How I survive as a working mom

How I survive as a working mom

Over on my Instagram, I get this question a lot:

How do I handle work/life balance?

I have a love-hate relationship with this question. On the one hand, it’s an honest question. I work full-time out of the home and I have a family and other stuffs going on that need my attention. How do I manage this someone might wonder. But on the other hand, I know this whole balance phenomenon is really another way to make women feel badly about themselves because we go straight into the comparison game. Because the truth is, what works for one family and one working mother is different than what works for another family. Balance is a myth, an illusion. Because everyone’s balance scale is made differently. How we divide our hours or household duties or parenting responsibilities is completely unique to each family. So now that that’s out of the way, I can tell you what works for me.

I’m always learning and our situation is always changing and our stage of life is ever-evolving, so this is what works for me right now. (Legal disclaimer - I have no idea what I am talking about. Okay, maybe not a legal disclaimer, just my general motherhood motto, ha! *upside down smiley face emoji*)

Get all our stuff ready the night before.

Heading out the door, I’ve got to grab my lunch, the kids’ lunches, pumping parts, purse filled with my planner and wallet and anything I’ll need, jackets, spare diapers, tuition checks, breakfast, etc. I have found that our mornings run much more smoothly when we have things ready the night before. Emma lays out her clothing. The lunches are packed. Bottles are clean. My outfit and accessories are folded nicely in a little pile. That way, I can wake up early, get ready in the bathroom, then wake the kids and feed them breakfast and head out the door. It’s much easier than wondering WHERE THE DANG SHOE WENT. You know what I mean.

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Planner | Week 3

Planner | Week 3

I promised myself that when I went back to work, I would keep up with regular posting. We’ll see how well I do at keeping that promise. I may just have to type out posts after all the kids go down or, in this case, while Theo is sleeping on my chest and I’m balancing my computer on my lap with pillows. But I’ll cut to the chase so on to the planner!

For my planner spread this week, I used my new sticker book with boss babe themed stickers in honor of my return to work. I’ve been experimenting with my layouts, so I like how this one turned out. Which reminds me, I need to show you my bullet journal spreads too. I’ll add that to my “to blog” list.

Here is this week’s spread! I am all heart eyes for it.

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On the day I return to work

On the day I return to work

My dear Theo, 

Things may seem different today. You do not have a concept of time quite yet, but you may feel that things are different. You may be wondering where I am or why I’m missing from your day. Well sweet boy, I have returned to my work outside the home. At home, I take care of you and your big sister and brother, but at work I take care of other people who need me. It is important work, I think. But I want you to know, raising you and your siblings is the most important work I’ll ever do, the most important thing I’ll ever do.

I want you to know that I love what I do outside the home too. I love taking care of my patients and making them smile. I hope I am part of, however small that part is, improving their quality of life. I hope they feel that I care and that I empathize and that I want to be a partner in care with them.

I also want to show you, Emma, and Henry that you can use those qualities God has given you to help others and be uniquely able to improve the lives of others by your own special gifts. I have felt called to care for this population of patients and I hope one day you answer whatever call God puts on your heart.

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Three's company too

Three's company too

Before I say anything, I’d like to give a huge shout out to those of you who take care of little ones at home each day. You’re my heroes. Working outside the home is hard, working in the home is hard, staying home all day with littles is hard, staying away from home all day is hard. Parenting is hard and I just think you are all doing the best you can.

Starting this week, the big kids will be staying home Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week. We wanted to save a bit of childcare money while Paul is home with Theo for two months. So I had all three littles for a couple days this week. It was simultaneously incredibly exhausting and extremely entertaining. It was constant movement and diapers and meal times and staggered nap times and meltdowns and dancing and playtime and errands and chaos and pure bliss.

I have been an emotional mess this week leading up to my return to work this coming Monday. But spending uninterrupted time with my sweet babies — in all the crazy, beautiful chaos — has been just what I needed. Here’s a photo and video dump for memory’s sake. Hand me the tissues.

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Here we are

Here we are

It’s happening. I am attempting to sleep train Theo. Currently on this Monday night, I am hiding on the couch in the dark trying not to let him smell me (those infants have the noses of blood hounds for that breastmilk). My bff Grace gave Theo a Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit (google it) for Christmas and I am attempting its magic. For both Emma and Henry we failed (read: currently failing) miserably at sleep training. In fact, Paul is laying down with Henry in his bed because he still cannot fall asleep alone.

So this is me, a 29 year-old mom to three kids under five. I’m hiding in the dark living room trying not to make any noise (and praying my typing is not too loud) and listening for the baby to fall asleep in his crib alone.

Ope, just heard him crying. Let’s see if he self-soothes or if I have to go back in there.

Okay, I did have to go in there but I cuddled him for about two minutes and put him back down. Guys, this may work (she says as she holds her breath, crosses her fingers, makes a sign of the cross, throws salt over her shoulder, makes a wish on a birthday candle, breaks a wish bone in half, douses crib in holy water).

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