Mom Versus Career

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

Family First September 20, 2011

About two weeks ago, I posted this on my Facebook/Twitter accounts:

“Never second-guess yourself when it comes to making your family your first priority.”

I decided to literally and figuratively take a step back. I gave up my title in favor of putting my family first and doing more of what I enjoy doing at work: writing and editing. This was not an easy decision and it was completely contrary to my second post (“There’s Gotta Be Somethin’ More”).

No, it’s not the ideal solution, but it’s the best option given my current situation. Will it be a difficult transition? Likely. Will it cause my peers to view me in a different light? Also, likely. Do I care what they think? Not as much as I care about my family and doing what’s right for us.

For a long time I was struggling with trying to be a Super Mom: the one who can do it all and still has time to make a home-cooked meal every night of the week. Yeah, she doesn’t exist; at least not in my world. I have nothing but complete respect and admiration for those mothers who can do the things I want to do. Please share your secrets with me!

Someone asked me: “Who says you have to pursue your career while your daughter is still young? She’ll be in school for 12 more years. You’ll likely be working for at least another 20 years after she graduates from high school. Plenty of time to pursue your career.”

That may sound like a cop-out to some, but no one had ever presented me with that option. You would think I would have come to that conclusion on my own since my mom did that very thing. But I couldn’t see past my desire to succeed as a career professional, a great mom and an amazing wife.

I don’t need to sacrifice any of those roles, but I need to put them in perspective and assign them appropriate priority. So I did.

This decision did not come easily. I weighed the pros and cons in my life as well as the effect it would have on my team. Overall, I think the solution presented will provide all of us with greater flexibility and a chance to truly work as a team. At least, that is my hope.

A weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I look forward to doing more of what I love and to fostering better relationships with my family and my coworkers. It’s a new day. 🙂

 

Meltdown August 30, 2011

My daughter had a meltdown during her violin lesson last week. She was done. Several days without any naps had finally caught up with her and she had reached her breaking point when her violin lesson seemed too difficult.

I wanted to cry right along with her. I had also reached my breaking point, something that seems to be occurring more often lately.

Lia was able to sleep off her stress. She went to bed as soon as we arrived home from her violin lesson and slept straight through the night. Poor thing. I know what that kind of exhaustion feels like. Thankfully, she woke up the next morning in a great mood.

Sometimes all we need is a little rest, some diversion to take our minds off of the things that cause the most stress in our lives. Rest is what Lia needed. I’m not sure what I need.

Writing tends to be the best form of stress relief for me, but I don’t do it nearly as often as I should. Writing helps me view any situation from different angles and forces me to ask myself, “How would others respond in the same situation?”

I don’t always come up with the right answer. I try to  ignore the answers I don’t like, even when I know they are right. I’m not perfect. There are days when I just want to have a meltdown and cry until I’m too exhausted to cry any more. And that’s ok. I’m allowed to feel that way… for a short while. I can’t allow myself to wallow in it, though. Even though Lia was done that day, she is excited to go to her violin lesson again.

I know my life isn’t perfect. Whose life is? But it won’t be better if I don’t live it and practice it every day.

Sometimes a meltdown is necessary if only to release the mounting stress. Sometimes you just need to drown your sorrows by sleeping the day away, eating a pint of ice cream all by yourself, or writing it out. It’s therapeutic.

Here’s to another stress-relieving ‘therapy’ session. 🙂

 

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

Filed under: Career,Life — MomVersusCareer @ 4:45 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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. 🙂

Enjoy!

Your Competitive Advantage: Rest

 

345,600 Seconds August 22, 2011

Filed under: Career — MomVersusCareer @ 12:41 pm
Tags: , , ,

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!

 

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: