Introducing, My Full Life!
Good Morning and welcome to my new blog series! I’m excited you’re here and I’m excited we’re all in this together. Last year in my reader survey the feedback was clear. You guys wanted to hear more guidance for working moms and hear about my experience, which got me thinking…
What if there was a way to bring working moms together?
I’ve noticed over the past two years that there seems to be a bit of a gap between the amount of content that’s out there for full time working moms such as myself. My goal for this series is to ultimately pool together a tribe of women that my readers can go to for advice and feel they are not alone. So, I’ve got a group of amazing women lined up to share their story over the next several weeks to attempt to do just that.
Before I share my interviews with other Moms, I thought it was only fair that I answered my own questions. It felt a little awkward “interviewing myself”, but it’s been awhile since I told my entire story. Plus, a lot has changed since I first started this blog. So here we go…
Tell me a little about yourself- what you do and what your family looks like.
I have been married for five years to my husband Rich and we have an almost two year old son named Buel. I work full time at a Fortune 200, IT Services Company headquartered here in the Chicago suburbs. In my role, I manage the Marketing relationship for our vendors. My day-to-day changes every day which is why I love my role, but I tend to describe my role as a combination of media sales and media planning which works perfectly with my Advertising background.
How did you get in your current role?
My career story is a bit rocky but involves a lot of failing forward. I majored in Advertising in college and landed a coveted internship at General Motor’s media agency after interviewing in a pool of over 350 candidates. My internship was a dream and although I had a lot of promising interviews during my senior year, I graduated without a job offer. It was 2008 and the economy was rough, but regardless I moved to Chicago after college without a job offer, with a lot of hope and my life savings.
Luckily I was able to land a sales assistant job through word of mouth and within one month of moving I started working full time selling ad space on television. Unfortunately after eleven months in role the company I worked for shut it’s doors. After that, I worked for a small boutique media agency buying television for a national sandwich chain. After about a year, the agency lost the account and my job was dissolved along with the account.
Thankfully I had another job offer within a few weeks of my second layoff and I found myself selling national television ad space for the next six years. I enjoyed my work and the people I worked with, but endured another round of layoffs when the company closed it’s doors back in 2014. This time around was a bit more tough as I was stuck under a non-compete, so while I was able to go on dozens of interviews, I was literally stuck in my role until I got laid off.
The reason why I say I failed forward was because after each layoff I was able to level up. After my third and final layoff in a traditional media role I took a chance and made a change. I’m so happy I did!
What accomplishment are you most proud of professionally? What about as a parent?
I’m most proud of my ability to make the most of my career situation in the beginning of my career. The struggles have made me fearless and that’s something that has propelled me forward at my current company.
As a parent, I’m most proud of my ability to realize that I need to take care of myself first in order to be a good parent. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but the guilt I feel is worth it because I know I need to feel my best.
Tell me a bit about what your work days look like. What do your routines look like?
Our day-to-day is all about teamwork. Rich and I swap mornings so that we can hit the gym individually a few times per week. I prep EVERYTHING the night before, which makes the mornings somewhat peaceful. Right now B goes to daycare two days per week and the other days are with his grandparents and on daycare days I drop off.
My day is a whirlwind of meetings, conference calls and squeezing in my work in between it all. Our work schedules vary and a lot of time one of us works late.
Whoever gets home first feeds B and starts to make our dinner. Then it’s time for our bedtime routine and we always eat as a couple after that. After B goes to bed we’ll typically watch TV or read either together or individually. Sometimes I’ll sit and read blogs. We try to shut the lights out by 10:00 and always spend a few minutes talking before that.
What do your weekends look like?
Weekends lately are about decompressing, which I’m totally fine with. Friday is my work from home day and typically the evening looks like any other weeknight. But, on Friday we always wind down together by either making a nicer dinner, watching a movie or just hanging out.
Two weekends per month Rich works Saturdays and he also works one Sunday per month. On those weekends, I try to schedule play dates to keep B and me busy. I joined a new gym with childcare over the summer, so Saturday morning always starts with a workout and errands. During nap time I relax and then we’ll grab carryout and relax. On Rich’s days off we’ll head out on a family adventure or tackle a house project.
Sunday is family day. We go to church, grab coffee or breakfast, prep for the week during nap time, spend time as a family and make a nice dinner.
What has been your biggest struggle as a working mom? How have you overcome it?
My biggest struggle as a working mom has been realizing that I love it. There’s a lot of negative talk about working moms out there and it seems to be shameful to like going to work. But I do and I’ve learned to own it.
If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself as you were preparing to return to work?
I would tell myself that life will be really different and that’s ok. Eventually it’ll be a new normal.
Tell me your thoughts on balance. Do you think it truly exists? How do you make time for your family, career, relationships and yourself?
Yes, I believe that balance exists. But to believe that I had to believe that life comes in seasons. Some seasons are about working really hard. Some seasons are for social activities. Some seasons are all about protecting quality time as a family and letting other things slip a bit. It all balances out, just not all at the same time.