10 Things a Full-Time Working Mom Doesn’t Want to Hear

If you’re a full time working mom, this one is for you. I started working when I was 12 years old. I begged and begged and begged my parents to let me babysit younger kids in our neighborhood. When they finally agreed, I took it very seriously. I made flyers and walked door to door passing them out to all of my neighbors. The babysitting jobs came and I loved it.

10 Things a Full-Time Working Mom Doesn’t Want to Hear

Full Time Working Moms

When I was 16 years old, I started life-guarding at a local pool club during the summer months.

When I went away to college (all of 20 minutes away from home, to Brown University), I worked on campus throughout my 4 years.

The moment I graduated from Brown in May of 2000, I started applying for jobs in NYC. NYC was this “golden place” that I desperately wanted to try out for a few years. I remember driving to NYC after graduation and asking one of my friends (who lived there) if I could keep her yellow pages. I cold-called about 50 fashion houses, just to get their Human Resources fax number so I could send along my resume. I was like a dog with a bone! LOL! Donna Karan was the first company to call me back and I accepted their job offer as soon as I was interviewed and the job was offered to me.

Here I am now, 38 years old and I’m a full time working mom. I guess not much has changed since I was 12 years old. I love to work. Work is my happy place. I love the hustle of work. I love the adrenaline of work. I love work because I love what I do, I always have loved what I’ve done for work… it’s the secret to being a happy person.

The only difference between me now (as a full time working mom) and me then (as a teenage go-getter) is that I’m my own boss now. All responsibilities fall upon me. Everything. If something doesn’t go right, it’s on me. If something goes awesome, it’s on me. If I’m crazy and stressed and overwhelmed, it’s on me. It’s all – on me, but I love that about being an entrepreneur. I love the rush, the sting, the craze, the hunt and the hustle of being my own boss, my own hustler.

I will also add in here, I don’t have the option not to work, so for me – though I love what I do, there isn’t an option of me just deciding to “quit.” I think that’s a big thing to disclose because I get so tired of people raining on people’s work ethic when they truly don’t know the background of the personal situation. I just don’t have the option not to work, so it’s never been something in my mind to do.

Audrey McClelland and Victoria McClelland

Since I work online as a social influencer, much of my life and my work life is on constant display, only because that’s the nature of social media. 🙂 As the mom of 5 kids and the wife to my college sweetheart, my family is brought into my work all the time, too. It also opens me to people sharing comments with me, though maybe not meant to hurt or dig, but truly do leave a mark sometimes.

Full Time Working Mom

What kinds of comments am I talking about? They come sometimes in dribbles and other time at full speed. Truthfully – with age comes wisdom, so I’m able to filter much of it out and not dwell on it. But the more I’ve opened myself up to other people about these kinds of comments I get, the more I’m seeing that I’m not alone.

These are my “top” 10 comments/questions that I get the most in some shape or form for being a full time working mom…

1. How do your kids deal with all your travel?

2. Are your kids old enough to understand what you do for a living? Are they OK with their lives being out there, too?

3. How can you work so much with 5 kids?

4. Your husband is a Saint.

5. You must love getting away when you travel and leaving all the crazy behind.

6. Do you ever take a break?

7. You must always feel like you’re on a hamster wheel. Just spinning, spinning, spinning.

8. How do your kids do in school with you away so much?

9. Who helps your husband when you’re away all the time?

10. (My favorite – because I’ve been told this.) It must be tough being the breadwinner, I’m so glad I don’t have that pressure on me.

McClelland FamilyI’ve definitely taken the time to respond to people throughout the years, always with the philosophy to kill them with kindness. It’s my journey. It’s my family. It’s my life. It’s my work. It’s not worth a mean response, even if I’m feeling it.

At the end of the day, the one thing I want is this simple truth.

I want my husband and my children to know that I work hard for them, every single day. I work hard because I want them to see the benefits of doing something you love to do. I don’t come home crying because I have a boss I hate. I don’t come home stressed and hating everything I do and work on. My family sees my working hard and hustling hard for them… for our family, for our well-being. I’ve never had the need to live in the biggest house or drive the fanciest car, but I do want to be able to provide (and then some) for my family. I want them to see me as an example of what happens when you go after your dreams, as crazy and as outlandish as they may seem (who woulda thought blogging would turn into this 10 years ago!?).

