Between work, raising a family, after-school practices and everything else, lets face it, their isn’t a lot of time leftover for mom. I often feel like I am racing against time and their aren’t enough hours left in the day. Have you ever felt the mom guilt for taking “you” time on the evenings or weekends to go get that massage? How about go to the gym on a semi regular basis? Heck, even locking the door while using the restroom?! I have…and it sucks.
Each year my corporate career has presented new challenges and this year I surpassed a decade milestone with the company. I am also a mother to three beautiful girls, the oldest which will be eight this year! (Where has the time gone?) Balancing a career outside the home has only increased in difficulty with each promotion and addition to our family. I often hear from others questions like, “How do you do it?” or “Do you feel like you are missing out?” I usually laugh it off and shrug my shoulders in agreement. The truth is some days I don’t know how I do it and some days I do have to miss out. Yet as I reflect on the past several years as a working woman, I have found several ways being a working mom has made me a better parent at home.
I started making every moment count
We all have the same number of hours in a day. When you share them with a career you learn to make the most of every moment together. For us, it is making the occasional Mickey Mouse pancakes together in the mornings, fun conversations and playlists on the way to school and keeping our evening routine of books and songs. It becomes all about the little moments together and making every moment count in the daily routines.
I applied management skills at home
It is not surprising that the same communication and management skills I work at perfecting during the day have helped me mold young hearts and minds at home as well. We are a team; we work together as a team. The two most important skill sets are being a good listener and communicating regularly.
It has forced me to master organization and planning
In my career, I am constantly looking for ways to streamline through organization and planning. It is not uncommon for us to schedule events month and often quarters ahead in the workplace. At home, we strive to apply the same principles. We utilize calendars for everything from meal planning, vacations, doctors’ appointments and everything in between. Becoming organized has allowed me to focus on being present at the tasks at hand and give my attention where it is needed most.
It sets the tone for ambition and work ethic
As a mother with a career, I am modeling a strong work ethic for my girls. I hope that I am sending the message daily that they can have, do and be anything with ambition, hard work, and dedication.
It allows me to provide for their future
I feel blessed that we are able to provide opportunities for them now that we might not be able to otherwise without my contribution to the household. It is also reassuring to know with two incomes, we are able to help save for their future education costs or needs.
Being a mother can be a rewarding and yet thankless full-time job. Balancing motherhood with a career inside or outside of the home takes perseverance and fortitude. Ultimately the best way to be a better mom is to continually evaluate the needs of your family and always make decisions, career or otherwise, that have their best interest in mind.
It was the day before Thanksgiving and I needed a few more items for my pies, side dishes, and a gravy boat. (I know, how have I managed all these years without a gravy boat!) I had all three kids with me in tow as my husband was at work. Rather than go to the local store I chose to go all the way to Target as I knew they would have the carts that would haul and “contain” all three children.
The alarm sounds at 5 am. The first order of business is trying to get out of bed without waking the sleeping toddler snoring at your side. If you are able to maneuver out of bed, carefully removing the foot from over your head while keeping her asleep, the morning has high hopes of going smoothly. If the beast awakens you just move into survival mode and hope to make it through the morning with minimal meltdowns. Most mornings begin with a few minutes stretches or exercise, breakfast preparations, smoothie making, lunches (if you failed to make them the night before) and most importantly coffee! DON’T FORGET THE COFFEE!
We are all guilty of the comparison that leaves us always feeling unsatisfied and wanting more. The message that we should look, feel, act and be different than we are today is in every marketing campaign by every major retailer. It is this consistent message that tomorrow we will be better if we just do that one other thing.