A - Z Blogging Challenge, Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of my A - Z blogging challenge.




Every day I am using the letter of the day to talk about elements of being a (part-time) working mom. 




Guilty Feelings

If you can introduce me to one working Mom who never feels guilty I'll buy you dinner!

Before I even hit the send button to apply for the airline job I felt guilty. I wanted a baby so badly, and now he was one year old, and already I was thinking about going back to work? What was wrong with me? 

When I dropped him off at daycare for his acclimatization day, I felt guilty.

The one time I had to call daycare to ask them to give me five more minutes after closing because I only just got out of a meeting, I felt guilty. He was the only kid left, sitting there at the wardrobe, fully dressed and ready to go, and one of the lovely ladies was reading a story to him. 

The few times that he was sick, and I couldn't get off work, I felt massively guilty. More about that when the letter S is due.

Oh, and not too long ago there was an incident (scroll all the way down till you see me in a BLOGGER sweater)  that caused me not to be there when he got home from school. Guilty feelings.

Fortunately I read an article just the other day that said quality time is what matters - I should remember that! I will go more into that topic when the letter Q is due...





Oh, and if you ever felt guilty about not contributing (enough) money to the family budget because you're a SAHM or PTWM (part-time working Mom, I can't believe nobody's invented this abbreviation yet!) , think again: this gentleman did the math: I can’t afford my wife



Gas Stations

Depending which route we we took to avoid traffic, we had our favorite gas stations where we filled up everything from our tank to our stomachs. It also gave us an opportunity to stretch our legs. 

Over time Colin made friends with the people who worked there, especially one guy who would always make a joke. Until one day he made one that C didn't think was funny:

I always let C pick something to eat like a bread roll or crackers and he would take it to the counter so I could pay for it. His friend acted surprised, took the bread and said "wow, for meeee? Thank you so much, buddy!" C burst into tears. They guy gave it back immediately, even threw in a chocolate bar, but C was sulky for the rest of our drive home.




  • What do you feel guilty about?
  • Do you commute with your kid(s), how does it work?
  • Was there ever a situation when you were particularly happy to see a gas station? (Scroll all the way down to the last story)

Leave me a comment, I love hearing from you!

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Husband

Pregnancy, birth, newborn, baby, toddler,… 

I was barely catching a breath, and already I kind of wanted to apply for a job? How to tell  the husband? 

I did, and he was supportive, with even a hint of „it’ll do you good“.  

Dang. Should have told him I was thinking about sleeping in or going away for a week, alone. 




When things were changing for the worse after a new boss took over plus hubby’s business partner passed away unexpectedly, he casually suggested that I’d come work for him. 

I may not have properly thought about what it means to work for and with a spouse, I was so trhrilled about getting rid of the commute. 

What an increase in quality of life and flexibility

Yeah, just imagine, C peed his bed? Throw the bedding in the machine, use lunch hour to put laundry in the dryer, have a quick bite and go back to the office. (I can’t tell you how many times I’m still doing this..) 

So now is the 4th year hubby is my boss, and we're getting along fine. Most of the times. He works from home one of the days that I am at the office, hahaha!



Hockey Mom

Thanks to living and working at the same village, It was easy to commit to Colin’s attending hockey school.  He’s been doing two seasons so far and loving it, so am I. 


Colin Gerber #23, Robbie Earl #11, Pierre-Marc Bouchard #96, unknown 

So next season he wants to practise how to score like 18 yo Denis Malgin:


Even if it won't come to that, I am proud of how passionate C is about playing hockey. When he started he could barely keep on his skates, but he made progress, and he never gave up!


Home office


I hinted to it when I was talking about flexibility and being behind... There are always the days off. I spent nap times (as far as there were any) to screen resumes, call applicants, prepare paperwork. When else was I supposed to do that when my work days were fully booked? 

Of course there weren't always naps. Colin also helped. I let him stack documents, the ones in the green plastic folders, the yellow and the red ones. 

(Hint: green = invite candidate, yellow = on hold, red = no thanks)

What he loved most was when I talked to candidates on the phone and he was allowed to say hello. I figured he'd leave me alone afterwards as opposed to "who are you talking to, Mommy, are you done yet, I'm hungry…"


  • How does your husband feel about your choice to (not) work?
  • How much can you get done when working from home?
  • Do your kids play sports?

Leave me a comment, I love hearing from you!

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Imbalance

You guessed right. Taking work home backfired. At first I didn’t even mind until I was getting more pressure and less appreciation by the new boss. I feared the „if you’re not able to do it all, then you might not be cut out for this.“

What exactly was „this“? 


It took me a while to tell myself (and actually believe) that it was not that I didn't give enough or wasn’t efficent or dedicated enough. There was simply an imbalance of give an take. As a people pleaser you’re always at risk to be taken advantage of.
 

Irony

When I was about to leave, they restructured the whole recruiting acitivites. It was good to see that my 0.5 FET (full time equivalent) was being filled with 1.0, and this after the insourcing I worked on was completed, so more resources for less work.

