A Progress Report: Working Mama

Since I’m approaching my three-month mark for my part-time job, I  thought I’d share a kind of progress report on how we’re all faring.

Work Update

Work continues to go well, though I’m learning what I can realistically achieve in two days with a more realistic part-time mindset instead of the full-time one I previously had.  I certainly am NEVER without something to do, which is good, since I like being busy.  However, I do not like busy just for busy’s sake, and fortunately that is NOT the case in my job.  I feel like I am well-connected to the overall goals and am developing marketing strategies to help support those goals (while still completing every other marketing task that falls under those strategies too).  Overall, I feel like I am making important contributions that are making a difference. Did I mention my days go by very quickly?!

Preparation is KEY

Part of making my mornings and evenings run smoothly entails being organized and using time wisely, as I mentioned in transition back to work.  Sometimes things do NOT go according to plan, as is commonplace in parenting.  Today, for example, I thought my alarm didn’t go off because I woke up 20 minutes late, when in fact it DID go off, but someone turned the volume dial WAAAY down, so I couldn’t hear it. I also FAILED on my own “getting ready the night before” tip on Monday morning, when I realized I had a car seat in the trunk, and not properly installed in the backseat.  I was a little upset and frustrated, but I figured out how to install it, and only ended up being a few minutes late for work. Summer weekends are BUSY, and I’ve been exhausted after very fun and full days, making it easier to just go to bed verses taking 10 minutes to prep everything.

Lesson: Take your own advice!  If you don’t plan in advance, you just have to suck it up and make it work.

Work mode to Mom mode

After taking in the wonderful comments on my work mode to mom mode post, I have slowly become better at being more relaxed during my mom mode time.  Tonight was a pretty good example of our standard evening – heated up leftovers for dinner, had to reprimand the kids for chucking baby carrots, clean-up, do dishes, let kids play, give daughter a time-out for playing with a wire hanger, bath time, watched So You Think You Can Dance with the kids, then stories and bed.  Now it’s finally my time to sort laundry, do some cleaning, blog and relax.  AHH!!!

Some lessons learned:

  • Don’t always wear dry-clean only work clothes, or try to change out of them before eating dinner.  Today my machine washable dress pants were hit with baby carrot and applesauce.
  • TV / Shows on Netflix help buy time when I need to get dinner ready, or just some peace!
  • Every night does not need to be “perfect,” so I try to take it as it comes and get through the mis-behaving and savor the sweet moments with my kids.

Parents – what do you do to make your weeknights easier?  I’d love to read your comments.

 

Transition Back to Work

After being at my new job for a whopping three weeks, or six days, I feel like I can accurately share details about my transition back to work.  In a word:

GOOD!

I am very happy to have more structure, as I have to be more organized and productive in order to make my work days go more smoothly.  This means a few things –

  • Getting as much ready as I can the night before.  Kids stuff packed, my lunch packed in containers ready to go into my lunch box, items staged close to the door, dinner planned and prepped (if I can).
  • Wake up BEFORE everyone else!  This is key in getting ready quickly, so I can get out the door when I need to.  Plus, I love the quiet house in the morning.
  • Don’t get distracted.  I have a tendency to linger and putter around in the morning when eating breakfast.  On my word days I have to stop myself and stay focused on what I MUST DO instead of the “NICE to-do’s.”
  • Prep snacks for the kids because they are hungry immediately upon arriving home.  Instead of just throwing more crackers their way, I try to have cut up fruits and veggies ready for them.
  • Keep dinner simple.  We typically eat leftovers, crock-pot meals, or quick & easy to make meals.  Tonight it was pasta with red onions and black olives.  Yum!

Do I still have crazy moments in the two hours from daycare pick-up until my kid’s bedtime on my work days? Without a doubt! But together, my awesome teammate / husband and I figure it out and make it work.  It is only two days out of the week, so it has not been too difficult of a transition thus far.

Work wise, I’ve had to adjust from my larger, corporate marketing mindset to that of a small business.  I have to scale down some efforts to an appropriate level that matches our current resources with my time often being the limiting factor.  I work with extremely nice people; it’s too small of a business for office politics; and I feel like I’m already making a difference.  Of course there are some new ideas and changes that I’d like to propose, and I hope to do so in due time.  Until then, I’ll clock in for my two days a week and accomplish whatever I can to keep plans moving in the right direction!

How do you make your workdays easier?  If you transitioned from staying home to working, I’d love to hear how you make it work!