Welcome back to My Full Life!
If you’re a new reader, My Full Life is my 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 interview is with another blogger who has become one of my friends. Sarah and I met when we were both pregnant at the same time and then became Moms only a few days apart. Meeting people like her are one of the best benefits of blogging and I’m so glad to have been able to go on this journey together.
Tell me a little about yourself- what you do and what your family looks like.
I’m a full time work-from-home mom, with a two-year-old daughter. I work for an influencer marketing company, where we manage shopper marketing campaigns through our large network of bloggers and social media superstars. I help manage the blogger side of things, and help make sure the campaigns go off without a hitch. My husband also works full time from home, but for a startup travel company. He’s their IT lead.
How did you get in your current role?
I majored in psychology in college, but never went to grad school. Thankfully, I minored in marketing, so after college (and after several random crappy jobs) I took a job as a marketing coordinator for a local sporting goods store for a few months before we got married.
Once we got married and moved out of state, I accepted a receptionist position at a huge investment management firm. I hated every single second. It was during this time that I started my blog and learned everything I could about blogging. As fate would have it, a friend of ours posted a Facebook status that her old boss was hiring for a Project Director and SEO Specialist at his full service Advertising agency. I jumped on it and messaged him personally, then sent an email telling him how badly I was interested. We met that same afternoon and a week later I was hired.
I loved this job, and never had any intention of quitting until we moved, years down the road. But, going back to work full time after having Adeline was so much harder than I ever thought it would be, and after nine months I really started dreaming and considering the prospect of finding something a little more flexible.
There was a company a few hours away that I’d always wanted to work for and told myself if we ever moved up there I would apply. Then one day they had a Remote position listed, and I applied. I never heard back, so I figured oh well, not meant to be. Then about two months later the same position was posted again. I applied immediately and sent a personal email to the founder of the company. She sent my email to their recruiter, who called me two days later. Three weeks later I was hired and then a week after that I joined a remote team, working from home full time.
Long story short, it never hurts to dream. Keep your eyes open for opportunities you think may never be possible. It never hurts to apply. Even if you’re really happy in your current job, sometimes God opens a door and it’s up to you to discern whether or not it’s time to move on.
Wow, what a bold move to email the founder of the company you work for when you applied for your current role. I love it! What tips do you have for others looking to network or make connections?
I think my #1 tip is to just figure out what you want, and go for it. The worst that can happen is someone will say no. And if they do, then move on, it wasn’t meant to be! Or, if you still feel strongly about it, try again. As far as networking, I always recommend making sure you’re on Linkedin. A lot of companies these days look at your Linkedin profile first, and it’s a great way to keep your resume current. Also, don’t be afraid to be outgoing, and just ask if someone knows someone. You’ll never know until you ask!
Tell me a bit about what your work days look like. What do your routines look like?
My work day is pretty much the same as being in an office, with a bit more flexibility of course. We all wake up around 7:00 and then I take my daughter to school around 8:15.
I start work around 8:30. My day contains a lot of emails, conference calls, google hangouts, constant google chats and discipline to stay focused!
I pick up my daughter around 3:30 and wrap up work between 5:00-6:00. Then it’s playtime, dinner time, bedtime, and mommy daddy time.
What do your weekends look like?
Our weekends are usually pretty routine, unless we’ve planned something extra fun! We just moved closer to family, so I would have answered this question completely different last year. But now, we typically do pizza night at home on Friday night, and either it’ll just be us or we’ll have some friends over.
Then Saturday morning we always go to breakfast, then hit up a playground for Adeline and just spend time together. Then we usually run some errands, and head home for nap time. While she naps, we usually just work around the house, or do whatever needs to get done. Saturday night we try to do a family date night, and go out to eat. Sometimes Adam’s parents will babysit and we’ll have a date night.
Sunday mornings, we go to church, then out to lunch or a late breakfast, then spend the afternoon doing chores before we end the day either swimming or just playing outside.
What has been your biggest struggle as a working mom? How have you overcome it?
Probably comparing myself to SAHM’s and feeling like I’m not doing the right thing, even though I know I am. It’s like comparing apples to oranges, you just can’t.
I know you struggled with the decision to continue working when you had Adeline, how do you feel about that decision now and how do you feel about having both a career and family at this point in your life?
So, to be clear, my decision to work wasn’t, “to work or not to work” it was “financially I have to work so find a way to be happy about it.” The part I struggled with was coming to the realization that that was just the situation we were in. That me continuing to work was in fact the best and most ideal scenario for our family.
I really struggled with feeling bitter about our financial situation and wondering why my husband couldn’t just make a larger salary at the time, which sounds completely selfish looking back now. It took a while for me to get over the fact that staying home might not be in the stars.
After a few months back to work, and really doing some serious thinking about my own mental health. I realized that me working was actually a good thing and I was content. I soon realized that I love my career, reaching goals outside of the home and feeling like I’m contributing to our family’s well-being. Being a working mom has taught me so much about myself, and I truly believe it’s made me a better mom and a better wife.
When I mentioned comparing apples to oranges, I think people always try to lump moms together in one big basket. Everyone’s scenario is different, and you just have to figure out what works best for your family.
If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself as you were preparing to return to work?
That “it gets easier” is a lie, and while it gets easier to embrace your new role as a working mom and your routine gets easier, it’s never easy to do drop-off. I would tell myself to just be confident in our decisions and know that it’s the right thing for our family.
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’m not sure if balance truly exists or not. I think it does, but I also think it’s just figuring out your routine. I think the balance part comes into play when parts of your routine begin to take precedence over other parts of your routine.