Today’s guest, Jessica, is an administrative assistant at an accounting firm just outside of Washington, DC. She is the wife to Chris, mom to 21-month old Abbie, and the blogger behind Being Mrs. Beer.
Here’ s what she had to say about her life as a working mom:
1. What is your typical day like?
I’m sure everyone will say this, but definitely busy. My commute is about 45 minutes in on a typical day, so we get up about 6, get all three of us ready, and are out the door by about 7:15 at the latest. I then work until 5, usually trying to squeeze in errands or a workout on my lunch break. My husband and I split daycare drop off and pick up, so he takes Abbie in, and I pick her up. When I’m done at 5, I head to pick her up and then head home from there, and am usually home by 6:15 if traffic isn’t too terrible. Chris gets home around the same time, so I start dinner while he hangs out with Abbie. We eat dinner about 6:45/7, then start Abbie’s bedtime routine at about 7:45. Once she’s in bed, Chris and I get some time to hang out and get prepared for the next day (making lunches, doing dinner prep) before getting ready for bed ourselves. (Gotta love DC traffic. Bless you!)
2. Why do you work?
Well, it’s twofold. One – we need my income. I also carry our health insurance since my company has the better policy. Two – I enjoy it, and I honestly think I wouldn’t be good at being a stay at home mom. I really believe that some women aren’t cut out for it, and I’m one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter and definitely miss her during the day, but she would drive me nuts if I was with her 24/7, especially since she’s a whiny toddler now. Plus, the adult interaction I get during the day really helps me balance everything, and I think I’m a better mom because I work. Everyone’s different in that regard. (I love hearing from so many women that need to work, but have also come to a place of peace about it and actually enjoy what they do!)
3. What’s the best thing about being a working mom? What’s the worst or hardest thing?
I think for me, the best thing is the moments I do have with Abbie are that much better and I truly appreciate them – how excited she is to see me when I pick her up from daycare, snuggling before bed, how nice it is to have a weekend together. I think it’s a good balance for me. At the same time, the hardest thing is not being with her all day. I know, I said that she would drive me nuts if I was with her 24/7…. but that’s easy to forget when she’s being extra sweet in the morning and you just want to hug her all day.
4. What items or tips do you recommend to help “make it work”?
Definitely be prepared – not only for your kids, but for yourself. I make Abbie’s lunch for the next day every night, and I try to make a plan for my own lunch and breakfast too so it’s easy to throw together in the morning. When I can, I prep ingredients for the next night’s dinner once Abbie’s in bed (for example, if we’re having fajitas, I’ll slice all the onions and peppers and get the spices together). I pick dinners that take no more than 30 minutes during the week, and make sure they have leftovers that can easily become lunches for Abbie or us. If I wasn’t organized about things, it would definitely be harder!
5. What encouragement, scripture, etc. has been important in your life and might be meaningful to another working mom?
Probably remembering that everything is a season. Eventually, we’ll look back on these days and reminisce. It may be hard now, sure, but in the end, it’ll be worth it. Plus, all that really matters is that our daughter is happy – and she is. She adores her daycare and has so much fun there, and I know she loves our weekends together. Her being happy and healthy is really the reason for everything – as long as we have that, there’s no reason to feel any guilt. We are doing our best, and that is enough. (Such good advice!)