Tag Archives: working mothers

What’s the Best Mantra for a Working Mom?

I’m kind of overwhelmed right now.   Here’s this week: caring for a  6-month-old baby who had surgery a few weeks ago, attending my 5 year old’s Kindergarten orientation activities, managing my 7-year-old’s First Communion and party next week.  Making and taking the kids to their doctor appointments, school activities, leading a Brownie meeting, volunteering in the school library.  That’s personal.  Forget about professional- that’s even more tedious to read about, but add in one of the busiest months of the year for my business coming up.  I’m a bag of cats.

As I was running around today, alternating between various chores (making soup, cleaning up the kitchen, making beds, finding a nursing bra in the laundry, wiping up the Pam residue footprints in the kitchen), a few mantras ran through my head:

From the book I am reading “This Is Not the Story You Think It Is”:

Stop wanting things out of your control.   Yeah, well it is out of my control that my husband is running a road race when we have a bazillion things to do around the house to prepare for a First Communion next week but I am still mad and harboring resentment.

From some author of a cheesy business book from the early 90s that I heard at a conference:

Swallow your biggest frog first.  I can’t tell which frog is bigger, work or family or which work project or family need, so I will just run around ADD-like.

From my neighbor who has four kids and knows how hard it is to take care of your own needs when you have a baby:

Personal hygiene first.   I took a shower, which is a plus, but I still consider hair brushing and makeup part of personal hygiene.   When it came down to my sister in law seeing my messy house (she was coming over to babysit while I went to First Communion rehearsal), it was load the dishwasher vs. concealer and eye makeup. (note to self:  reread Dr. Alice Domar’s book “How to be Happy Without Being Perfect”).

I left a message for my friend about my struggles today and she had the following advice:

Brush your teeth, then swallow the frog.  

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

How DO you get off the treadmill of making money to sustain a lifestyle?

The recent New York Times article about a couple who gave up their cars, moved and changed their lifestyle so they could get off the treadmill of making money to spend money made me think about how my family lives and how some of my friends live.

I have a few girlfriends who work crazy hours and make very good money but hate their jobs.  Some of them long to be with their children when they are young, but feel trapped in their current situation.  Some feel that absolutely have make money to save for private school and college right now.  Most of my friends, like me, live in semi-affluent metro suburban areas.  But let’s face it, we are also working to sustain our lifestyles: our fairly nice cars, pricey kid gear, dinners out, lawn services or cleaning lady (or both).   Ironically, some of these line items are needed because we are too busy working to handle them ourselves.

Suze Orman would tell us to sell our homes and move somewhere cheaper, to skip Starbucks, to send our kids to public school.   She’s right, but who wants to uproot your family and leave a neighborhood and a community that you are established in (especially one with good public schools)?

I work part time, from home, with a flexible schedule and love what I do. It’s not all easy- it can be stressful to work for myself, especially when I don’t have anyone paying for my upcoming maternity leave.   Our house carries a hefty mortgage and I do need to work to help support our family.   With the much- wanted new baby coming, I want to spend as much time with him/her as I can.

Which brings me back to the idea of the treadmill.  Spending time with our children when they are little is so important.  I admire families who make a heck of a lot less money than I do and manage just fine.   I often wonder if they are happier.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized