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17 Signs You're a Working Mom

Elizabeth Nelson
Aug. 5, 2014

Recognize any of these scenarios? Then you're probably a working parent.

Every mother is a working mother: we've all heard the saying. And it's true. Whether or not you're bringing in an actual paycheck, parenting is a job all on its own.

But there are certain things only moms who work outside the home understand -- like the feeling of dread that comes over you when the boss knocks on your office door and you're hooked up to a breast pump.

We asked mothers with kids ranging in age from newborn to all grown up: how do you know you're a working mom? Here's what they said:

  1. You reach into your briefcase during a meeting and pull out a Transformer.
    ~ Cate Beck, Highlands Ranch, Colorado
  2. You show up to a client meeting with a SpongeBob Band-Aid on your finger.
    ~ Brenda Becker, Brooklyn
  3. You cherish working because those are the only days you actually get to finish a cup of coffee in peace.
    ~ Jenessa Freid, Newton, Massachusetts
  4. You miss every Muffins with Mom at school.
    ~ Freedom Passarelli, Colorado
  5. Your "company" iPad has apps like Zoo animal sounds, Disney Junior and baby sign language.
    ~ Nikki Miller, Norwalk, Connecticut
  6. You come up with ways to combine kid time with work time. For example, my kids are ticket takers and ushers for the concert I'm producing.
    ~ Misty Dupuis, Aurora, Colorado
  7. You can spot the other working moms on the subway by their nifty black nylon backpacks with the tubing hanging out.
    ~ Megan Schade, Brooklyn
  8. Your boss knocks on the closed door of your office, and you can't answer it because you're pumping.
    ~ Katherine Schiffner, Seattle
  9. You show up to dance class and everyone else's child has their hair in a bun and is wearing proper shoes except for yours . . . and you're the instructor.
    ~ Michelle Green Swanson, Cheyenne, Wyoming
  10. You spill coffee on your desk and instead of running to search for paper towels, you grab a diaper from your bag to clean it up.
    ~ Diana Covatti, Whitestone, New York
  11. During a meeting, you pull your child's drawings from your work bag, instead of handouts for attendees.
    ~ Hilary Bride, Clinton, Massachusetts
  12. You make it through two meetings and are feeling good about your accomplishments, when you realize you have had spit-up on your blazer the entire time.
    ~ Christa Tomlinson Palmer, Littleton, Colorado
  13. You're video chatting with your baby when you realize how crazy you must look, speaking way too loudly and making funny faces in your quiet office.
    ~ Lindsay Dykes, New Milford, New Jersey
  14. Your bedtime is earlier than your nine and 13-year-old’s.
    ~ Maria Hannon, Denver
  15. You excuse yourself from a meeting to use the potty.
    ~ Megan Schade, Brooklyn
  16. Someone asks if they can borrow a pen, and you offer them a crayon.
    ~ Misty Dupuis, Aurora, Colorado
  17. The Tooth Fairy keeps forgetting to visit your house because you can't stay awake long enough to make sure she shows up.
    ~ Marilyn Kieffaber, North Manchester, Indiana

Do any of these sound familiar? Write a comment below sharing the signs you know you're a working mom.

Elizabeth Nelson is a mother, writer, runner and personal organizer -- not necessarily in that order. She lives with her daughters in Brooklyn.

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