Mom Versus Career

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

Americans NEED Vacation – Darren Hardy says so. August 25, 2011

Filed under: Career,Life — MomVersusCareer @ 4:45 pm
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A friend of mine who actually reads my blog, not my mom (no offense, Mom :)), sent this link to me today. It relates to my post about how long it takes to get to Friday.

I have another post in mind that is similarly related. 🙂


Your Competitive Advantage: Rest


Being the ‘Loud and Obnoxious’ Person and Not Knowing It August 24, 2011

So, I think I’m ‘that girl.’ The one who is loud and obnoxious. I noticed this during a meeting yesterday. I laughed a lot and loudly. My voice raised in volume while I was telling a story. I over-exaggerated with my inflection.

The weird thing is that I don’t do that all the time. It’s usually only when I feel comfortable with certain groups of people. I guess that’s good, but I wonder how those groups of people view me when I am loud and obnoxious?

I’ve never asked anyone. I just had this mini-revelation yesterday, so I haven’t had a chance to take a survey. Up to this point, it’s not something I’ve been able to control. It comes out naturally in certain settings. Maybe I should be thankful that I feel so comfortable with certain people. However, I wonder if sometimes I go too far.

Thankfully, I had a receptive audience yesterday, so I don’t think I offended anyone. 🙂

Do you ever get the sneaky suspicion that you’re the loud, obnoxious person in the room? Are you ok with that, or do you wish you could control it more?


345,600 Seconds August 22, 2011

Filed under: Career — MomVersusCareer @ 12:41 pm
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Have you ever noticed how long it takes for Friday to finally arrive? It takes four days to get from Monday to Friday. Broken down incrementally, that’s 96 hours or 5,760 minutes or 345,600 seconds.

At my current place of employment, there is a specific conversation that occurs every Friday morning without fail. It goes something like this:

Employee #1 enters elevator, smiles and says: “It’s finally Friday!”

Employee #2: “No kidding!”

Employee #1: “It’s been a really long week. I can’t wait to get home and _____ (fill in the blank).”

Employee #2: “Yeah, Monday just seemed to drag, didn’t it?”

Employee #1: “I know what you mean. Only eight more hours and we’re free!

As the elevator reaches its destination, Employee #2 says: “Thank goodness! Have a good weekend!”

This conversation has many variations, but you get the point. It fascinates me because without fail, it has always and will always take exactly four days or 96 hours or 5,760 minutes or 345,600 seconds to get from Monday to Friday. Unless it’s a leap year, then I think we have some justification in saying it’s been a “long week.”

Why do we think the week is longer than it actually is? Why do we eagerly anticipate Friday’s arrival at the end of the week?

Wouldn’t it be great if instead of waiting impatiently to punch the time clock at 5 p.m. on Fridays, we were disappointed to leave? What would that company look like? What kind of jobs would it offer? What kind of people would work there?

I’ll have to ponder that myself, but if I ever work at a company where I’m actually disappointed to leave at 5 p.m. on a Friday, I’ll stay there until I retire!


Brief Hiatus August 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — MomVersusCareer @ 8:20 am

Wow, what a week so far. There are so many thoughts tumbling around in my brain right now. I’ve had a few great ideas for posts, but I haven’t been able to flesh them out yet.

My parents visited last weekend and we had a great time with them. Work has been hectic, as usual. Lia got punched in the eye. It’s been an eventful, exhausting week and it’s only Thursday.

I apologize for not posting anything new in a week. I’m feeling kind of lost right now, so I’ve decided to take a brief hiatus to re-energize myself.

Look for a new post on Monday, Aug. 19.

Until then. 🙂


Turning the Page August 11, 2011

Filed under: Attentive Wife,Life,Mommy Dearest — MomVersusCareer @ 10:16 am
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If you’re in a long-distance relationship, I suggest deciding where you’re going to live before you get married. It’s a minor detail.

Two days after Jason and I got married, we moved to Minnesota. It was basically a race to see who got a job first. Jason won, so we moved to St. Cloud, MN. Had I found a job in Indiana first, we would likely be living there.

I don’t regret moving away from my family and my hometown, but adjusting to married life and a new city where we knew only Jason’s brother was difficult for me. Thankfully, we found a church and fostered some great friendships while we lived in St. Cloud. After our daughter Lia was born, I began to feel homesick. I wanted so badly for my family to spend time with her, but the distance made that difficult. Indiana may be only a few states away, but it’s a long drive.

Before Lia’s first birthday, she had pneumonia three times and was hospitalized twice. We had no family nearby to help us during that time, so we decided to move closer to Jason’s family in northwestern Minnesota; Thief River Falls to be exact.

I was less than thrilled about this move, but at the time it seemed like the most logical choice. We needed help and we needed family.

Fast forward four years and nine months to today. To my surprise, our family has flourished here. Jason and I have great jobs. He’s been able to go back to school to pursue his dream. Lia is too smart for her own good and extremely funny and caring. She has had the benefit of living near at least one set of grandparents and a large extended family for most of her life.

