Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Working Mama Balance

Honestly, I'm not a pro on this subject (nor any!), but I think talking to other working mom friends always helps so let's pretend that's what we are doing!

Here's the deal with my work and then I'll tell you my biggest day to day "working mom" struggles and how I try to make them better.  Then I'll tell you some things that I do that make my life easier.  Sound good?

WORK STRUGGLE:
Okay...right now I'm going through a little struggle at work and I'm not telling you all anything that the guys I work for don't know.  Talking to them about it is NOT EASY for me.  I literally can prepare and prepare (Kevin always helps me so much with this!) and I still always end up crying!  It's ridiculous but I'm being honest.  That tells you how passionate I am about what I do and where I work!  I take it all to heart what I do day in and day out.  

I've been out of school for almost 15 years.  I worked for one other company for a little over a year and the rest of the time, I've been at my same company.  So almost 13 years with them.  That's a long time for someone my age, I think!  I was 24 when I started working there!  I didn't even know Kevin although I did meet him later that year.  Anyway....it's not like I'm starting out in my career anymore.  I'm pretty well established, and loyal.  I traveled for them for 12 years almost every week.  Since I've had Grady, it's gone way down in how often (thank goodness!).  They're truly amazing about my flexibility.  Like AMAZING.  No bones about it!

So, yes, we are paying double day care for two years (this ends in August!) so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We knew it wasn't going to be fun for these two years but that it would still be worth it.  I LIKE working...most of the time.  Especially when I feel appreciated there.  But I'm going to be really honest - I think having a second child really affected my career.  No one at my company that does what I do has had a child in like 18 years and clearly things in the working world have changed since then!  

I don't want to go into much more detail because this is a public blog but does anyone else feel the same way?  I know it'll get better.  I've talked to others in my same field and they say that after their youngest child is in Kindergarten, you kind of ramp back up at work.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still doing all of the things now and working full time, it's just a little not so fun every day right now.  And I hope it gets better.  I love the people I work for and with!


DAY TO DAY STRUGGLES:
1.  Getting out of the door.  It's hard.  And Kevin helps me a lot around the house etc but not really in the morning.  I just don't think guys are programmed for a 'program' in the morning because I know I'm not the only one with full morning duties...keeping it real!  I get both kids dressed, ready, fed and out the door every day.  And I do Mills and myself of course.  Shoot, Molly Anne is easier than Mills right now.  That's another story for another day!  I'm usually hot when I leave haha!  

To make it better.  I do a lot the night before - pack Grady's bag, unload the dishwasher if I can, lay out their outfits, take my own shower and do my hair, have it in my mind what they're having for breakfast, know what I'm wearing and figure out what time I need to leave that day.  In the morning, I get up before everyone and do my hair (usually only brushing it), makeup and brush my teeth.  Then I take care of Mills.  If I have him done before the kids get up, I'm in business!  While he is eating, I get their milks poured and breakfast out and ready.  I also pack the car.  Then I'm ready to get the kids up.  Usually Molly Anne first because she will get herself ready while I get Grady ready.  Then I take him in my closet with me so I can get dressed then the three of us go downstairs so they can eat.  I fix my breakfast to eat in my lap on the way to their school, put their shoes on and do their hair while they're eating.  And out the door we all go.  

It's working right now so I am just going with it.  

2.  Getting dinner on the table.  Kevin really wants to help me with this one so we may have to come to some sort of happy middle ground on this.  I could use the help for sure.  He will pick up dinner for us a time or two a week if it's one of those weeks I don't have anything planned.  

To make it better - meal plan.  Order groceries and drive through to pick them up.  Meal prep on Sundays.  I know all of the things to do but I don't make it happen every single week.  

3.  Being a good wife, employee, mom, friend, daughter, sister, Aunt etc. HA!  Impossible to be perfect in every area right?!

To make it better - I don't know how to be everything to everyone.  Something always has to give.  I guess it's up to us to prioritize these things!  Here are some ways I do these:
Wife - we hang on the weekends and try to always do a date night even if we are hanging on the back porch at home.  I could do better at "serving" him as my Bible study says!  Trying to do little things like filling up his water bottle, taking the trash to the road and goofy tasks like that.  
Employee - sometimes it's hard for me to focus when I care way more about my kids than if a building gets built.  But when I'm working, I'm working.  I will say that!
Mom - I think being involved with your kids activities at school is HIGHLY important.  I've seen it loud and proud and I'm thankful I can be as involved as I am.  

Friend - girlfriend time whether it's at Foxcroft with a different set of friends every week or prioritizing a phone call with a special friend. 
Daughter/Sister/Aunt - family is family, thankfully!  They always understand!  Always thankful for my parent's support and literally have no clue where I'd be without them. 


HOW I MAKE MY LIFE EASIER:
1.  Exercise - it makes my world go round.  It makes me a much nicer person.  It keeps me focused.  It gives me energy.  It makes me sleep well.  

2.  Working from home - I'm not working from home nearly like I used to but I do enjoy the hours I get to work from home.  I can swap a load of laundry or jump on my peloton during lunch.  Productive.

3.  Stay organized - I do things in advance.  I really try not to ever wait until the last minute for anything.  I'm talking gifts for people, things for the children's classrooms, staying on top of laundry, stuff like that.  I have lists for everything. 

4.  Push the easy button - dry cleaners, order pickup at our grocery store, cleaning ladies once a month (I LOVE ROSA'S LADIES with all of my heart!!), yard guys, property management company for one of our more difficult properties, ordering online instead of going to a store at the mall and hello Amazon for all of life's important items.

5.  Letting stuff go - when I had Grady, my Mom told me I was going to have to let some things go and she couldn't have been more right.  Because I'll tell you, I want things done a certain way.  You all probably can tell I'm an OCD engineer ha!  But all of the sudden I literally had to rely on help and things not always being done how I would do them.  And miraculously, we're all still alive, well clothed and taken care of!  Ain't no shame in my mac n cheese and microwave chicken nugget game!

6.   Lunch break productiveness - I rarely go to lunch with co-workers or friends.  I sometimes do but I really like to use that time wisely.  I make personal phone calls while I roam the streets of Charlotte doing errands.  It's when I get things done and done.  

7.  Keep a good calendar - a paper calendar does not work for me.  I only use my Outlook one that's my work and personal combined.  I can't look at two different calendars in a day.  I need easy because I live and breathe by my calendar.  If it isn't on there, I'm not doing it.  I do a lot of reoccurring items to stay overly organized year to year.   


That's all I have for now.  Maybe this will get our friendly chat going!  I know, this isn't for everyone so feel free to skip over.  I'm on the struggle bus every day working and trying to be all I can to everyone.  I think it's a natural thing that us Moms feel!  At the end of the day, we are all doing the best we can do so good job Mama!!

If there's anything else I didn't address, let me know!  I like chatting about these things!  My email address is anniesadventures16 at gmail dot com. 

6 comments:

Amanda said...

I 100% feel you. I only have one child currently and work full time, and not sure how I could handle another with the type of work that I do. A mentor once told me, "You can have it all...just not at the same time", and that has really stuck with me. I'm in a season of life where my one child (and wanting to have another) is my priority and work takes a back seat. My boss is on board and understands, so I have to then give myself grace. It's hard, because I'm a perfectionist as well, and want to excel in every area of my life. But when it comes down to it, my mental health and well-being is so important because it affects my interactions with my family. Lean on your husband and girl tribe, and give yourself some grace!

Melissa Liston said...

I feel you!!! One thing that has helped me tremendously with mornings (where I really struggle as well) is I lay my daughters clothes out for the week or 10 days in separate colorful "buckets" (the square ones normal people use for toys on the wooden like rack). I look at the weather for the week and at my calendar to see if there is any certain thing she has to wear for school that week on Sunday and go ahead and take care of that. I wake her up in the morning and she knows by color and label which "bucket" she is in. Her whole outfit...socks, hair-bow and shoes go in there. Also, making breakfast, smoothies, or overnight oats the night before for the next couple of days.Same thing for my lunch if I take it...I try to do the night before. I think the biggest thing I struggle with is the letting things go. I too like things done a certain way so I end up thinking "Oh I will just do it" and after a while that adds up to be very overwhelming. Thanks for this post!! I have followed you for quite sometime, just never commented. I really enjoy your blog!!

Jennifer said...

Honestly, kindergarten doesn't make things a lot easier. I now have to deal with days off that were never days off before, school vacation weeks and half days. Yes, I'm not paying a daycare bill anymore but I've now traded it off with an after school care bill. It's about a quarter of daycare but still. In daycare I paid to keep her there until 5:30. School is out at 3:30 now and she's in after school care until 5:30.

MaggieMcCurdy said...

Girl you are SPEAKING to me!! I am a full time working Mom, we have one daughter (5) and I am currently pregnant with our second. I work in finance which isn't always the best industry for work/life balance but my company is great. That being said, I do feel like it is a constant juggle and balance of family, school, and work commitments.

I know it is only going to get harder this summer with 2, but reading posts like this and the subsequent comments gives me confidence that we'll get through this season! Sometimes I can feel like the only working Mom with young kids I know, so it is a really comfort to know there are others out there :).

Amelie Verma said...

I have three boys (5,2,and 1), and the ONLY way I have been able to keep my career (banking) is with an au pair. Day care didn't offer us the flexibility we needed, and it felt like someone was constantly sick. It was weird to get used to the idea of someone living with us full-time, but it is great. She is never late for work, and she can help with the kid-related chores (like laundry and food in a way day-care never could). Once we had two it was also the more economical choice. My husband travels a lot for work, and I like having another adult with me in the house. I highly encourage you to check it out.

emily said...

Agreed-working mom of 4 under 5 here with a very demanding job. Only way to make it work is with full time help in the house. It is expensive especially paying for preschool as well but makes such a difference in quality of life-no need to miss for sick days, random holidays etc.

She handles all laundry and grocery shopping as well. Takes a ton off my plate so my time at home is focused on the kids. Highly recommend.