Posts Tagged ‘working mom’

Why Should We Have to “Have it All”

Monday, December 19th, 2016

have it allSocial media did it again. Another mama went and did something that has a lot of people armed and ready with all their judgments. A mom, ten weeks post-partum, videotaped herself working out as she went about folding cloth diaper laundry from the dryer. Diary of a Fit Mommy is known for her videos incorporating workouts into daily routines and inspires a number of other people, mostly women, to do the same.

I want to be very clear. I have nothing but love for this mama. You get yours! I work out most days of the week and have my own strategies for fitting it in. My routine is a work in progress but I think I get the sentiment behind the idea that we all have time and can find said time if we get creative and honest with ourselves and our day. I also wonder if people would have a strong response to my laundry multi-tasking—folding while talking to my hubby about our day. We are all multi-tasking.

But my first thought upon viewing this video was more of a question: Why must everything be so complex? Can we make single-tasking a fad that sticks? Perhaps the response is doing squats while stuffing cloth diapers is not a complex task. That’s true—it appears relatively easy. I just tried it myself and, yes, it’s simple enough. I’m just wondering what’s so wrong with single-tasking?

All day I’m doing five things at a time. I just want to sit and do the laundry with a show on the TV or even just in the still silence of children in bed. In some ways sitting in the quiet or watching TV still isn’t singular in focus. I might be reflecting on the day or catching up with hubby. Still, can’t I just not always be thinking and acting on the idea of “having it all?”

Lots of women all over the world don’t have it all—they don’t even have the time or resources to play around with the idea of having it all. Sometimes I think what many of us want is just a little simplicity. I am okay with a single focus even if it means I don’t have a “perfectly” slim tummy. For my own sanity I need to not always be doing, fitting everything in, and getting the most out of the day. That just feels like unnecessary pressure and anxiety.

Yet again, that’s what I’ll have to come down to, my own sanity and my own experience. We are all battling different demons; we all have different places we’re coming from and ideas of whom and how we want to be. If you’re in the mood to multi-task your way to a perkier tush while preparing diapers for your baby’s fluffy bum I’m happy you’re finding ways to make your goals reality. I’ll be over here folding laundry and little else, except perhaps taking a sip or two of wine.

Lynette is a mom of three children from 8 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

When It’s Time to Go Back to Work

Monday, January 18th, 2016

when it's time to go back to workI’m a stay-at-home mom. I don’t really know how I ended up being one, however. I went to college, got my degree, and started a career. I married a man in the military and ended up moving several times. When my daughter was born, we were a month away from moving again, so I just figured I would stay home with her. I couldn’t teach in the middle of the year.  So, I started staying home. I always just figured I would.

Fast-forward over 3 years, and here I sit. I have hobbies, sure. I help with this blog, which serves as my creative outlet. (I have to use my English degree somehow!) I recently became a consultant for a direct sales company, just so I could use my brain and talk to adults more. I was shocked when I discovered how insecure and unqualified I felt to have some kind of a job, a career, outside of my home. I was amazed at how much I hide behind my kids and how vulnerable I feel when it’s just me at the store or just me at the workplace.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think staying home with your kids is a huge blessing. I treasure each day that my husband can provide for us. However, I do plan on going back to teaching someday. Here are some ways to transition back into a job after being home with your kiddos.

Be Confident

You can make lunch, fold laundry, and send a kid to time-out at the same time, but for some reason we as moms have trouble being confident in ourselves as women. Remember who you were before kids. You are smart, beautiful, and have so much to give. Sure, we give our all to our kids, but we can also use our brains. I feel most confident when I am using my intelligence I forgot I had! Treat yourself to a new coffee cup or something fun to take to work. Enjoy your alone time.

Start Small

For me, helping with this blog and doing some work with direct sales is sufficient for me. It is empowering for me to go to my parties and talk about the products I am selling. That’s enough for now. Begin working part-time or try doing some volunteer work to start with. Don’t put pressure on yourself to go back to work full-time if you aren’t ready or if you don’t have to right now.

Remember, You are Still Mom

Your kids may be in school now or you may have a daycare provider, but you are still their mom. Trust the hands that are taking care of them, whether it is a relative or new teacher. You are still just as good as a mom as you were being with them all day, maybe even a better mom.

If going back to work doesn’t end up being what you desire, you can always try again later. For me, it makes me nervous to even think about a career right now because I know even on the bad days, my kids still need me.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana where she works full-time as a mommy.

How I Started my WAHM Business

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

How I started my WAHM businessWhen I was 10 weeks postpartum with my youngest, I attempted to go back to my corporate 9-5 job as an advertising assistant for a media company. I knew before going back that it would be an emotional struggle; I now had two boys under the age of 3. But what I was surprised to realize was that, after paying for childcare, food, gas, and clothing, I couldn’t really afford it. So I tried to figure out a solution where I could stay at home and still make up the difference in my salary.

It was a nerve-wracking time for me; I had held a steady job since I was fifteen. I had been at my current company for 8 years. I had a 401k. Leaving the perceived security of a job, even one I didn’t even really enjoy, still seemed insurmountable. But now that I’m a small-business owner and WAHM who teaches health and wellness training, I realize what a reward it was to take that risk. If you are thinking about making a switch from corporate employee to self-starting momma, keep these things in mind:

Have a Plan

In order to convince my husband that we could make it work with me staying home, I had to come up with a budget that showed exactly what we would be spending with me going back to work vs. me staying at home and doing “something else”. When creating a hypothetical financial plan, you want to be sure to include anything that might change; your 401k contributions, your health care costs, an increase in heating or cooling (you’ll be home more now). Make sure you include every last detail that may change and make good estimates. Once you have figured out what you would take home if you went back to work, you can analyze that with what it will cost you to stay home. This way you can figure out how much money you need to generate each month to stay at home at the same level of financial comfort. Anything extra you make will then be added back in or considered an extra bonus.