It’s great, but…

I’m still homesick. It’s become increasingly difficult to visit my family in Indiana and return to Minnesota without getting misty-eyed during our goodbyes. My parents are coming to visit this weekend. I can’t wait to see them again, but I wish we were going to Indiana with them when they leave.

I’m not sure exactly what I’m homesick for. I like my hometown, but I don’t feel a pull to move back there because of it. I would be okay moving anywhere as long as my family was within an acceptable driving distance.

Maybe I’m not really homesick. Maybe I’m searching for something to fill a void, to meet a need I don’t yet understand.

I’m not sure what I’m searching for or what’s missing from my life, if anything.

I don’t really have a closing for this post. It’s like I just finished a riveting chapter in a book and I’m about to turn the page but have no idea what will happen in the next chapter.

Guess I’ll have to turn the page to find out.


Eye of the Tiger August 10, 2011

Filed under: Life,Paperback Writer — MomVersusCareer @ 7:30 am
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My college professor, Dr. Hensley, is partially responsible for my love affair with literature and writing. (My grandmother contributed to my passion for writing, too. :)) Many students were introduced to his strict teaching style through his freshman English course. Dr. Hensley expected his students to be on time to a class that started at 7:45 a.m. three days a week. (I’m not sure why it was harder in college than it was in high school to get up for an early class. Maybe it’s because mom wasn’t there to make sure I got up in time. :))

He expected his students to try their best and never settled for less. If you happened to love English and literature, the class was relatively easy. If you paid attention in class and took good notes, you were likely to do well. The ultimate goal was to get what he called the ‘Eye of the Tiger’ or ‘EOTT.’

To achieve the EOTT, you had to receive three As in a row on consecutive tests. The first time a student achieved EOTT status, my professor presented that student with a cassette tape – yes, cassette tape – of Eye of the Tiger by Survivor, a small tiger that plays Eye of the Tiger when you press its belly, and ‘EOTT’ across the top of the third test. He chose Eye of the Tiger because of its message to try your best, to keep fighting, to ‘rise up to the challenge of your rival.’

This song has remained a theme song for me since I received my first EOTT from Dr. Hensley. This song is one of many on my EOTT Playlist, which includes songs that inspire and motivate me to chase my dreams, to fight mediocrity, to pursue excellence.

Below is my current EOTT Playlist. It’s a work in progress, so feel free to make suggestions! Do you have a theme song? What is it? What songs are on your inspirational/motivational playlist?

Erica’s EOTT Playlist
Don’t Stop Believing – Journey

Dog Days are Over – Florence & The Machine

Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield

Paperback Writer – The Beatles

Beautiful Day – U2

Your Love Lifted Me Higher – Audio Adrenaline

Let My Love Open the Door – Audio Adrenaline

Free Ride – Audio Adrenaline

God Will Lift Up Your Head – Jars of Clay

Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves

It’s My Life – Bon Jovi

Dare You to Move – Switchfoot

Taking Chances – Celine Dion

Don’t Stop – Fleetwood Mac

Raise Your Glass – Pink

Firework – Katy Perry

Light Up the World – Glee


Messed Up Mondays August 9, 2011

Filed under: Life — MomVersusCareer @ 8:49 am
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Apparently, I should no longer eat frozen pizza. This was the logical conclusion I came to after a pizza pan fell on my head Monday morning.

Maybe that conclusion isn’t as logical as I initially thought it was, but my head hurt at the time. I shouldn’t be held responsible for my thought process after being hit in the head by a vengeful pizza pan.

So, yeah. Monday morning kind of sucked for me. It’s not like that every Monday morning, but I think Mondays are messed up for four reasons:

1. Mondays are Manic
The Bangles got it right with their single, Manic Monday. Mondays are “the days when you wish your bed was already made” and that you were still sleeping in that bed.

2. Monday Work Greetings
Typically, on Monday mornings the first comment I hear is “Is it Friday, yet?” Why are we in such a rush to get through Monday, the first day of the work week? (See Reason 3)

3. The word ‘Monday’ literally means ‘moon day.’
If there is any truth to the theory that the phases of the moon can cause people to act differently or experience odd things during different phases, why would anyone willingly name a day ‘moon day?’ I want my Mondays to be free of odd occurrences, like falling pizza pans.

4. It’s the first day back to work after two days of not working. Enough said.

Here are a few suggestions to help you get through your Mondays:

1. Pretend there are two Tuesdays in each week.
It’s pretty simple. By pretending there are two Tuesdays in each week, you omit the Monday Blues, the curse of the ‘moon day,’ and have eliminated the stigma of Monday being the first day back to work after the weekend.

2. Delete ‘Manic Monday’ from your iTunes library.
If Monday no longer exists in your world, Manic Monday no longer exists. That was easy.

3. Plan extra-fun activities on the first Tuesday of each week, since there are now two Tuesdays, so you have something to look forward to.
Tuesdays should be fun! Now that you have two Tuesdays each week, it’s double the fun!

I think I may be on to something. This three-step program is copyrighted and pending patenting. 😀


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