When I had my son almost three months ago, I thought the hardest part would be the middle-of-the-night feedings and super early wake-up calls. This week, though, I've come to realize that the most difficult, crazy agonizing part of having a new little guy in my life--even more than realizing I wasn't able to breastfeed--has been coming back to work AND trying to raise a child.

Now, don't get me wrong: I love working, adore my coworkers, and really enjoy being in an adult environment after weeks of only thinking of baby bottles and diapers. But the moment I get home to my son, Sebastian, all I can think about is the hours that I haven't spent with him.

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That's why I give major kudos to Marissa Mayer, the new CEO of Yahoo, who recently revealed she is expecting a boy in October--a mere three months after taking on the massive reins at the internet giant. It was hard enough for me to handle my own life while I was pregnant and it's proven a challenge managing my day now that I have a little one to think about.

Ms. Mayer, I'm officially in awe.

She has also helped to reignite the age-old debate of whether or not a woman can have both a career and a family succesfully. Around us we see examples of women who have had to give up the family to shine: Justice Sonia Sotomayor (who recently revealed in a book her hesitations with giving up her social life when she was first appointed to the Supreme Court), an editor I had years ago, a driven old college friend who is a lawyer at a major law firm. There are even horrifying studies citing that mothers are astoundingly less likely to be hired for job or promoted at their current ones!

It's easy to see why: Before having a baby, I was SUPER focused on my career and could easily put in all the extra time required at work to make myself stand out. Now, though, I have to think about not just my husband, but a tiny, defenseless little man who depends on me for mostly everything. No more impromptu plans with girlfriends I haven't seen in months or late nights at the office--my schedule is run by my new boss, Sebastian.

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It helps that I am lucky enough to have an amazing support system: My mom and dad take care of my son while I work, so thankfully I am 100 percent focused at work because I know he could not be in better or more loving hands. My husband is the most incredibly involved dad, so he shares all the parenting duties and goes beyond. I know that sets me apart, just as Mayer's salary probably lets her to afford top-notch child care and other luxuries that will make it easier to be away from her baby.

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Which is all fine by me. Even after my early wake-up call time (6 a.m. or often earlier!), the OCD-like coordination that my days now require, and the hours away from him, Sebastian's little toothless smile greets me every night when I walk in the door. That little grin reassures me--at least a little--that he knows I work so hard for him and for our family.

Are you a working mom? What's the hardest part of juggling both a family and a career? Tell us in the comments below!

About the author

Yuliana is the Assistant Managing Editor of Mamás Latinas and a new-ish mamá (as her son is almost a toddler, she can't claim new mami-hood anymore). She was born in Medellín, Colombia and raised in New Jersey.

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Filed Under: working moms, working mom
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Spang...

Congrats on becoming a mamá! I love your little boy's name... The hardest thing for me was the idea of going back to work, and so, I didn't. I stayed home with my daughter for 2 1/2 years full-time and then only went back to work part-time. That only lasted a few months because a few weeks after she turned 3, I gave birth to her brother and I stayed home with both of them for another 9 months until I absolutely had to go back to work and I must tell you, it sucked! That's not to say that while I was home with them I didn't work, but I was freelancing so I had a lot of flexibility.

Chica...

Yuli, any mom can relate to what your feeling and we all know how difficult it is. The transition might be hard at first but believe me when I say it gets easier and easier. Thank God for the technology that allows us to feel connected to home even when we are away in a business trip. Remembering that your baby boy is in good hands is key to coping with the distance. Good luck in this new stage of your life. Sebastian is a lucky little guy! 

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