.]
Full disclosure, not only am I a full time working mom, I am an evening-event-attending, out-of-town-traveling, and sometimes even weeks-at-a-time-away working mom. And it is not because I need to make ends meet. I work on purpose. For a purpose. And with purpose.
Some back story
I have also been a stay at home mom, part time working mom, and side hustling mom throughout my 7 years of motherhood. So I know what I am talking about when I say that all versions of motherhood come with their own challenges and none are easy.
Amy and I were SAHMs when the idea for Komae came along in 2015. My sons were 1 and 3 years old. Hers were 2 and 4. Yep, between us that’s 4 boys ages 1, 2, 3, & 4. No wonder we built an app that helps parents get free time by swapping sits instead of spending money on a sitter.
At first we shared a nanny on Tuesdays from 9am-1pm to work on this dream. With success after success, we found ourselves working more and more. Then one day we found ourselves hiring full time child care and moving our office from our living rooms to a high rise downtown. Then moving to NYC for 5 weeks. Then to Silicon Valley for 2 weeks.
And we’ve been questioned along the way.
“Do you want someone else raising your kids?”
“Do you really think you should be spending so much time chasing a dream?”
“Why do you need child care, did you get a real job?”
“How can you leave your kids like that?”
Believe me, I have asked myself all those questions, and worse. And I have cried. And I don’t need anyone else’s voice to magnify my fears. One question in particular has repeated over and over so much it started to leave a dent on my heart.
Will he even remember me?
“Will he even remember me if I am not the one who takes him to school in the morning?”
“Will he even remember me if someone else spends more waking hours with him than I do?”
“Will he even remember me if I am not there to sing him lullabies at night?”
Please excuse me while dig myself out of this mountain of guilt and tears. It’s my family. It’s my life line. It’s heavy And then something changed it all.
Here’s the lie.
I stopped believing the lie that it has to be one or the other. I let myself remember the truth about the ways I love my family, even while committing to be a working mom. I took that very same question “Will he even remember me” and changed the ending.
Will he even remember me snuggling him through the night each time I left for big trips?
Will he even remember me taking him on ferris wheel rides every time I returned home?
Will he even remember the view from the top of our hotel when he visited me in Chicago?
Will he even remember me carrying him around the streets of NYC when his legs got tired?
Will he even remember me making sure he got to spend days with his friends while I was at work?
Will he even remember me wearing the rubberband and nerf bullet necklace he made me even during video shoots simply because he asked me to?
Here’s the truth.
No. He is not going to remember any of the good or the bad things listed above.
My fantastically supportive husband recently reminded me that what my sons are going to remember is how I made them feel. Childhood memories eventually become wide brush strokes painted into an abstract illustration. I don’t need to worry about single pinpoints. I need to make sure it has colorful and intertwining strokes. Warmth and depth. A healthy balance of dark places and light. Because there will be both. I cannot control that. I don’t want to. But I can make sure my sons’ portraits of childhood make a beautiful memory to look back on as they mature into strong men.
Made for More.
Moms, listen to me. Life is more than this moment. More than this struggle. More than this decision. Life is more. And you are made for more. Literally! You were created to accomplish more than you believe you can. This is but a sentence in your story. Good, bad, or ugly. Stay at home or working out of the home. Whatever you are going through, it will not last. It’s like labor pains. It may hurt like hell for 2 minutes, but it’s job is to push something out which is going to create a whole new bundle of joys and pains that you will carry.
My sons know their mommy. They know their mommy loves them forever and always no matter what. They know mommy always comes back. They know their mommy helps lots and lots of people. They know their mommy is working her tushy* off building an awesome company. (*They also know we don’t say butt in our family.) They know their mommy if a fierce, strong, capable woman who also loves to be silly with them. And that is what I want them to remember forever.