Any mother who has ever felt judged at work because of her family commitments will relate to this Kentucky mom’s post.
Jamie Johnson, the blogger behind Hashtag MomFail, has a full time job while raising two sons, Henry, 5, and Simon, 2, with husband Logan. For the TODAY Parenting Team, she penned an open letter describing moments she’s sensed disapproval from people at her workplace—and the stressors at home that she was dealing with that they probably weren’t aware of.
“Please stop judging me for leaving the office at exactly 5 p.m., but my kids are waiting to be picked up from the sitter,” she began her post. “I know I’m missing this meeting, but my kid’s preschool graduation is more important. I know I was late today, but I can’t drop the baby off at daycare until 7:45 a.m.”
Jamie continued by explaining why she had looked tired at times (“I have been awake since 4:30 a.m. with an inconsolable kid,” had been “snippy” in an email (“I have a 5-year -old who cried this morning because he didn’t want to go to school”), and had appeared frustrated at work (“Yes, I just banged my head against my desk. I received a text message that my kid has pinkeye and I have to leave to get him even though this report is almost due”).
In all these instances, the struggles of motherhood had taken their toll and influenced her behavior at the workplace. Not only was she aware that she was being judged, she felt pretty damn guilty as well. “I know I am supposed to leave my personal life at the door when I come to the office, but when you are a mom to two small kids, that is hard to do,” she wrote.
But despite the difficulties, Jamie has encountered kind people who have given her “grace” ever since she became a parent. She thanked “every boss who has let me leave for doctor’s appointments, unexpected sicknesses, preschool graduations and school lunches,” colleagues who “picked up slack” for her when she had to run out of the office to “solve a kid emergency,” and those who “ignored” the times when she didn’t look her best. She also called out fellow moms who reminded her she wasn’t alone, and mothers who “slay it every day” and motivate her.
Ending her post, she directed some sweet words at working moms also experiencing guilt: “I understand that you are tired. Exhausted, probably. But I also understand that you are capable and worthy of so much more than you realize sometimes,” she wrote. “You don’t have to choose between two worlds that you love. You can have them both. You can have a family and a career. It’s not easy, but it is possible. So don’t stop. Don’t give up. You’ve got this.”