For many, leaving work early or taking days off is seen as a treat. But when you're a working mom, that time away from the office takes on a whole new purpose—and it's not for relaxing. Of course, not everyone realizes this, which can sometimes lead to resentment and criticism from colleagues and management who think working moms are getting special treatment. Well, an Australian mom has a message for those naysayers—and now it's going viral, Scary Mommy reports.
"You know the new mum at work? (Insert eye roll) The one that is leaving early because daycare has called ... again? The Mum that only talks about her kids in the lunch room? That Mum who is forever taking days off? And the one that has a shorter working week and gets an extra day off? Don’t judge," mom of two Adele Barbaro wrote on Facebook. "Let me assure you that they are on edge at work, hoping that daycare won’t call and their heart drops when the phone rings. They don’t want to leave again. They know how it looks. And if they leave, it’s because they have nobody else to cover them." Included with the post is a photo of Adele holding her daughter.
Adele also wrote about the crazy hours working moms put in on the job and at home, and the guilt they feel, saying, "At 3 a.m. when they are rocking a baby with yet another illness, they are dreading that they can’t go to work the next day, again. They are sick of missing work and do not want to fall behind."
She also paints a super accurate picture of what missing work is really like for moms. "There’s no coffee with friends or shopping sprees, beach trips or salon visits. It’s being rundown with hairy legs, mum buns and boogie-filled snuggles. It’s selfless and can be bloody relentless."
Adele clarified, however, she's not referring to her current job. Rather, she's addressing how she's felt judged at other places she's worked, writing, "I’m very lucky to work in a workplace now that gets it. But in previous roles I’ve felt the eye rolls and the guilt."
She ended her post with an important reminder for anyone currently working with a new mom. "Know that the new mum is finding her feet. The missed days at work are short lived. And behind the dark eyes is the same woman that was first hired ... and she will be back. But she just needs a little understanding and a knowing smile."
Since being shared to Facebook, Adele's post has gotten over 6,500 shares and 1,700 comments, with many women sharing their own stories of how difficult it can be to take time off work to care of their kids. One woman wrote, "I love this!!! One month after returning to work I had two days off with my 5-month-old little girl who had a cold virus and wouldn’t sleep. I was called in for a formal chat about my continued absence at work!" Another wrote, "This was me last year, my first year back at work. [I worked] Only two days a week, but it was almost always guaranteed that my son would be ill on those two days. It was an internal struggle to 'look good' and be reliable at work but also being the best mum I could be to my young son. Motherhood ain’t easy, and being a working mum definitely isn’t either. Less judgement and more understanding goes a long way in today’s day and age."
Indeed, working moms are well aware they're being silently judged for leaving work early or taking days off to care for their kids. But as Adele and so many other moms want you to know, they also really care about their jobs—and can't wait to be back in the swing of things.
This article originally appeared on Working Mother.
Working Mother is mentor, role model and advocate for the country’s more than 17 million moms who are devoted to their families and committed to their careers. Through our website, magazine, research, radio and powerful events, Working Mother provides its readers with the community, solutions and strategies they need to thrive.