Do Something You Love

It sounds so cliché, but you have to tap into what you are great at and what you love to do. I asked myself, what type of job would I do for free? What do I love to do that could also be considered a service? My answer was personal training; however, there are hundreds of ways to turn your hobby into a career. I have a sister-in-law who is an amazing baker. With the impending arrival of her first baby, she started marketing her hobby on Facebook in order to sell her goodies and bring in extra cash flow. The success of her “hobby” has allowed her to take extended time off of her corporate job to be with baby. When your hobby or craft is something you love, your passion becomes the vehicle driving your business.

Educate Yourself

If you know what you love to do, find as much information about what credentials you might need in order to take your hobby or skill to the next level. When I left my corporate job, I knew that ideally I would like to make health and fitness a priority in my life as well as something that could potentially generate a small income. To do so, I started researching what kind of personal training certifications I would need to make it happen. You should also research the tax implications as well as applying for a small-business license in your state.  For many people, no actual formal training is needed. My friend Stefanie was working as an administrator for a college when she started her family.  “I opened my Etsy shop, Juji Loo Prints, in October 2014. I had always loved doing invitations or art prints for my own home. But, as people found out it was a hobby of mine, they would ask me to do projects for them. I taught myself Microsoft and Adobe programs over the years and I’ve learned that if I can’t figure something out, there’s a YouTube video for everything!”

Leaving the corporate world to take on a new business endeavor can seem daunting, especially with a family.  But when you research and plan, success is completely possible.

Tessa Wesnitzer is a mom of two rowdy boys, a health and fitness instructor, and a lover of green tea and great books. She resides in sunny Sahuarita, Arizona.

 

 

 

Pumping at Work

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Pumping at workHeaded back to work after having a baby? Considering it? A big concern for working new mothers is how to continue to breastfeed. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a nanny that can bring your child to work for you to nurse her (wouldn’t that be nice?), you will need to pump.

When you’re selecting a pump that’s going to get some heavy use (if you’re working and still breastfeeding, it will indeed get used), look for a dual electric pump. Many insurance companies and even some Medicaid/WIC programs cover the cost of a pump; check with yours before purchasing.

You need to keep your pumped milk cold; many pumps come with a cooler bag and freezer insert in case you don’t have access to a refrigerator. You also need access to a sink to be able to wash the parts after pumping (I found the microwavable sterilizing bags to be invaluable at work).

Having access to a sink, fridge, and microwave is just the tip of the iceberg. You need a private place to pump, and time to do it. Just like nursing, pumping frequently helps you keep your supply up and provide enough for your baby. If your company doesn’t have a dedicated nursing room, you may have to be creative in finding a place that will work. After my first child, I pumped in the women’s locker room. Don’t hesitate to ask for better conditions, either; your employer may not be required to facilitate nursing breaks and a workable location, but you may be surprised at how amenable they can be. By the time I had my second child, my employer had dedicated a small room for pumping moms.

Also just like if you were nursing, take care of yourself to help keep your supply up. You may find you don’t pump as much milk as you thought you would. Make sure you’re still drinking lots of water, and if you find your supply dipping, check out La Leche League’s trouble-shooting guide.

Pumping at work can be a bit of a hassle, but for me it was worth it. I loved being able to still provide breastmilk for my babies when I had to be away from them.

Meaghan Howard is a mom to two little boys, ages 3 and 6. She’s currently enjoying the expat life in Japan.

 

Working at Home with a Newborn

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

WAHM 1One of the hardest decisions that parents–especially mothers– can face after baby is born is the decision of whether or not to return to work and how to manage baby with the financial needs of the household. More families are choosing to modify their work choices or schedules to integrate caring for their little one into their professional lives.

Some parents find that their work is willing to allow them to bring baby with them when they return or to adjust the workload in such a way as to allow them to work from home. This can be a good solution to meet the needs of baby while contributing to the family’s bottom line. In either situation, a bit of preparation and a few tools will make the transition as seamless as can be.

Beyond the essentials like diapers, these few things are worth gathering:

1)     A baby carrier. Babies who are worn cry less and are more content than those that are not. You also have the advantage of having your hands free to continue on with your tasks when baby in worn. A ring sling or a stretchy wrap can be a great choice with newborns. A ring sling is quick to get baby in and out of, usually has a lower learning curve, and can transition to a supported nursing position easily. It can be great with computer work or those tasks that require you to be sitting in one place. A stretchy wrap can give more long term support and comfort, and it able to be pre tied to allow for baby to be easily slipped in and out as needed. It can be great for when you need to be up and about, moving around, bending over and lifting lightweight objects.

2)     An infant swing or seat. There will be times you need to set baby down. Having a safe secure place to do so, that doesn’t require a large amount of space can be key. A travel swing that can be folded and tucked away when not in use or an infant rocker can be compact ways to provide that space.

WAHM 23)     Nursing/Pumping friendly Attire: A necessary for breastfeeding mothers. Plan your attire to provide quick, easy access for baby to nurse, especially helpful when using a carrier and nursing–a power combo! Breastfeeding tanks or tees can make discreet access readily available. Using a nursing cover can be convenient for other mothers as well. Nursing your baby on demand helps to regulate your supply, meets baby’s need for closeness and nutrition for optimal growth, and helps your little one stave off infections.

TaiLeah Madill is mama to three and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She is passionate about volunteering with her local babywearing group and helping other families enjoy the benefits of wearing their little ones.