Dear Boss, My Mornings Are Exhausting

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Having two young kids is generally tiresome. Add a full-time job to this equation and the mornings are exhausting. For my entire professional life, I’ve worked for bosses who didn’t have tiny people. This is tough. When you aren’t in the weeds of having babies and young kids, most seem to forget what it takes to make these days work. If you are a working mom, you get it. For everyone else, here is a glimpse of what goes into getting those sweet faces off to school and me off to work.

bossSometimes I’m emotionally spent before 9am.

Workplace drama can be both entertaining and time-consuming. On most days I am happy for a little distraction. On the days when my morning with kids has ended in yelling or crying, I’m often unprepared to be the listening ear my co-workers want me to be. My mind is focused on what I could have done to make the morning better. I always want that time together to be positive for my children, which means I have to make the best of the hours between 7-9am. So, when I show up at work to a he said/she said conversation, I have to politely excuse myself because I’m already emotionally spent for the day.  

I might be a few minutes late.

Humans are just that, human. Getting everyone out the door can be an act of Congress! There are lots of emotions shared as everyone busily tries to get ready. My challenge is deciphering when they are being grumpy vs. when something is wrong. In the rush of information, I have to stop, hear them and then make a split-second decision about 500x before we get to the door. This, plus the “Mom, I need to poop,” after everyone is buckled safely in the car is the reason I am likely running a few minutes behind. Thanks in advance for giving me a little bit of grace.

Sometimes I just need five minutes to gather myself.

Let’s be real. Putting on makeup, brushing my hair and my teeth, eating breakfast and putting an outfit together takes effort. Combine this with a million interruptions, some arguing, and a house full of “not morning people” and you’ve got yourself a guaranteed recipe for stress. By the time I’ve made it into the office, I just need a moment to gather myself. I want to check that my shoes and earrings match, make sure there’s no lipstick on my teeth, and get some coffee before I settle into the quiet of the day. Five minutes is all I’m asking for before I’m bombarded with the day’s fires that need to be squelched!

Working moms are people who like to get things done. The time we spend away from our families is extra productive. Know that when we leave early for a ballet recital or call out because someone is home sick, we aren’t trying to skirt our responsibilities. In fact, the guilt and pressure we put on ourselves to be great at what we do is the reason you hired us. It is what makes us fantastic employees. You are getting the best of us. When we show up some mornings, we’ve already run a marathon, both physically and emotionally, so give us a moment to breathe before we step on to your watch.

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A South Carolina native, Erica is originally from the Upstate and has moved back to Charleston with her family after a 10 year, traffic-filled hiatus in Atlanta, GA. Having lived in only two states she likes to explore different cultures through travel and food.  Of all the hats Erica wears her most important roles are as a wife, mother, daughter and fundraiser for her alma mater, College of Charleston. She has been married to her college sweetheart for 13 years and together they have to kiddos that keep them on their toes.  She prides herself on being honest about motherhood and enjoys learning from other moms who tell it like it is. When life offers a little down time Erica enjoys wave jumping at the beach, unapologetically watching bad TV and organizing and re-organizing everything from the dishwasher to the sock drawers to help calm her inner OCD.