Since becoming a tradeswoman I've faced the age-old balancing act you're all familiar with. The circus-like rotation of work, home, family, self-care, success, parenthood, school, and so many other responsibilities women are loaded with every day.
There's a quote I once read that rings so true today. "Women are expected to work like they have no children, and raise children like they have no work".
This sentiment is not only mind-blowingly true, but painful in every sense of the word. As many of you already know from my bio and/or video, I am a 32-year-old mother of 5. I am a foster parent with 3 of my own, and our 5 babies now range in age from 7 to 19 with 3 teenagers in between.
I know what you're thinking, "Girl, your hands were already full", and you're right. Within my time of child-rearing (like most moms) I have held many titles including but not limited to daycare owner, waitress, plant caretaker, garage manager, tutor, mentor to other foster parents, dance teacher, cashier, and more.
All along wishing I could find my niche, the one title that felt like "me", but at the risk of working solely to pay for childcare, that one thing always kept the back burner warm, and forgotten.
Now that my kids are grown (enough to care for their younger sister and be trusted) and I've finally found my career I find myself torn most days between being there for and with my children, and being a diligent and focused employee. Some days, it works beautifully, others not so much and I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.
All of these years of performing the greatest career on Earth (motherhood) have been met with wishy-washy advice, from working moms, stay at home moms, PTA moms, and '90s moms alike who were mostly in an unspoken competition with each other, but all of them faced the same problem which has caused me to rethink the above-mentioned quotation.
We can't raise children as if we don't work because working is raising them. We can't work as if we aren't raising children because our children exist, they matter, they are the future.
The best advice I can give you, should anyone want the opinion of a mom who second-guesses herself just as often... is this, be upfront with your employer.
Whatever amount of hours you are able to work say that. If your employer hires you under the guise that you can work 50 hours a week, but your daycare center is only open 40 there will be problems, conflict, and constant anxiety that can take a toll on your mind and body not to mention the future reference from that company and your employment... kids are a call out waiting to happen, BE PREPARED.
At the beginning of each week, I reach out to my few loyal friends/ family members to find out who is available in case of a scheduling conflict or emergency. Not one person but 3, because working moms need backups. Give as much notice as possible for important days you need off.
Never spring a needed day off on your employer last minute, situations like that bring back that animosity and anxiety I'm always preaching about avoiding at all cost. Your kid has a dance recital in May and you need the afternoon off? Tell your employer immediately.
Use your backups for when things spring up that aren't able to be planned, write down every event and appointment the second you know about it, refer to your calendar daily for changes and schedule those family members and friends to be on call should anything unforeseen arise.
This extra planning will save you from so many heads, and heartaches along the way. Come to my monthly webinars for more trial and error findings (you can sign up here) and check back for more blogs on the subject. I'm here to answer the hard questions.
Most of all, take care of each other. Set up a network of moms, either at your workplace, daycare, or school who all may need a hand once in a while and get yourself and each other on that backup list ladies.
Straighten each other's crowns, allow each other to vent, schedule that girl's night after a long month of balancing. We're all in this together<3
BE KIND HVAChicks- That's what sets us apart**