I am a huge advocate for self care. You cannot pour from an empty cup. I never judge anyone for what they choose to do for self care, and although I am an advocate for it, I need to really focus on my own more. One way I choose self care is by binge watching Netflix shows. Thankfully, I know I am not the only one. Last night, I watched one episode of Workin’ Moms, which is a new to Netflix show. After one episode I can say, I had feelings, and will definitely be watching more.
The show centers around three woman who have just had children, and they are beginning to return to work after maternity leave. Granted, the ages of their babies look at though they are quite fortunate with the amount of time they had for maternity leave, however the sentiment is the same. One character, Frankie, is clearly struggling with postpartum depression, and is just beginning to realize it herself. To me, this is huge. Postpartum is so rarely talked about, and even in the opening scene the reactions of the other moms in the mom group when Frankie says she may be having some signs of postpartum, you can tell it is not something anyone wants to talk about. By not talking about it, we are doing a disservice to everyone that is struggling with it, and by not normalizing it, we continue to allow those individuals to feel alone. I can see Frankie’s character as being one that is going to help break some of those barriers.
The character I most resonated with was Kate. She has a high profile position in a PR firm, and upon her return finds a man has taken the promotion she had hoped to get, but instead had her child. The part that struck a nerve was a scene in which she is working late with her male counterparts and the ‘new guy’ asks if her child has called the nanny “mommy” yet. And that right there made me lose it. Mom guilt is hard, and working full time while allowing someone else into my village to help raise my child makes me feel so incredibly guilty.
I miss things. By being a working mom I miss firsts, and seconds and even thirds of things. My oldest comes home from daycare with new skills every single day. Granted, many of them are great skills to have that he would probably not be developing as quickly if it was just him and I at home, but I miss the development. I have allowed someone else to be teaching my son things that I should be teaching him. No one has ever questioned my decision to go back to work, and no one has ever asked me the question Kate was asked in the show, but that does not mean that I am without guilt.
I see Workin’ Moms as my outlet. I hope that it will continue to say things out loud that I think every day. I see this as my self care in allowing me to binge some TV shows, but also to allow myself to feel the emotions that these moms on TV are also feeling. I hope this show will begin to normalize this crazy world of the working mom – or just being a mom. I’m only one episode in, but I suggest you watch it to, it may make you feel better about the job you are doing as a mom, because honestly, its a tough one.