I have so much to share this week!! Most of it revolves around Caroline, her first birthday and looking back at her first year. All of that is to come! But for now, let’s meet our working mama of the week, Heather.
Children: Evi – 3 years
Occupation: Marketing and Communications
Full Time or Part Time: Full Time
Work Location: I commute to an office
Show Some Love!
How do you find time for everything you need to do? What falls off your radar?
I always feel like I’m juggling everything I want/need to do. To get my workouts in, I get up at 4:30 every morning. I go to the gym and am home again by 6 to get myself and my daughter/husband out the door on time. It’s hectic sometimes, but it only took two weeks or so to get used to it. Now I wake up before my alarm most mornings.
I also do a lot of planning ahead. I pack lunches and prep coffee at night, set aside my work outfits in advance, and sleep in my gym clothes.
No matter what, though, there still aren’t enough hours in the day. I end up only doing the dishes once the sink is full, and I’ve fallen into easy, convenience dinners instead of the inventive cooking I was doing when I stayed home with my daughter. We still eat healthy meals, but we do a lot more frozen/packaged than I would ideally like.
Describe your childcare arrangement.
My daughter goes to a full time daycare that’s about two minutes from my husband’s office. We drop her off on our way to work every morning.
What does the word balance mean to you?
Balance, for me, is about feeling like I can enjoy life. It’s about getting in the workouts because they give me more energy, but it’s also about enjoying ice cream with my daughter on the weekend because we love it. It’s about getting enough sleep, working with focus so that I don’t take work home, and trying to live in the moment. I’m not great at in the moment living… I tend to always be thinking ahead, but I’m working on it because I think it makes a big difference in feeling balanced when I can really be IN each moment
What is your best time saving tip?
Like I mentioned, my best time saving tip is nighttime prep. I have it set up so that I roll out of bed already dressed for the gym, push a button on the coffee maker when I come back home, and come upstairs to an already chosen work outfit. Lunches are in the fridge and ready to be grabbed, and it makes the process of getting out the door much faster.
What is your favorite go to meal to feed your family during the week?
During the week we do a lot of quesadillas. They’re easy to customize with veggies, more/less cheese, spices, guacamole, black beans… and each person gets just what they want. Plus, they take almost no time to make, so I don’t feel like my whole evening goes to cooking.
Would you like to take a nap?
I’m napping right now. It’s called multitasking.
What are your top two pros and cons of being a working mom?Pros:
- we’re in a MUCH better financial situation, which means being able to do more in terms of traveling and giving our daughter cool experiences, plus saving for college.
- I get time away. I ADORE my daughter, but I stayed home with her until 18 months and we were both ready for a change. I couldn’t give her everything she needed at that point, and now that she’s in school all day, we both come home ready to hang out and enjoy family time.
- thanks to a long commute, I don’t get the hours with her that I’d like to. We get home at 6 and she goes to bed at 8, so it means really focusing on making that quality time even though everyone is worn out from a long day.
- with fewer hours at home, it’s really tough to make the healthy meals I want and not rely on convenience foods.
Did you pump at work? If so, what was your experience?
I stayed home through the nursing time, so I was lucky to not have to juggle pumping while being away.
Do you have any advice for a new mom who is about to go back to work?
It’s going to be tough. You’re going to worry and have trouble focusing, and have an uncontrollable urge to check in on your kids every hour. So do. Do what it takes to feel comfortable. For the first few weeks I would randomly call or drop in on my daughter’s daycare until I felt more comfortable. After that, I found myself able to focus on work and even start to enjoy it, which made things much easier. Also, don’t be afraid to rely on your partner. Even if you both work full time, you both need to take on an equal load at home with housework and the kids. It’s just too much to try and be a working mommy and doing all of the housework and child rearing. Thankfully, my husband is great with that one.
Thank you, Heather, for taking the time to participate in my Working Mamas series! Don’t forget to check out Heather’s blog and show her some love!