Support hose... you know what I’m talking about, right? They are flesh-colored and typically worn because of circulation issues.
Yeah, well, they are ugly as all, that but the support is reliable and foolproof! (You just pray that you never need them.)
Well, on a rare moment when I had nothing to do, I started Google-ing my favorite topic: working moms. It’s sort of like putting your ear on the railroad track; you can hear the rumbling from miles away. I was not surprised by the number of articles that echoed the same message: working moms need more support. One of the articles I read suggested that working moms need a wife! And I’ll have to admit that at times, this suggestion can seem like an appealing option.
The support that seems to be needed comes in three distinct categories:
That, by the way, is never a good idea. I realize just how antiquated this sounds, but when you consider that “women’s liberation” was only a mere 35 years ago (give or take), it is totally understandable that real examples of how to balance home and work are not easy to come by.
But don’t lose hope! Here are some easy steps you can take to get the support you need right now:
Adjust. Purge. Adjust again. You may, for a short period of time, want to adjust your view of what a clean and organized house looks like. Schedules are complicated, and you may not be able to give the amount of detail as you once did (before family, business trips, etc.) It’s not defeat; it’s reality.
This leads to the next step: the purge. Do you really need everything you have? Stuff creates clutter, and clutter is an energy vampire.
It sucks your time, your psyche, and your overall outlook. After you’ve done the purge, adjust again. Set a schedule for cleaning, and enlist the “all hands on deck” motto – never too early to get the kids enlisted – and then test it out for a week or two and see how it’s going. You can always rinse and repeat the process!
Uncomplicate! I know the routine all too well! After work, you get slammed with practices, games, dance lessons. Here, too, you need to adjust. In my neighborhood there is an unspoken expectation that the more activities you have your kids enrolled in, the better parent you are. This shocked me when I moved out to the 'burbs! I was just unwilling to have dinner – aka fast food – in the car between activities when I was aching to get home, have some down time and enjoy just “being” with my kids.
Adjust, choose. It’s up to you. I know at times the squeeze is unavoidable. If you can, double up with another parent, barter or pay someone to do the driving around. I know I felt bad that the stay-at-home mom would get stuck carting my kid around because I wasn’t home from work in time, but then I would treat her to her favorite latte, magazines or a night out when I’d watch her kids.
Don’t suffer in silence. Seek out the support you need!
Play the game. There are some great companies out there who have very flexible work schedules, back-up day care, job sharing, telecommuting, and a host of other options to help you be your best at work. If your company is not up to this speed yet, I understand the challenges you may face. When I’d have to leave early because my child was sick, if it happened more than two times in one month, I would say the appointment was for me. I didn’t want to be looked down upon because I had kids who needed me. I did not feel like I was being authentic, but I knew because of the environment I was in, that I was doing what was best for everyone. And you do too.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you need to make certain decisions – within reason of course – to help you manage the rigors of your work life and family life.
Paula G. Rosario
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