Exhibit A: I almost have 20 people that read my drivel.
Exhibit B: I have made blogger friends, and
Exhibit C: I am participating in a link up with those said blogger friends.
Wha Wha!?! Little Miss Antisocial I'll-be-at-the-bar is linking up. Creating COMMUNITY, people. This calls for us to rejoice....with greasy hamburgers, milkshakes and onion rings!
I read a lot of blogs about folks with families, mostly written by these amazing mothers. They celebrate joys, challenges, general child goofiness, experiments in the kitchen, wardrobe, life, love, and the faith involved in parenting, and I appreciate them all.
However, I feel a bit out of touch as most of these blogs are penned by stay-at-home moms. We do share one thing in common--we all love our families deeply and no one parenting style (working or stay-at-home) is of of any higher ground than the other. It is simply one or the other in my opinion.
One of my favorite family blogs, Martin Family Moments, is maintained by a working mom with five beautiful children. She is rounding up the working mom to share their experiences. My thoughts below are how I "do it all." It is simply L.I.V.I.N. Yes, I just quoted Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused. Deal.
1) What do you do for work and why do you work?
I am a theatre professor at a large community college. Our campus student body is 20, 000. I am also a company member of an improv theatre.
2) Did your mother work?
Yes, she did. She has worked her entire life in the banking industry. She took off for five years when my youngest brother was born as my dad's work is a rather lucrative field. Early in their marriage she had to work for money. She does now because she wants to.
3) Describe a typical work day.
My husband and I get up at 5:30am, we drink coffee and read/talk/none of your business in bed until about 6. The girls usually wake up of their own accord by 6:15-6:30am. We eat some breakfast, catch the morning traffic, dress and I am out the door by 7:25am. Iris's Montessori academy is on the way to work. She is dropped off by 7:45am, and I make it to work by 8:00am. My husband takes Ramona to her small nursery school at a Presbyterian church and goes to work by 8:45am. I teach from 9:00am--12:00pm or 2:00pm each day, grade, lesson develop, plan community outreach initiatives we have in our department, lunch in my office, exercise if I have time and am out the door by 3pm to pick up Iris. Provided it is not the fall and I am NOT in production for a show at the college, we are home by 4pm. Snacks and homework until 5pm. I am usually in the garden or do some light picking up during this time. Dinner between 5:30pm and 6pm. I love to cook, and I do so about six nights a week. I crock pot on days I have improv rehearsal (like tonight). We eat until about 6:45pm. We play until 7:15pm or watch TV. Bath and bed for beh behs by 8pm. The husband and I are out by anywhere between 9pm--10:30pm. We hang out together at night, sometimes over a drink.
4) What's the best part about having a job?
I genuinely love to teach. I had great teachers growing up, and I always wanted to excite people, especially not "theatre kids" about live performance and its impact on our society throughout time. Plus, I love the fact I teach what I love, and not do some other Plan B job of which I have the skills but zero joy.
5) What's your least favorite part?
I hate to grade. Yuck Yuck Yuck. I also don't like to deal with disrespectful students (a rarity). I hate the bureaucratic stuff of teaching at times. When I have a show I am directing, I love the growth of my students but dislike the 6 week sacrifice it is on my family time.
6) What would make your life easier?
I wish we lived closer to family. My husband's brother and his family are two hours away, but we only see them once a month or so. I grew up where my family was about 20 minutes to an hour away, and I saw them constantly. I also work because my husband is finishing up his PhD and this is my way of showing my love and support for this massive undertaking.
7) How do your children handle their mom's career?
Iris loves school and Ramona loves her nursery school teacher. She never EVER cries when we drop her off. I spend a lot of time hanging out and playing with my kids. My job is very fun, so they love coming to work with me on occasion and seeing what I do.
8) Do you feel supported in what you do?
Yes yes yes! My husband and I had it rough early in our marriage--very poor, very young and very not prepared for being grown ups. We have weathered many tough times, and we are better for it. Whenever things get hairy in life, I always tell him, "I would never want to go through this joy/heartache/bulls***/whimsy with anyone else on the planet but you." My work also is very supportive of parents. They always have my back and know family is first for me.
9) What are your future goals when it comes to work/motherhood?
I used to believe I would shrivel up and die of boredom if I was a stay-at-home mom. Honestly, I am a smart enough girl with plenty of things to do to occupy my time. Work isn't all of my existence. My husband will soon be on the job market. We MAY move somewhere where I will not have a job. At first, this really scared me. HOW WILL I NOT WORK!?! I am ready for whatever life throws at me, even if that is at home with a killer veggie garden, more blogging and working on other artistic projects.
10) What are some tips that help you balance it all?
--Accept a certain level of imperfection in your life. So what if the toys are all over the floor and the dishes are not washed yet. Is anyone dead? Is everyone fed? Is everyone feel loved and safe? Boom.
--Ask for help. It is okay.
--Say "no" a lot. I am very choosy with what will take me away from my home. I don't need to be involved in 20 theatre projects to prove anything. I don't need to teach that extra class if I can live without the money. I would rather have thousands of memories of Ramona dancing like Frankenstein (she totally does...videos to come!) and Iris performing her experimental theatre pieces than have all this money for crap I don't need.
--Whiskey. I'll let you decide if I jest. ;)
--If you want to have a good life, you got to be organized on the basic levels. I organize hand-me-down clothes, I donate stuff I don't need, and I map out what meals I plan to make each week. I do certain tasks necessary to the house the same day each week. I do this so I am not drowning in clutter and feel in over my head, disorganized, and treading water. Honestly, a little structure makes for a great deal of freedom down the line.
--Have an outlet. If you don't leave your kids every once in awhile to work out, go to the movies, have a date, write a blog, paint with your butt, whatever....you will feel like you are running on empty. My outlet is improv acting. I like it, I feel generally good at it, it is very creative and silly and fun, and it doesn't require a lot of time away each month from home. Total of maybe four hours a month. Something you do that is only yours gives you time to let go.
--Good music playing always. Always.