Mom Versus Career

Finding the balance between being a competent decision-maker, a desirable spouse, and a kick-ass mom.

Selective Memory July 25, 2011

Filed under: Career — MomVersusCareer @ 11:43 am

During the past several months, I’ve noticed I have a tendency to completely forget about work when I am not there. Do I have a selective memory? Do the other things in my life simply distract me enough to not think about work at all? I don’t know. All I know is from quittin’ time Friday afternoon until my alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. Monday morning, my job rarely enters my mind, if ever.

There are benefits to having a selective memory when it comes to my job. I’m more relaxed on the weekends. I enjoy spending time with my friends and family more. My right eye doesn’t twitch. It’s the little things that count, right? 😉

However, there is also one distinct disadvantage to having a selective memory: forgetting. By Monday morning, I’ve become so enmeshed in my life outside work that I forget what is on my ‘To Do’ list for Monday. I forget what meetings I have and what to prepare. I forget about e-mails to which I need to reply. All of this forgetting usually leads to slight confusion on Monday mornings. Fingers crossed I never have a meeting at 8 a.m. on a Monday morning!

I attribute most of my selective memory to the conscious choice I made not to check my work e-mail while I’m at home. The exception to that rule being if I’m working from home, which doesn’t happen often. This definitely helps me stay focused on my family and home life, but even that can be stressful. (Yes, cleaning/housework/yard work/etc. can wait when it comes to spending time with my family, but how long can those things be put off? I feel like the time I spend at home is most often devoted to cleaning, laundry, and yard work rather than spending time with my family. I digress.)

I believe part of my selective memory is a coping mechanism I have subconsciously implemented to protect me from, well, myself. If I think about work 24/7, I’ll lose my mind! I don’t want to do that. I’d like to keep my sanity intact and in its proper place. If having a selective memory, or turning my work brain ‘off,’ helps me keep my sanity, you bet I’m going to do that.

Maybe having a selective memory, or an ‘on/off’ switch, isn’t a bad thing. It allows me to focus on what’s important at work and at home. For me, the hardest part seems to be turning that switch back to the ‘on’ position on Monday mornings. Too bad it can’t be a dimmer switch. Ha!

P.S. Right in the middle of writing this post I got an update in my RSS feed for Dr. Meg Meeker’s blog that goes right along with my post today. Check it out and see if you can accept her challenge: Balancing Work & Life.

Advertisements
 

“Quit Perfect.” July 22, 2011

Filed under: Career — MomVersusCareer @ 8:00 am

Yes, I meant to write ‘Quit’ in the title, in case you’re wondering. It’s a quote from Jon Acuff‘s new book, Quitter.

This quote, this two-word sentence, nearly gave me whiplash of the brain when I read it.

Though it’s hard for me to accept, I don’t have to be perfect…for me, for my family, for anyone. I think I lost 50 pounds from my shoulders when I realized this. If I think I have to be perfect before I pursue my dream of writing, I’ll never have anything published.

Backstory:

Sometime last year, I started reading the Stuff Christians Like blog, written by Jon Acuff. I vaguely remember being introduced to Acuff’s satirical blog while reading an article on Dave Ramsey’s website.

Late in 2010, Acuff asked his blog readers to send him “I’m a ___, but I want to be a ___” statements for a book he was writing. I responded stating that I want to be a writer. No surprise there. Hundreds of other people responded as well because so many of us feel ‘stuck’ in our day jobs while we dream of doing something else, something we love.

Fast forward to May 10, 2011: the official release date of Quitter, the book Acuff had been writing. All the promos for the book seemed as if they were tailored for me, someone who was unhappy with her day job and longing to pursue something else.

In June, Acuff announced the Quitter conference scheduled for July 30 in Nashville, TN. I thought about attending, but I didn’t think it would fit in our budget.

