Today I’m excited to welcome Trista to the blog! She actually lives in my hometown (though we’ve never met), works full-time as an analyst for the state, and blogs at Crafting & Cardigans (love that name). She and her husband Paul have a one year old son, Xander. Here’s how she “makes it work”…
1. What is your typical day like?
My day usually starts with my alarm going off at 6AM and then at around 6:20 I stop hitting snooze and actually get up. After I let the dog out and get myself ready, Xander is usually waking up, so I get him up, dressed, and settled in his pack n play with Sesame Street while my husband gets ready for work. I’m out the door with my lunch and gym bag at 7:05 (hopefully) to get to work by 7:30. My mother-in-law watches Xander during the day and my husband takes him to her house in the morning. I work from 7:30 – 4 and then head to the gym. I do thirty minutes of cardio and then pick up Xander. We get home around 6PM and Xander plays while I start my and my husband’s dinner. When he starts to get a baby ‘tude it’s time for his dinner. While he feeds himself finger foods, I work on dinner some more and then I help him with anything that needs utensils. After dinner, I give Xander a bath and get him in his pajamas. If I’m particularly exhausted and he hasn’t rubbed food in his hair, we might skip the bath. Right around then, Paul gets home and after he and Xander play a bit, we eat dinner with Xander plays. Bedtime for Xander is anytime between 7:30 and 8 and depends on when he starts rubbing his eyes and acting baby drunk. That’s when we read a couple short books and put him to bed. After Xander is in bed, I clean up from dinner, pack my lunch and gym bag for the next day, and do any small chores that seem to be a priority – like folding laundry. Paul and I find something to watch on Netflix, and I’m asleep anytime between 9 and 11. (Whew, I actually need a nap just reading this.)
2. Why do you work?
I work for a couple of reasons. First, we cannot afford to be a single income family, my student loans have made sure of that. Second, I just don’t think I’m cut out to be a stay-at-home mom. I nearly went crazy on maternity leave. I craved adult interaction during the day. Now I realize that I really need a schedule to keep me productive. I feel like I would never get anything done without the schedule that is provided by going to work. (I feel the SAME way about a schedule!)
3. What’s the best thing about being a working mom? What’s the worst or hardest about it?
The best thing about being a working mom is knowing that I’m able to accomplish things in different areas of my life. I like that my son will grow up knowing that his mama can tuck him in, make delicious spaghetti and meatballs, and help people at work, all in the same day. (Yes! I love this.)
The hardest thing is knowing that I am probably going to miss a milestone or two in my child’s life. I very well may miss his first steps, or his first complete sentence, or the first time he takes a bite out of a sandwich instead of having it cut up into pieces. That kills me. (Ugh, me too girl. BUT, you are not alone!)
4. What items or tips do you recommend to “make it work”?
The number one thing that helps me to make it work is that I take time to myself. I go to the gym as often as possible, usually 4 days a week. That half hour on the treadmill or elliptical with a book in front of me lets me unwind and recharge for the rest of the day. If I just can’t bring myself to go to the gym, I wander around Target or buy groceries by myself. When I first returned to work, I felt bad about taking time for myself, but as Xander has gotten more active and more demands have been placed on me at work, I realize that I’m a better mom when I take the time to clear my head before heading home. (This is such good advice and something I’ve been trying to take more seriously myself lately. Good for you for making your health – mentally and physically – a priority too.)
5. What encouragement, scripture, etc. has been important in your life and might be meaningful to another working mom?
Ecclesiastes 3:1 – 8. This scripture has always reminded me that I am where I am meant to be, even if I don’t realize it. On days when it feels impossible to walk out the door while Xander is grinning at me from his pack n play saying “bye bye” and on days when I’m exhausted from always rushing from one place to another, I’m reminded that I am where I’m supposed to be, where God wants me to be.
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silent, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
I hope you guys are enjoying this series so far… Stay tuned for another great week of interviews starting tomorrow and a sixteen-week pregnancy update (from me).
Enjoy your Sunday!