Motherhood and Balance

Easter, with the sun in our eyes

 
 I really enjoy Joanna Goddard’s blog, A Cup of Jo, recently she did a series of interviews with mothers who work out of the home.  I don’t have a fancy job like many of the ladies interviewed, but I thought I’d interview myself.  Ha!  I like reading about how other mothers manage home/work balance. Sisterhood and solidarity and all that stuff ya know?

1. What’s your work schedule?
Currently I work Monday and Tuesday from 8-4, Wednesday from 12:30-4 and then 6:15-10:15, Thursday 10-6, and Friday 8-11:30.  When the summer is over, my schedule will stay the same except I will work 8-4 on Friday. 

2.  What do you do?
I manage all of the interlibrary loan transactions for a small, private liberal arts college library.  I also handle all of the “collection” aspects of patrons fines and fees.  In the fall, I’ll be handling all the course reserves as well.

3.  How do you handle childcare?Hope is in middle school so she doesn’t really need childcare.  Since it is summer and school is out she normally spends Monday and Tuesday with her Grandma and hangs with some of my friends at home.  My hours are odd on Wednesday and Thursday so she isn’t home by herself for too long.  

Atticus attends the campus daycare.  He LOVES IT.  I usually drop him off around 7:30 and then either Sam or I pick him up around 4 in the afternoon.

4.  When do you hang with your kids?I hang out with Hope in the evening after Atticus goes to bed.  We’ll both sit at the table and hangout or we watch a movie.  Right now we’re working our way through the 1960s Dark Shadows series.  Once or twice a month I try to take her to lunch or a movie just us girls. 

Atticus usually comes to bed with me about 5am and we snuggle.  We hang out in the mornings, afternoons, and we have our bedtime ritual.  He gets a small, healthy snack around 7:15, takes a bath (about every other day), then he gets on jammies and brushes his teeth, and then I set the timer for about 20 minutes.  We sing, read books, play with blocks, and cuddle until the timer goes off and then he goes to bed.  Sam keeps that same routine when I’m working or gone at night.

5.  How do you fit marriage into the balance?This is difficult because Sam has a part-time tattooing job in addition to his day job.  We try to go on a date once a month and some where overnight (1-2 nights) once a year.  Usually one night a week we hang out on the couch and watch a movie.  The difficult time is keeping conversation fun and enjoyable when we are alone…. I’m bad about wanting to use that time to discuss bills, plans, the kids, etc…. I’m trying really hard to use our protected “us” time as a time to discuss positive things.

6.  Do you have anytime for yourself?
Absolutely.  I’m a terrible parent and wife if I don’t have down time.  I go to knitting knerds (my knitting group) about every other week and I have “mom” time on Sundays (when schedules allow).  Mom time means I leave for about 4 hours, find a cafe and read / blog / chillax for a bit.  I also have a rule for myself:  when it is naptime or the kids go to bed I allow 30 – 45 minutes for chores / bill paying / laundry… etc… after that I say screw it and I do something I want to do. 

7.  Who cooks dinner?I cook dinner about 4-5 nights a week.  Sam cooks at least 2 nights a week.

8.  What about cleaning the house?We all clean house.  Hope is in charge of her room, porches, the laundry room, and general helping out.  I clean the kitchen, our bedroom, and the livingroom/family room.  Sam cleans the bathroom and Atticus’s room and handles the yardwork. 

9.  What would you change if you had a magic wand?This is a tough question.  We have a pretty good system, but if I had a magic wand I’d want it to give me money to pay a cleaning service. 

10.  What advice would you give new moms?
Embrace that motherhood is a very special and significant part of your life, but don’t ignore your former interests, passions, and ideas.  Life thrives on balance:  time for kids, work, spouse, friends, and self will enrich your life and the lives of your children.  I think it is very positive for children to see their parent’s as “more” than just a parent.  My kids know that Sam loves art and “tinkering” and that I like reading and stitching.  It encourages children to form their own interests.  Positive for everyone all around!

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    One comment

    1. I loved reading this! I like hearing how other moms balance things and what their schedules are like. My life is sorely lacking balance right now, but I have to remind myself that I have an 8 week old baby and it's just the way things are for a bit. We'll settle back down eventually. I went to a simple dinner date with good girlfriends last night, and it felt like I was emerging from a hibernation cave. Ha. First time out without at least one kid with me. 🙂

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