What keeps your plate full these days?
I’m currently in my 4th semester of my MBA at Texas Tech so I’m typically up quite late after I put Harley to bed. I work full time including a a couple of Saturdays as an analyst for a regional auto finance company in Dallas, TX. A couple days a month I will also help with sales and travel to various dealerships in the area for sales calls and relationship building. I serve on my company’s leadership team and work with a personal coach on leadership and management skills to nurture a thriving, culture-focused team.
Are your kids in school? Daycare? Who cares for them ?
My daughter attends Catholic school and after school as well as in the summer, she goes to my mom’s and my ex-husbands mom’s half the time.
Do you work because you want to, need to, or some combination of both? What’s your honest answer to the question, “Why do you work?”
I’ve worked since I was 14 and can’t imagine not working. I love to work, stay busy and learn. My motivation to working, however, is because I’m a single mom; there is no choice in the matter so might at well give it 110%. I have a mortgage, a house to upkeep, bills to pay, and I forfeited child support for several years in order to “buy” my ex out of the house so my daughter wouldn’t have to suffer the consequences of adult actions by upheaving her life.
What does your day to day look like?
In the morning I wake up as late as possible to allow myself some decent sleep. I get ready in 20 minutes and get Harley up and rolling. After throwing an Eggo in the toaster, we’re out the door. On my 30 minute commute to work, I talk to my best friend. I work either 8:30 to 5:30 or 10pm to 7pm dependent on the week. I often skip lunch, but if I take a lunch I either study or catch up on personal items away from my desk. Sometimes after work I have to stop by my moms to help her with items around her house as she has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer and has undergone chemo. Thursdays Harley has dance so we get home later than usual. Dinner is typically something I’ve prepared ahead of time or family will help out to ensure Harley is fed. I do intermittent fasting for 24-36 hours at a time every other day so often I don’t have to worry about feeding myself. We work on school work and read a book and to bed the little one goes to allow me time to pump out some school work until about midnight.
The housework has to wait until the weekends, but Sundays are packed full of laundry, dishes, and general chores to get ready for the next week.
How does being a working mom impact your kids — either positively or negatively?
I missed a lot of firsts and I’m sure it impacted me more than Harley. While she often laments over how I am unable to join her for school mass on Wednesdays like the other mothers, she does get ample time with various family members and has learned that she has a vast number of people that love and care for her. Our support system is massive and I’m truly a very blessed person. She also sees me on calls after hours, hopping on my computer to help out when I’m not at the office for quick answers, and has learned that hard work pays off. I hope to instill a very strong and positive work ethic in her.
What holds the biggest tension in trying to manage everything?
The mom guilt is real. I often feel sad that I’m unable to sit and play with Harley for longer amounts of time and wonder if she feels like I’m being rude or negligent. If I’m playing with her, then I’m neglecting the next case study for school hanging over my head. If I choose to do school work before Harley is asleep because I want to go to sleep before the wee hours of the morning, I’m back to feeling selfish. I sometimes choose to work an extra Saturday to make more money (because, let’s face it, those electric bills are HIGH these days), but that means sacrificing time I should be dedicated to everything else in the world. If I’m doing school work, then why is there not laundry going at the same time? If I take a call from one of my finance managers working late, am I “that” mom whose putting work before quality time? If I’m doing laundry all the time, why is this place so stinking messy? Next thing you know, I’m panicking thinking about the house being a mess and setting a bad example. Oh is that my childhood friend calling? Sorry can’t answer because I literally don’t want to use energy to speak to another adult. But if I don’t talk to another adult about something other than either data analytics or Paw Patrol, I’m going to go out of my mind.
Everything is a double edged sword. It’s like being tasked with filling 6 separate empty liter bottles with only 1 gallon of fluid every day. Except the bottles are on fire and the fluid is gasoline. Planning is so essential for my day to flow smoothly and it helps that I have a small, but reliable support structure if anything changes.
What’s one resource that would make your life easier?
Quick, easy, healthy delivered meals (or meal packages) for KIDS!
How would you encourage other working moms who are overwhelmed?
Learn and practice mindfulness. Learn your bodies natural cues for when it is overwhelmed and tired and take time to identify what helps you relax in a small amount of time. Sometimes I have to put myself in time out too. Sometimes 10 minutes of playing the tongue drum, or coloring (yes adult coloring!), or origami, or listening to my Insight Timer app and binaural beats helps put me back in a positive mindset and forget that there’s so much to balance. Everything, hardship or not, is temporary. It’s ok to not be Mary Poppins and excruciatingly chipper through the tough times; don’t give into toxic positivity. Don’t compare yourself to others, and if you have a natural inclination to do so, don’t touch social media ever again.
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