I just finished reading this post on Shine and felt immediately vindicated as I read the author's declaration that her "love for motherhood has deepened over the past few months" as a SAHM, as compared to her time as a WOHM. "See!" I exclaimed to myself, "I knew it." And then I read the comments that other readers had left. While the dominating sentiment seems to be that SAHMs are overall happier and more guilt-free, it's clear that there are pros and cons to each situation. And I suppose deep down inside I know and understand that. I do still believe, however, that choosing to be a SAHM or WAHM makes a huge difference in a mother's happiness; not having a choice in the matter and feeling trapped is what is contributing to my constant stress. Just this afternoon I said to my husband that I have been feeling at peace this week, and I attribute it to the fact that - between my part-time schedule and the holiday - I've been in to the office only one day this week. I don't feel the usual constant state of panic or rushing; the girls' homework was done way before Sunday evening; the grocery shopping was done before Sunday night; and we've even had time to read a ton of books - which I never ever have enough time to do with the kids. And I am already apprehensive knowing that I'll be back to the harried, forgetful, exhausted WOHM next week. I try to remind myself that the grass is always greener on the other side though; and articles like the one I read on Shine are a great reminder of that. … [Read more...] about The Grass Is Always Greener
It's a touchy subject among moms. In some circles, even the mention of hiring a nanny sends some women through the roof and elicits a whole lot of unsolicited judgements and criticisms. If there is one thing I have learned to not do in my 6 years of being a parent, it's to judge another mom about her decisions related to her family. I recently met a mom at my daughter's bus stop who stays and home with her 5 kids and has a nanny to help her. She was totally afraid to even tell me for fear of that I would judge her. Not me! Whatever works for you and you family is what matters. And another thing I learned? Hiring a nanny was the best thing we could have done 3 years ago. Before you get all worked up making all sorts of assumptions, let me share with you some insights from Candi Wingate, author of The Nanny Factor: A Parent's Guide to Finding the Right Nanny for Your Family, and an expert in this field. I had the opportunity to interview Candi about her book and some of the real considerations parents need to take into account when making childcare decisions for their families. Candi's qualifications are extensive; she's worked as a nanny, worked at a nanny agency, owns a nanny agency of her own and has a nanny for her children. We started out by talking about all of the things parents worry about when embarking on the search for the perfect nanny: Is she the right person? How much do I have to pay? Do we need to do a background check? At a time when you are anxious and preparing to bring in a stranger to care for your child, emotions are running high and it can be such a stressful time. Trust me. But hiring a nanny is a very real option for many families. And a lifesaving one! In her new book, Candi helps to debunk some common myths about hiring a nanny: Myth No. 1: Nannies are only for wealthy families So not true! In fact, it's been found that working families are the the ones that use nannies the most. For a family with 2 children - and I can attest to this - hiring a nanny can be more cost effective than daycare. A nanny can also assist working parents by filling in the gaps between school and work hours, helping with school and activity drop offs and pick ups, and caring for the children on school holidays while allowing parents to go to work. They can also help with housework and allow working parents to spend their precious few hours at home spending quality time with their kids instead of folding laundry! Myth No. 2: Nannies must work full-time Not true! There are so many options when looking for a nanny to fit your family's schedule and budget. Nannies can work part-time, or you can look into nanny-share arrangements (where you share your nanny with another family based on your schedule needs). According to Candi, of the families who responded to her surveys, 46.9 percent of the nannies worked part-time, with a range of hours per week varying from under 10 to 30. Nanny arrangements can come in all shapes and forms - … [Read more...] about Debunking the Nanny Myth: An Interview with Candi Wingate
Did you know that? It always puzzles me how working parenthood is such a major part of our everyday lives here in the U.S., and yet the issues affecting us aren't given the attention they deserve. Nevertheless, Congress did make the effort to recognize October as a time to raise awareness among employers about the importance of offering their employees work-life programs that will ultimately enhance the effectiveness of the employee and the workplace. The Alliance for Work-Life Progress is encouraging all employees to strike a balance between work and family. There are several ways that you can do this: Talk to your managers about a flexible work arrangement. Use October as a time to try telework or condense a workweek. Join a wellness program or organize a workplace volunteer activity. It just so happens that my long-awaited part-time work schedule went into effect this week, during National Work and Family Month. I will be off on Mondays and teleworking on Fridays. Fortunately, my workplace offers its employees the option to create a schedule that works for them. However, I have many mom-friends who aren't as fortunate. In celebration of NWFM, all next week, I'll be sharing tips for working parents that have helped me achieve the elusive "work-life balance," but I'd love to hear from you! Do you have a flexible work environment? How have you changed your schedule to better accommodate your family's needs? Or are you still hesitant to take the plunge? … [Read more...] about October is National Work and Family Month!
I get so tired of hearing celebrities tell the world how hard it is to be a working mother and how they struggle to balance their jobs with taking care of their families. I appreciate that celebs do have struggles in that area, however, I feel as though the "struggle" takes on a completely different meaning when we're talking about "real" moms. Who tells their stories? Our stories? I thought I'd start a series about the real working moms that I know, and share some of the challenges they face and what they do to keep it all together. One of my closest friends is a mother of 3 young boys, all under 6 years old. She works full-time, has a rough daily commute and juggles a crazy morning and evening schedule of shuttling her brood to and from school and daycare - with the help of her hardworking husband. We've been each other's shoulder to lean on since we began our families - and we've shared it all with each other - but I was seriously shocked to hear recently that she wakes up every day at 5am to make dinner for her family. This way, her evening meal prep is out of the way when she walks in the door after work. A major sacrifice of precious sleep in the mornings, but it saves her some stress in the evenings. This approach works for her, and that's what matters. Shout out to all the working moms out there who are roasting chickens as the sun rises. You are amazing! … [Read more...] about Real Working Mom Profile #1
Hubby and I are doing The Love Dare. I wonder if any of you have heard of it. It's a book with 40 consecutive days of dares that you have to do for your spouse. The purpose of the book and the dares is to challenge husbands and wives to practice unconditional love. So far, I'm loving it. We've been doing them for just about 1 week and already I look forward to reading and doing the next day's dare. There's a theme for each day, for example, Love Is Not Selfish or Love is Thoughtful or Love is Not Irritable (how about that one?), along with a short lesson. Anyway, I just thought I'd share since we're enjoying our journey through this book. If you've already taken The Love Dare or are in the process of doing so, let me know what you think. … [Read more...] about The Love Dare