Good morning friends! Today, I’m honored to be sharing my “interview” with Danielle – a biomechanics research associate (even the title is over my head) at a hospital in Akron, Ohio. Her husband Jon stays at home full time with their little boy, Elden (2), and she is due later this month with his brother or sister! Enjoy!
1. What is your typical day like?
I usually wake up around 6:30, take all of 7 minutes to get ready for the day, pack my lunch, cuddle with Elden on the couch, and rush out the door. I work until around 3:30 or 4, head home, and spend as much time with Elden and Jon as I can. I usually slide some errands, dinner, dishes, and cleaning into the hours Elden is awake, too. Around 7:30 we start the bath/story/bed routine with him, and on a good day he is asleep by 8:30. That leaves me enough time to shower (to cut back on the time required to get ready in the morning), finish any lingering chores, spend some quality time with Jon (usually catching up on our favorite shows: The Mindy Project, New Girl, and Parenthood), and get to bed by 10ish. Lather, rinse, repeat. With the impending arrival of our next child (if the way I’m describing the baby sounds harsh it’s because we chose not to find out whether it is a boy or girl) I’m sure our whole routine will look different. I’ll have 6-8 weeks of maternity leave so hopefully by the time I go back to work we’ll have a new routine worked out perfectly.
2. Why do you work?
Jon’s dream is to be a theology professor at a university. He originally went to school for audio engineering and while I was working on my undergraduate degree in Chicago he was working his butt off interning and selling audio equipment at a big retail store in the city so he could live out there, too. This didn’t afford him the time or funds to pursue a theological degree. With a two-year-old and the imminent arrival of our second, in conjunction with the fact that I have a Master’s in biomedical engineering and he just finished his Bachelor’s in Bible/Theology, it just makes more financial sense for Jon to stay home and raise our kids while I provide for our family financially. We eventually hope to be in a financial situation where we could have both kids in daycare at least part time so he can go back to school, but that is likely at least a year or two off. I also don’t think I have what it takes to be a full-time stay at home mom. I love my child(ren) fiercely, but I think I’m better for them when I work outside of the home. (I LOVE that you guys are doing what is best is for your family even though it might seem “non-traditional” to some. What lucky kids you have to get to spend that quality time with their Daddy every day and have a Mommy who is doing what she is good at and enjoys.)
3. What’s the best thing about being a working mom? What’s the worst or hardest thing?
This will sound terrible, but the best thing is the breaks I get by leaving home from 7:30-3:30 every weekday. I’m a very impatient person by nature so the break helps ground me and make me a better mom when I am home. Also, it feels good knowing that I’m contributing to a field where women are underrepresented. It’s really empowering. That being said, the hardest thing is missing out on my kid’s big milestones (so far I’ve missed the first time Elden rolled over, walked, etc.). It’s also really difficult when I’m trying to get out the door and my son yells out, “No, mama. Don’t go to work!” – it breaks my heart every time. (Those mornings are the WORST. We went through a stage like that this year when I first started back to school, and it broke my heart every single day. Bringing Sam to my school to see where I was spending all my time during the day seemed to help a lot though!)
4. What items or tips do you recommend to help “make it work”?
Do what works for your family and ignore all the haters. Jon is an amazing stay at home dad–seriously, I couldn’t have asked for a better father for my children. He is patient, engaging, loving. In the Christian community, though, this role is considered backwards and we’re in the wrong for me working outside the home and Jon staying home to raise our kids. It bothers us simply because it’s unbiblical (I wrote a post about this notion here) and even though we know we’re not doing anything wrong there are friends of ours who have been bullied into making decisions that weren’t great for their family because of the peer pressure to fit a cultural (vs. Biblical) mold. Teamwork is huge, too, and remembering that the other spouse is working in a different capacity than you helps things run smoothly in our family and us not to take the other’s family role for granted. (So much wisdom here – and I love what you had to say in that blog post… Y’all go check it out!)
5. What encouragement, scripture, etc. has been important in your life and might be meaningful to another working mom?
Outside of Proverbs 31:10-31, there isn’t a specific encouragement that has been important to me. The support of Jon, however, has been epic. The days that I question whether I’m a good mom because I’m absent 40+ hours a week, Jon is right there encouraging me. He also supports all my dreams–if I ever discuss the idea of pursuing something bigger or better in the field he is my coach and my cheerleader. He grounds me completely and steps up after long days of his own if I had a really rough day and just need some extra help. I hit the husband jackpot with the man.
Are you inspired by Danielle? I totally am! If you want more, check out her blog www.youngnotpowerless.com.
Thanks for continuing to follow along… I hope you guys are enjoying this series and feeling connected and encouraged by these other working moms!
Thank you so much for this series and your kind words on my thoughts!! This is such an important topic that is often overlooked in the blogisphere so it’s really rad that you’re doing this series. 🙂