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Daily Archives: May 18, 2016

From One REAL Mom to Another…

For my last post I asked 13 moms to give me some advice to those who are becoming moms or who have just entered the new mom club.  The advice was amazing!!  But there was one that went above and beyond.  It was honest, blunt, and just what every mom should hear.  She wants to remain anonymous, I’ll just call her my friend “D”, but I had to share anyway.  Enjoy and pass it on to someone you know who needs to read this!

“So I was asked by a friend for “working mommy advice”.

I used to love writing, I used to actually be pretty good at it (I was told J).  In grade 12, I had the highest score on the provincial exam (100%) for all of Manitoba.  I feel like this new generation of texting has destroyed that a bit.  Today, we only speak in sound bytes.  I am guilty of this too.  When I see 4 paragraphs, I just hit “pass”.  But writing is so therapeutic for the soul, so I’m going to buck the trend and be a little long winded.

So here’s a confession….I get annoyed by a LOT of mommy blogs. I think they make moms sound whiny and self-depricating and get way too over-sensitive about things.   So I’m not sure my advice will resonate on the “mommy blog scene”.  I have not mastered this by all means…..I fuck up all the time.   But this is what I strive for.  Here goes…..

First off, I didn’t have a “typical” mother raising me.   I was raised by a single mom who ran a 150 cow-calf beef farm raising 4 kids with 100% custody.   Still today, I have not met another single mom that took on what my mom did.  There was no 8-5, there was no pink & blue jobs around the house, money was very tight, and Mom was usually over-stressed and quick to anger.  For this life, I am very grateful, (and maybe a little over hardened).  I admire and understand her so much more as a mother myself.

Today, as a mother of a 5 year old girl and newborn boy, I don’t fit many of the mother molds either (as I read these mommy blogs…)

How to balance life as a working mom: I’m not at any place to give any advice!

I just had my second baby and am on my 1 year maternity (O’ Canada, Our Home and Native Land!). Two kids (even 5 years apart) are more like triple the work than double.  Running a home is hard work, there is so much shit to do every day!  My FitBit clocks 15,000 steps almost every day just keeping everyone fed and not living in filth.  Serious, that’s just cleaning, laundry and meals.  When I was working, it would be more like 5,000 steps a day.   But regardless, at the end of the day, now living both lives, I know the truth, I feel equally as exhausted and both are equally as important!

I’m the “corporate mom”. I love my job and I’m very good at it and am OK saying that loud and proud.  It provides me with a lot of self-worth.  I work in a very competitive environment where the harder you push, the more you accomplish.  I’ve always done better under pressure.  That’s why Mom Life is hard for me sometimes, it’s too easy to be lazy.  There is no budget to hit to benchmark accomplishments against.  I realize that many Moms will not be able to relate to this, so sometimes I feel uncomfortable sharing my true thoughts for fear of sounding selfish.  One thing I learned with Mommy World: selfish = bad mom.

I’m the higher income earner in our house and working part time is not a possibility in my career. My husband works full time also and double/triple time in spring and fall and I am very proud of him.  But I have always been the more career focused of us two.  Many couples live this life, it’s less common that it’s the woman’s career that drives the household’s directions.

So I feel before giving any advice, it’s fair to know what glasses I’m looking from.

  1. Treat your home like your job.
    1. A lot of mommy blogs are “it’s ok, you’re doing enough, love yourself…..”   I get it, I do…its important. But sometimes I feel like a good kick in the ass does a Mom good. What if we were to take the exact same language and put in the work force? Nobody wants to work with that chick. Seriously, just think about it for a minute……That shit wouldn’t fly!
    2. I am not a creature of habit, my husband is. I think it’s a good balance for us…most days. But I am not an A-type, lots of lists organized mommy (although I so admire you!). I thrive in a high stress sink or swim environment. I suck at consistency. When it comes to sleeping habits, my husband compares it to a train…….really slow to get going, really hard to slow down. He’s the light switch: he can wake up and fall asleep within minutes.
    3. Sometimes, you just have to push really hard and get your shit done. Treat your home like your workplace. Sometimes overtime is needed, other times it’s ok to check out early without explanation or justification.
    4. I’ve learned to embrace my energy bursts and push hard getting as much done as possible. It’s truly exhilarating. But totally accepting the fact that tomorrow may be a write-off of ordering in Chicken Chef and 3 hours of NetFlix.
    5. I wish “Mommy Blogs” were more like the inspirational corporate leadership training I get. We all work really hard to get it ALL done (without the need to showcase proof on social media).   So my ‘working mommy’ advice is suck it up, push harder and get your shit done and you’ll feel awesome! And then unforgivingly crash and reboot!
  2. Hire Out – seriously…..just do it!
    1. It seriously takes me 2 hours to prepare for my bi-weekly housekeeper to come and do a scrub down of our house. It’s a LOT of work to remove the clutter just to make room to clean! Those days I get 25,000 steps in just putting shit away…
    2. Here’s the thing: If there’s something you suck at, that’s OK. Just own it, get some extra help and move on! I suck at cleaning and tidying up, like full on F. But I love cooking my family a meal, I have friends that are complete opposites. Just own your strengths, and don’t guilt yourself into submission on weaknesses.
    3. We all waste our money on such stupid shit. Why are we not willing to buy less new trendy stuff and instead hire someone to help us out with those things that stress us out instead? Why am I hesitant to spend $50/week on housekeeping/ yard work / child care but I can blow $300 at Costco like a fart in the wind????
    4. Whatever your weakness is, just ask for help (paid or unpaid). Don’t put all the pressure on yourself trying to do it all!   That gives you more energy to kick ass at what you’re good at!
  3. Treat your husband / family help as co-workers.
    1. The only way I can survive is by embracing my network the same as my co-workers!
    2. “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg changed my perspective of working moms. “Make your partner a partner”.
    3. Let (and pressure) your husband to being an equal partner at home. Sometimes this means shutting your mouth and letting him figure out things his own way without critique.
    4. Here’s an example: I’m more than capable of mowing a lawn. I’m comfortable around tractors and did this myself for many years on my own when single. But now, when I do it I get reminded that I didn’t check the oil, and I drive too fast and didn’t pick up debris first…..it’s just easier to let him do it the way he likes. It’s no fun being ordered what to do every step (even if it’s so very right!) Don’t be bitter at husbands for feeling the same way about child care and home maintenance. “She likes it done a certain way, it’s easier to just let her do it”. It’s amazing what we each can accomplish when given the challenge and encouraged instead of critiqued! Both of us are still working on this! This is hard for me, but key to our survival of a double working household!
    5. In the same breath, appreciate them like you would a co-worker. Don’t take them for granted. Verbalize what you appreciate. It goes a long way.

Every day I try to figure this out. Some days I feel like I’m kicking ass and I do a silent fist pump.  Other days I hang my head in shame that I should have done so much better.  I remember life before kids, and I did the same in my work life.  So this is why I’ve tried to treat Mommy life like my career.   I think working mommies are amazing inspirations to their kids and teach their kids to be independent and driven to push hard when things are tough and crazy.  This is something to be very proud of and don’t feel bad about taking value away from stay at home moms if you say it out loud.  SAHM are so amazing too and I so admire them.  I struggle with this, scared to say out loud what I love about being a working mom as opposed to SAHM, worried of offending someone in this over-sensitive social media world.

I’ve learned that women are just as powerful at inspiring each other and giving each other the kick in the butt we need too! So let’s all just focus on that piece!  Push on girl!  We can do this!”  ~ “D”

Mom Motivation
Mom Motivation