I’m so excited to start up a featured working mom series. LWM is all about creating a community after all, so I’m grateful that each of these featured working moms are helping us out, which gives me a chance to help them out by spreading the word about who they are and their blogs. Each featured working mom will get a chance to share their tips and tricks all about being a working parent. Check out this post here to find out how you can be the next featured working mom.
Our first working mom to be featured is Laura June, of June of the Moon. She blogs about all aspects of her life which include her husband Brent who is a stay at home dad to their two adorable boys Noah and Ezra. They all live in the burbs of Minneapolis, where gardening on her land is a hobby and something Laura shares via photographs. As a working mom, she finds herself crunching numbers and often getting on a plane as she travels for work at times.
How long have you been a working momma for and what do you do for your profession?
I’ve been a working mama since the ripe old age of 20. I found out I was hired at the current company I work for the same week I found out I was pregnant with Noah. I am a Supply Chain Analyst which means I do a lot of data mining (I LOVE Excel!) and troubleshooting.
When Noah and Ezra are grown up, what do you want them to remember about you being their working momma?
I want to instill my sons with the idea that there are no such things as “gender roles.” My husband and I share in all of the housework and currently have conventionally reversed gender roles with Brent being a stay at home dad [and the fact that I can’t cook or iron but he can!]. I want them to learn that character is everything about who you are, not what you do as an occupation.
What are some key parts of your work week routine that make things go as smooth as possible?
The biggest thing is good communication. Brent and I do our best to keep on the same page day by day, sometimes hour by hour. If one of us needs an evening off or there was some drama at school we do our best to keep each other in the loop in as real time as possible. The other big thing is flexibility. Being parents to a first grader and a toddler we consistently go with the flow doing only what feels right at the time. Sometimes we skip Tae Kwon Do because we’re all too tired and would rather watch a family movie. Sometimes naps mean cancelled lunch plans. We try and put it in perspective and move on.
What is one piece of advice you have to expecting working mommas?
Give yourself time to find your groove [and by time I do mean months]. Solicit tips and tricks from people you trust, but leave the ones that don’t work for you behind and don’t feel guilty about any of it. Families operate differently, so do what is best for your family, regardless of what anyone else tells you. You may catch some flack, but you’ll be a happier family unit in the end and that makes it all worth it.
What’s the hardest part for you as a working mom?
I really struggle with coming home and truly being present for my family each and every night. A lot of the time I get so mired in my workday that I have a hard time letting it go in the evening. This adds to the guilt I already feel for only seeing the boys a few hours a day and can make it harder to shake.
What is a rewarding part for you as a working mom?
I love how much I have grown as a person and also what this job affords for my family. I have learned a ton of valuable life skills and my family is able to live in a nice house and realize some of our suburban farming dreams as well. [We’re getting chickens at some point!] My coworkers are pretty awesome too, but if you see them, don’t tell them I said that.
Is your company family friendly? How so?
I work for a very family friendly company. They focus heavily on making sure you have a good work/life balance and recognize that family comes first. I have never been given any grief for missing work to care for my family or to go to appointments or school conferences. I don’t have to worry that having children is a career limiting move.
How do you balance…ahem…try to balance (who really has balance) the demands of your job, the demands of your blog, and the demands of being a momma and wife?
This is a subject I ponder often and I really don’t have an answer as I don’t have balance! Someone is always getting shortchanged, usually me, Brent, my blog, my social life [ha!]. I realized recently that I now view balance at a much higher level than I did before. Basically, I look back on my day and rate it on a scale from bad to good. If my day tips towards the good side, then I consider it balanced. If it tips towards the bad, I evaluate what I could’ve done differently to end the day on a better note and tuck that learning away for the next bad day. Every now and then when I feel out of balance for a long period of time I take another look at my recent priorities. I generally find I’ve been too focused on the wrong things [ahem, the black hole that can be the internet] and renew my focus in the right directions. In sum, I am in a constant battle to find balance.
Lucky for me I’m a mediocre cook! Brent is my biggest supporter, always has been, even through our ridiculous college years. He listens if I need someone to vent to, he gives me space if I need to just chill out, he cooks delicious dinners more often than not, he runs point with Noah’s teachers and is active in Noah’s classroom, he encourages my dreaming while also keeping me grounded, he encourages girls weekends and girls nights out. He also knows when I just need some chocolate and to snuggle on the couch and watch a chick flick. He just gets me. And if he doesn’t, he asks.
What are some important things you make time for you…that elusive “me time” that we seem to forget about once baby arrives?
A huge one for me is reading. It helps me relax and I just love it. Date nights are killer too. Even if it’s just for an hour so you can grab takeout and eat it without interruption, they are blissful.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Whatever you do as a working mama, don’t let the mommy guilt eat you alive. Take solace in the fact that you are doing what is best for your family and let everything else fall to the wayside.
Do you have any comments for Laura? Any Questions? She’d love to continue this conversation in the comments below!