So, I bought the book and read it in a few days. It revealed some truths I needed, but didn’t want, to acknowledge while suggesting possibilities I had not previously considered. For instance, despite the title, Acuff does not advise his readers to quit their jobs right away. (Say what?!?!) Instead he suggests that your job is a stepping stone and plays an important role in the path to your dream job. Logical, right? Those Dave Ramsey people get on my nerves sometimes with all their Baby Steps and planning ahead. I’m kidding, of course. 🙂

Anyway, after discussing the book with my good friend Kiki (check out her awesome blog: www.otherhanddesigns.com), we have decided to attend the Quitter conference together. So, one week from today, Kiki and I will be in Nashville, talking to Jon Acuff and figuring out how to pursue our dreams. (Wish us luck!)

I know I’ll never be perfect. Being a perfectionist, the hardest part is acknowledging that I don’t have to be perfect. That doesn’t mean I can’t pursue excellence. 🙂

 

Spreading Manure (Not Literally…Well, Kind of) July 20, 2011

Filed under: Attentive Wife,Mommy Dearest — MomVersusCareer @ 4:32 pm

Tonight, Lia and I will be representing the local hardware store/implement dealership in our annual county parade. Our mode of transportation? A brand-new, shiny manure spreader. My life is now complete.

Riding around in a manure spreader is not how I spend most of my evenings, nor would it be on my ‘bucket list‘ if I had one. So, why did I agree to ride in a brand-new, shiny manure spreader? First, my husband, Jason, assured me there has never been any manure in this particular spreader…yet. Secondly and most importantly, quality time with Lia and Jason, who has been working day and night (literally) at his full-time job and at his internship at the local sheriff’s department for the past few weeks. We haven’t seen him much and his absence is taking its toll on me and Lia. It’s temporary, but it seems like it will last much longer than a few weeks.

So, tonight we shall ride in a manure spreader, but we will do it together, as a family. Hopefully without spreading any manure. It will be memorable if nothing else. Ha!

 

“There’s gotta be somethin’ more” July 19, 2011

Filed under: Career — MomVersusCareer @ 8:14 am

On Monday I made a decision to continue on my current path as a professional/mom/wife (PMW), listed in no particular order since each is as important as the other.

While this may not seem like a life-changing decision, it definitely sets a specific course for my life. My other options were not conducive to pursuing a writing career or feeding my family, something I try to do now and then.

However, that does not mean the choice I made comes without sacrifices. I still have a high-stress job. I am still exhausted at the end of the work day. I will still travel now and then. I still feel guilty for not being a better mom and wife.

You’re probably wondering how maintaining my current path is the best option. Quite frankly, it was the lesser of two evils. I know this path. I’m familiar with it, so I know I can navigate it effectively. The difference is that there are changes I can make that will allow me to be a more effective leader, a less-stressed mom, and a more attentive wife. Once I figure out what changes to make, I hope my life will change for the better. (Something More by Sugarland)

While choosing to stay on this path was a difficult, emotional decision, I believe it is a turning point that will help me define who I am.

Have you had to make a similar decision? What did you do?

 

Fork in the Road July 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — MomVersusCareer @ 6:03 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Being a mom and a wife with a demanding career in communications requires discipline, patience, and a sense of humor. That’s the easy part. The hard part is balancing the demands of each of the roles I currently fill while keeping my sanity and my figure, or what’s left of both.

Recently, I arrived at a fork in the road in regard to balancing these roles. My job is stressful and demands much of my attention and the use of most of my brain cells. Though I have only one child, I often feel regret for not being a stay-at-home mom. I am usually so drained by the end of the work day that I often choose watching TV over going outside, playing with Barbie dolls, or reading to my daughter, Lia. I feel like I’m cheating Lia out of the mom she deserves because I work a high-stress job. Add to that the stress of my husband working full-time and going to school full-time and you have the perfect combination of stress, guilt, frustration, and envy of my husband’s continuing education. Don’t get me wrong. I am fully supportive of my husband’s decision to pursue a degree, but I do envy the opportunity.

To add to the chaos, I am also finally starting to pursue my dream of being a writer. Why now? I’ve put it off long enough. This blog is the first step in pursuing my dream. It will also serve as a means of reflection and therapy to help me find balance in my daily life as a mom, a wife and a career woman. I am certain I’m not the only woman struggling with being the best she can be in all areas of her life. My only hope for this blog is to gain some clarity in my own life. If my journey helps others, then I’ll know I’ve done something right.

 

 
%d bloggers like this: