As long as I’ve been a mom, I’ve been a working mom. Its been good for the entire family, not only for the added income, but also so I don’t drive everyone nuts staying home full-time. Even though I’ve worked, for the last 7 1/2 years I worked part-time. That’s almost unheard in the world of television journalism, but thanks to a good company and good bosses I’ve been able to do it.
I always said once Carrie started kindergarten, I’d be ready to go back to working full-time. Well, Carrie’s now in kindergarten, and as of last week, I’m working full-time again. Returning to the full-time game has everything to do with the above mentioned good company, good bosses, and not-yet mentioned, good husband. Sure, it may take a village to raise a child, but it also takes an amazing partner in crime who also happens to be a good cook. We also have a pretty great babysitter who picks up the girls from school, schleps them to their various after-school activities, helps them get their homework done, and leaves our house way cleaner than we ever could. I call her a babysitter, but she’s much more than that. She’s a great care giver whom my family adores. I just hate calling her nanny because that sounds so pretentious.
With the first week in the books, we’ve all survived. Olivia wasn’t all that concerned with the change in my schedule, but the younger two were less than thrilled. They said they were going to miss their “Mommy Days,” but I’m not sure they really did. Truth be told, I’m not sure I really did either. I sure didn’t miss making the mad dash from school to home to soccer practice to play practice to swim team practice, back home to make dinner. I know I’m lucky. My kids are not only in more than capable hands when I’m not with them, but I also happen to really like my job.
There’s been more than enough words written about work/life balance, and after nearly eleven years trying to find it, I’ve realized there really is no balance. At any given time, the scales are tipped. If your kids are sick, your time and attention are focused on them. If you’ve got a big project going on at work, the scale will be leaning heavily on the work side. You just try and do the best you can. At least that’s what I do. Will your kids be upset that you’re working too much? Probably. Will people at work grouse when you’re away from the office for an extended amount of time? Probably. But that’s life. It’s never balanced. That’s also what makes it interesting.