Welcome back to My Full Life!
If you’re a new reader, My Full Life is a new series featuring working moms such as myself. My goal for this series is to ultimately gather together a tribe of women that my readers can go to for advice and feel they are not alone.
Today’s guest is someone who does just that. Amanda is a great blogger friend of mine, who I met somewhere along the way when we were both moms-to-be, since then we’ve bonded over working motherhood and I cannot wait to hear what she has to add to the amazing advice we’ve gotten so far.
Tell me a little about yourself- what you do and what your family looks like.
I work as a publications editor for a nonprofit based in Oklahoma City. My husband, Jordan, is an electrician. We both work full time M-F outside the home. We have been married for six years and have two children: a daughter, R, who was born in August 2015, and our son J, who was born in June 2017.
How did you get in your current role?
I was between jobs at the time and was searching for anything related to editing, which is what I am passionate about and what I was doing in my previous position. I applied for my current job even though I was technically under qualified (they wanted someone with a master’s in music, since the company is music related), but I was called for an interview and eventually offered the position!
What accomplishment are you most proud of professionally? What about as a parent?
I am very proud of my work as an editor. I love helping people with their writing, and I feel a sense of accomplishment when I can know that the end product is better because of my work on it. In my current position I have had to step outside my comfort zone a bit into a field I am not completely knowledgeable about. There has been a learning curve, but I am proud of the publication I put out to our 20,000-person membership every month.
It’s hard to say what I am most proud of as a parent. I have moments all the time where I am so proud of my daughter for being a good friend, sharing, or even just listening when I tell her to do something. I’m sure as she gets older I will have more moments like that!
Tell me a bit about what your work days look like. What do your routines look like?
My husband and I both leave for work at 7:00. It’s always a bit of a rush to get everyone out the door on time. I do the daycare drop-off and pickup each day because the daycare is right on my way to work.
I get into the office around 7:45 and spend the day responding to and sending emails, scheduling articles for upcoming publications, and editing the current issue. Editing is by nature a solitary task, so I am not in very many meetings or talking to people much in the day to day.
I leave around 4:30 to pick up my daughter at daycare and arrive home at 5:00. From there we do dinner prep, cleanup, maybe bath time, and then the bedtime routine!
I try to get in bed by 9:30 and read before turning off my light. I’m still working on fitting working out into my schedule on a regular basis. I’m newly postpartum, so I am in a bit of a transition period right now.
What do your weekends look like?
It’s always different. Sometimes I feel inspired to meal prep or clean, but usually I just want to spend time with my kids since I haven’t had much time with them during the week, so we end up playing a lot and just doing whatever we want to!
What has been your biggest struggle as a working mom? How have you overcome it?
My biggest struggle is not feeling like I am with my kids enough. I miss them so much during the week, and I hate having only a few hours with them in the evenings. To be honest, I haven’t overcome this. It’s been a year and half, and it’s still so hard. But I try to focus on the positive and enjoy the time I do have with them. I am careful to be intentional about focusing on them when I have the time and not take for granted the moments we have together!
If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself as you were preparing to return to work?
That it will be really, really hard, but it won’t kill you and it will get easier. And there are some good things too!
Tell me your thoughts on balance. Do you think it truly exists? How do you make time for your family, career, relationships and yourself?
I think balance is always going to be something we all strive for. Some days I feel like I’ve done a great job balancing it all, and other days I feel like a disaster.
The important thing is to not let those bad days define the rest of the week. As a working mom, so much of my day to day is filled with work, and those hours I have outside of the 8-5 are precious. It’s hard to make time for everything!
Right now I feel like the time I have, I want to spend it with my family. Time for myself comes after the kids are in bed, when maybe I leave the dishes and the laundry and read a book or watch a show or do something I want to do. My husband and I try to go on a date at least once a month or so. We have never been weekly date night people, even before having kids, but we do try to connect every day, even if just in a text to say “I love you.” That is a small gesture but important, I think.