So the moral of this post?

I don’t know. I just kind of needed to vent and get it out this morning. I had someone ask me one of these questions this past weekend and it made me shake my head because it was said in front of my sons; almost like I was doing them a disservice by working, especially a job that requires me to travel so much. Fortunately, my sons know better and can brush a comment off easily. All of us are just doing what we do in the world. We’re working. We’re loving. We’re providing. We’re just living. Our own definition of a “normal” life is different for everyone, not one person is the same. My life works perfectly for our family, as it does for every family.

My best advice?

Just live life the best way you want to… enjoy the ride and enjoy the hustle. And maybe – just maybe – as best as you can, filter out everything that comes at you that isn’t anything but positive.

Check out some other content I’ve written when it comes to being a full time working mom:

Working Mom Guilt is Real

Work From Home Mom: How to Be Productive in the Summer

It’s All About Blending, Not Balancing

If you’ve new to me, check out my YouTube channel, too and become a subscriber!

About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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  1. 10.24.16


  2. 10.24.16
    Alison said:

    The sad part is no one would say these things to a man. My husband travels a lot and no one says I’m a saint, no one helps me unless they are getting paid and no one asks how I keep up while he’s gone. It’s 2016 it’s time for people to catch up. Keep doing you!

  3. 10.25.16
    Lizette said:

    I totally feel you. I’m not the “career woman type” in the strictest sense of the word, but rather fell into something I learned to love by chance. Also, due to the situation in my country, I became sole breadwinner. I face the same questions that you do, except that I choose to spend every waking minute that I’m not working, with my family. I don’t want to waste my time doing silly meetings or get-togethers. I’ve had insomnia for nearly 6 years, and my health has taken a knock and there have been times of financial stress. Some mothers judge me for working and not wanting to do coffee, saying things like “as long as those long hours are worth it” – well, my family is fed, clothed and under a roof, ya think it’s worth it??? And this is also said in front of my kids. Comments like “tell your mom she should get out more” drive me insane. I don’t want to get out. I want to cuddle with my family, chocolate and netflix. Of course I’d love to win a $9999999999 bajillion lottery and spend it all on retail therapy and fancy coffees than work every day, but until then, I have to keep my clients happy and take whatever work comes my way. As you said – ‘All of us are just doing what we do in the world. We’re working. We’re loving. We’re providing. We’re just living. Our own definition of a “normal” life is different for everyone, not one person is the same. My life works perfectly for our family, as it does for every family.” Keep on hustling!

  4. 10.25.16
    admin said:


  5. 10.25.16
    MariaC said:

    YOU are so awesome!!!! I love this post. I’d like to point out… i bet no one would ever say these things to a man!!! Keep your head you… i love keeping up with your adventures.

  6. 10.26.16

    I wish you could know — and I think you do, but if not, holy smokes I want you to know — how much of an inspiration you are to so many women juggling and working and living. Your joyful energy and DETERMINATION make you such a tremendous role model, not just to your own children but to so many of us trying to hustle and keep it together.

    I envy your boss-lessness, your intuition and your drive. Do you want to know something? When a prospective client approaches me these days and I am looking at my calendar and wondering how the heck I’m going to deliver and make everyone happy, I think, “What would Audrey do?” Yep. Looks like you’ve just become my own private religion. CREE-PY!!! But it’s true. Being “An Audrey” means never giving up. Finding a way. And doing it — this is so important — WITH A SMILE, a sense of humor and love. Not just saying yes to anything and everything, but filtering through the crazy and choosing projects you feel passionate about — because that’s your brand. That’s your livelihood. Truth. Honesty. Authenticity.

    OK, I’m gonna go be An Audrey now. Quick, someone pass me some more B12 vitamins… XOXO

  7. 10.26.16
    admin said:

    I love you so much. Thank you for always being a great friend and supporter. XOXOXOXO

  8. 10.26.16
    admin said:

    I love you girl!!!! XOXOXO

  9. 10.28.16
    admin said:

    Thank you ladies. XOXO

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