Ironic. But satisfying to see.  
  •  Can you ever feel an imbalance between giving and taking? How do you deal with it?
Leave me a comment, I love hearing from you!

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Juggling 

When you're a mom, no matter if you work outside the house or at home, you feel as if you're constantly juggling. Priorities, responsibilities, tasks. 
Sometimes I hear people say "it's just a question of organization" - yeah, well, what if your kid didn't get that memo? 

I alway find it hard to stick to what it's important. Instead I spend my time putting out fires where people scream the loudest.

I'm not one to make a daily schedule, and I can deal with ambiguity and unforeseen changes, actually I like it better to go with the flow than following a strict routine. Just sometimes I feel like other (little and big) people's needs always come first, and it gets to me. 


This is a collage a friend / life coach made me do in 2012. 

"My stakeholders" hahaha. Son, husband, several employers at the time, parents, daycare, charity, household. 

I'm happy to report that I have consolidated my life in the meantime. 

I'm not doing laundry anymore. 

Kidding. I quit the charity board a year ago, and I'm not doing temporary HR assignments, as interesting and career / network building they may be. 

Instead I blog, bake and see a friend from time to time.


(Traffic) Jam

BC (before Colin) I worked for SBUX, I commuted 33.5 miles on the busiest freeway, and it was a pain, so I knew what I was getting into when I took the airport job. Only 26 miles, but the same tunnels and neuralgic spots. 


The good news was that my then 16 months old son got up early so we could leave the house at 6:30am which was still too late for a jam-free ride, but we usually made it to daycare by 7:45 and to the office by 8.

The bad news was that most accidents happen Monday mornings and Friday late afternoon for obvious reasons. That's when we were on the road as well, and probably every other week we were late because of that. By the time I arrived at the office I was ready for a break!

Fortunately Colin was a really good passenger. We played "spot a blue car / a Coca Cola truck / a white van / a police car / an Easter Bunny car". 


We listened to the radio. Plus (only on our way home) we took gas station breaks. 

I considered public transportation for a millisecond. Net travel time could theoretically be as little as 1 hour 8 minutes, but doesn't take into account walking through Zurich main station with a toddler (because no way was I going to commute on the busy train with a stroller)  and to daycare at the airport! Don't forget taking the bus from home to our local train station and taking another bus from the airport to my actual office. I was crazy, but not that crazy!


  • How do you deal with being stuck in traffic?
  • Is juggling priorities hard for you? Why (not)?

Leave me a comment, I love hearing from you!

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K is a tough letter. 

Know-how, Key, Kisses, Kids, knocked out, Kaleidoscope, Knee deep, Karma, Kneading, Krispy Kreme… 

What to write? 

Seeing the world through (my) kid’s eyes is a privilege that makes my life so much more colorful and exciting. 

I love this about being a Mom.


That's all for today.


Try considering your everyday issues through a kid's eyes - they may appear much simpler! 


And have a donut!





  • What did you experience like a child today?


Please leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!

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Lots of laundry loads - don't worry, I won't bore you with that ;-)


  


Lessons
I have learned doing this (part-time) working thing:
  
  • Be prepared: charge your phone, lay out clothes for the next day, leave early, have plans (and groceries) not only for tonight but tomorrow, too!
  • You can’t do everything yourself, ask for help ahead of time
  • Less is more – do what is important, and do it right. Forget about nice  to have
  • White pants are not a good idea as long as you have to carry your toddler
  • Have spare clothes in the car – not only for C but for yourself as well
  • Cut yourself some slack, you’re working hard, and you’re doing fine






  • What valuable lessons does being a (working) parent teach you?
  


Please leave me acomment, I love hearing from you!

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My Mom

She’s the number 1 person I trust to take care of Colin when I can’t myself. She’s not only my Mom and a former Kindergarten teacher, she also lives and breathes for kids, especially her grandkids. I am so grateful to have her nearby.





Me-Time

I need some, on a regular basis. 

I call it „my hour of ultimate freedom“ and it includes a computer with internet access and a caffeinated beverage. That’s the basis. 

It can be at home with a bottle of Coke Zero. Everything on top makes it more perfect: listening to nice music, spending that hour at a SBUX, if it’s actually a bit more than an hour... 

it mellows me out. Other people go to the gym. 

I also share my hour of freedom sometimes.





When C was little it was so very tough to get some uninterrupted me-time.  Now that he is getting independent  I get more time to myself which is probably the only advantage of him growing up so quickly.



Mobile Phone

As a part-time working Mom, don’t give your cell phone number to people at the office. Unless you want them to call or text on your day off, asking if you could help them with X or Y real quick...  I didn’t even give it actively - just used my phone to let them know I was going to be late for a meeting. Mistake.


  • What role does your Mom play in your life?
  • What is an ultimate hour of freedom to you?

Leave me comment below, I love to hear from you!

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I'm looking forward to welcoming you back! 

There will only be four posts that are being updated as I go, with the most current letter on top so you don't have to scroll:



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