Amanda Ellis is the Sr. Director, Racing Communications at NASCAR, a wife and a mom to her 6-year old son.
Alright — tell us about your kids and a little background about how you balance working and momming.
My son goes to elementary school during the school year. In the summer, we have a village of family, friends, and special camps that help us bridge the gap during the summer months. (Real mom moment: I was not prepared for how hard summer childcare would be to secure when my child phased out of daycare!)
What keeps your plate full these days?
The best part of work at NASCAR? No two days are the same. The daily to-dos are often unpredictable, but I really love that part of the job. Most of my time at work is spent in strategic meetings, the occasional brainstorm session, moderating Zoom media avails with drivers, and finalizing logistics for our team before the next race. Also, my job includes staffing several races each season.
Do you work because you need to, want to, or some combination of both?
Combination of both. Being a wife and mom will always be the most important job I do, but I have always felt called to work outside the home. That said, I feel incredibly grateful to enjoy my work. Most days my job feels more like something I get to do instead of something I am required to do. Also, I thankful my husband supports my desire to work.
What does your day-to-day look like?
I’m an early bird! I wake up with the sun and grab a cup of coffee to start my morning. I will often load the dishwasher (or something quick) before preparing breakfast for my little guy. Once he’s dressed and dropped off at school, I head to the office most days. I’m incredibly grateful to have the flexibility of working from home when needed, but I’m a people person by nature, and enjoy the office atmosphere. My husband, who also works in the NASCAR industry, works across the street from my office, and we tag team school pick up based on who gets off work first. We try to make the most of nights at home with outside play, dinner, quick chores, showers and reading books before bed – reading with my little guy is one of my favorite activities.
How does being a working mom impact your kids — either positively or negatively?
I think the positives far out way the negatives. One thing we try to do in our family is be grateful for the time we do get to spend together instead of being negative about what we may have to miss due to work.
What holds the biggest tension in trying to manage everything?
The biggest tension for me is managing my work responsibilities with my weekly to-dos (e.g., grocery shopping, meals, paying bills, remembering birthdays, school days, etc.) at home.
What’s one resource that would make your life easier?
The ability to share a nanny with a friend. We do not have family near us, and having an extra set of hands a few days a week would be such a gift.
How would you encourage other working moms who are overwhelmed and in the thick of it?
You are doing the best you can. Be proud of that.
Any last words about working motherhood?
Give yourself permission to travel without your kids. I promise you will be better for it.
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