Every single day I am torn.
I am torn between making the best choices for family and wanting to work.
I think this is why the new show Workin' Moms airing Tuesday nights on CBC has really stuck a nerve with me.
I see so much of my life in Catherine Reitman's character Kate, a PR executive just returning to work after her maternity leave who is struggling with just how to fit her role as a mother into the eat-or-be-eaten world of an ad agency.
We are told that we can have it all. That we don’t have to choose between being a mother and having a career. But the truth is we have to make choices every single day.
This morning my kids woke up late. I let them sleep because they are just getting over nasty colds and I knew that my husband would be able to get them up and make them breakfast before school. I got up at 5 am to exercise, I packed their school lunches, I signed their permission forms, and took the dog for a walk all before 7 am. In the midst of the morning chaos they each padded down the stairs, their sleepy little faces just looking for a cuddle. I sat with my daughter on my lap, whispering good morning and rubbing her back so that she could wake up to my softness instead of chaos. I then quickly rushed around packing up the last of our bags and asked them what they wanted for breakfast.
3 times I asked them, and I never got an answer. So I said my goodbyes as I kissed them both on the tops of their heads, and just as I was about to walk out the door they asked for breakfast. I had to make a choice. I was already late for work.
Their father was upstairs and was able to make them breakfast.
I spent the rest of the morning feeling like a terrible mother.
Every day I’m torn.
Workin' Moms shows what this struggle looks like daily.
It touches on the resentment that many mothers carry with them both at work and at home. The constant need to prove yourself. The struggle to fit your new self into your old world.
Each character in Workin' Moms is struggling with her own issues regarding motherhood. Jenny (Jessalyn Wanlim), an IT worker, reluctantly returns to a job that she doesn’t love so that her partner can take some time to be at home with their baby and work on his own goals of writing a screenplay. Anne (Dani Kind) is a psychiatrist who is struggling with how to handle her rebellious nine year old while dealing with a baby and a surprise pregnancy. And Frankie (Juno Rinaldi) is a real estate agent who might not be fully aware of her postpartum depression and just how deeply it’s impacting her life and those around her.
I am three episodes in, and have seen myself in every single one. The show tackles issues that plague so many of us: judgment from other mothers, overbearing grandparents, finding time for romance, workplace competition, and that feeling of not having our shit together... but they come at it with humour. It’s real and it’s funny. Because sometimes all we can do is laugh.
Yet, along with the laughter there are tears and I have found myself tearing up a few times. At the end of the first episode, Kate finds herself screaming in defense at something that is threatening both herself and her child and I found myself swallowing my own pent up frustration.
With every episode I can feel myself exhale when I realize that I am not the only mother facing these issues. I look forward to following these four women through the streets of Toronto as they navigate the tricky world of being a Workin' Mom.