Today, I’m happy to welcome Paige to the blog! We’ve been blog friends for several years now, and she is also a contributor on the Liberating Working Moms Blog. She lives on the south shore of Long Island with her husband, three-year old daughter (Molly), and some backyard chickens. During the week, Paige is the full time Director of Alumni Relations at her alma mater.
Here’s her interview:
1. What is your typical day like?
On a typical day Paige is not woken up by her daughter’s feet in her face, since said daughter came in her bed in the middle of the night. On a typical day Paige does not snooze the alarm clock three times while her daughter asks for pancakes. On a typical day Paige doesn’t carry her makeup bag with her to apply mascara on the car ride to work. Oh wait, yes that is a typical day!
But for real, we (my daughter and I) wake up around 7 am. (My husband leaves at 4:30 am to take the train into the city for work.) Molly and I make our way downstairs and I make breakfast. I try to prepare lunches for the night before, but if not, I am usually frantically grabbing both our lunch bags and throwing in a juice box, lunch and snacks for both of us. We either leave for preschool or the babysitter’s house just before 9 am. I am very lucky to work so close to home and our babysitter is a few minutes away as well.
We all arrive home just after 5 pm and typically will make dinner and eat together. Something I’ve recently started at dinner is asking Molly what was the best part of her day. Mommy and Daddy share too. It’s fun! After dinner Molly gets a bath from one of us and the other cleans up the kitchen and loads the dishwasher. After bath time Molly drinks her milk while watching television for a few minutes or does another activity like coloring or reading a book. Between 8:30-9 is bedtime. My husband and I take turns putting Molly to bed. We still rock with her for a few minutes before putting her in her crib. She turned three in May but still likes her crib and doesn’t try to climb out, so it works. (We actually just purchased her a big girl bed and so we intend to set that up soon.) My husband and I usually turn in around 10.
2. Why do you work?
It took me three years of motherhood to understand that being a working mother was a choice. I choose to work, rather than havive to work. That was a tough thing to accept, but I get it now. Actually, I love my job and it is a big part of who I am. I work close to home and enjoy what I do. I have lots of time off (summer Fridays, holidays and generous vacation time) and since much of work time is spent entertaining alumni on weeknights and weekends, I have flexibility and that is very important to me. (You know I’m super passionate about the “choice” thing. You said it perfectly, and I couldn’t agree more.)
3. What’s the best thing about being a working mom? What’s the worst or hardest thing about being a working mom?
The best thing about being a working mom is the structure it creates. If I was a SAHM I would probably live in my pajamas or yoga pants and hang out at Target all day and spend too much money on unnecessary things. Or I’d hang out at home all day. (No judgement!) Molly has a great babysitter that we adore and that is also really important. The hardest thing about being a working Mom is trying to balance it all. I know that this is an impossible task that all parents struggle with. I also know that balance has to do with saying yes and no equally, and that can be a challenge. (I’ve also heard it said that there is no such thing as true balance – we just have to figure out when one thing is more important than the other and accept that for different hours/days/seasons/etc. I like that.)
4. What items or tips do you recommend to “make it work”?
My tip for working moms would be to collaborate and connect with other working moms. When I first had my daughter I read A LOT of mommy blogs. Many of said mommies were SAHMs. I had a hard time relating and often found myself envious — not in a good way. Since then I’ve connected with working mothers in my community and in the blog world. I’ve joined a local moms group and contribute to a working mothers blog too.
Another tip — let go of the control. Like they say in Frozen — let it go, let it go! I learned this over the last three years and I am so glad I did. I needed to chill out and I work on that everyday. Who cares if my daughter wants to wear stripes with polka dots and light up princess shoes? Is it really that bad? No! If my child is happy, then so am I! (AMEN. This has been my BIGGEST lesson of motherhood so far – and such a good one!)
5. What encouragement, scripture, etc. has been important in your life and might be meaningful to another working mom?
In my MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers) group we are embracing the motto Be You Bravely. That really speaks to me and I am embracing that mantra everyday in my life as a mother and as a professional.
Thanks Paige! So great to have you!! (For more from Paige check out her cute blog This Little Life.)
P.S. I’m a little behind on my emails, so if you sent me one over the weekend about possibly contributing to this series (THANK YOU), I haven’t forgotten you! Hopefully, I’ll be catching up and responding to everyone soon.