Sorry I've been gone for a while - my cousin Lauren is in town and if I'm not working, we're making trips to the beach and to other local places (like Silver Springs...or the ever famous Chick-Fil-A!). :)
My friend Racheal asked me a while back what it was like to work while being a full time wife and mom....SO....I thought my next post would be about that. First of all, I'm still lovin' my job - it's rewarding, fulfilling, challenging (in a good way) and it stretches me! If you can be blessed to find a job that makes you a better person, be thankful!
As for childcare...throughout the summer, my mom-in-law and sis-in-law are off work (they both work in the school system), which means I have free childcare - this is a perk to living near family and I GREATLY appreciate it! Since I work in a preschool/church, if my family is unavailable to help me, I can hire someone to keep my kids in the facility where I work...this keeps Chad freed up for his business, and gives me peace of mind that the kids are being well taken care of. I'm more paranoid than most for some reason and really don't trust others with my children...Chad and I never get babysitters - we've only hired one babysitter on one occasion and she was our homegroup babysitter every Sunday from church so we knew her well and trusted her. This just shows how extremely physco I am about childcare...I'm not pregnant and don't intend to be pregnant any time soon - HOWEVER - because I love my job and plan on staying with it for who knows how long, Chad and I have already looked in to several childcare centers that we'd feel safe sending a baby to if we needed to in the future - we've actually found one and toured it already. CRAZY - I know...at the same time, I feel confident that the majority of women reading this blog are on the same page as we are and I believe you all would most likely go to pretty equal extremes to know your children were being nurtured and were safe.
SO, now that the childcare part is taken care of....I can move on to life in general and how I'm managing. I've learned that if I write something down, I remember it...if I don't, I'll COMPLETELY forget. So, I have 2 calendars -
1) Personal calendar (where I write down children's b-day parties, Women's Ministry events, Play-dates, Girls night out, doctors appointments, etc.). I also have a:
2) Work calendar where I write down all deadlines, training sessions, interviews, appointments, preschool tours, etc. I look at these daily (multiple times a day actually) and this is one of the main ways I survive the day! NEXT, I have a:
3) Call log...every time I check messages, I write down who called and why...if I call them back, I cross through it - this way I know at any given time if I need to return any calls.
4) I've learned that some things are just worth the money...like a clean car for sanity's sake! Every few weeks, I take my car to a car wash and pay people to deep clean it - I've learned that it helps me on my way to work if my car is trash/clutter free and let's face it - I do NOT have the time to get on my knees and vacuum up raisons, cheerio's and spilled milk (or spilled Diet Coke/Coffee) every week!
5) I've learned that I don't have time to blog daily and now only get on here once or twice a week...I'm still checking everyone's blogs, but may not be leaving comments due to lack of time. I miss it for sure - but it's either blog, or send my kids to bed stinky and unfed....I'm thinking the latter is more important right now. :)
6) I've learned that it's worth the money to buy organic/preservative free snacks if it means that I have a little more peace of mind that my kids aren't getting too many artificial sugars and fillers. I've learned to give myself a break when it comes to cooking and not beat myself up if the only thing I can get on the table at night is a pre-cooked Stouffer's meal...hey - at least it's artifical coloring/preservative free!
7) Priorities, priorities, priorities! I'm still struggling with balancing this! My friends are so important to me and I think this is the main area that has suffered since I went back to work. My family time is still strong...I'm with them nearly every moment that I'm not at work...my church involvement hasn't gone down at all as I'm still involved in several ministries on Sunday morning. However, making time for play-dates is nearly impossible. If I see any of my girlfriends, it's typically in the evenings at Starbucks now and that's few and far between (since we as moms know that evenings are not the best time to get away). If any of you work and have suggestions on this one - I'd LOVE to hear how you make time for consistent time with your gals!
8) I'm learning to be kinder to myself - if I was talking to another working mom, I would tell her she was doing a fantastic job, to stop exhausting herself to the point of breaking, and to pat herself on the back. I'd tell her to stop judging herself in a harsh light and to realize that as long as God is first in her life, everything else will fall in to place. As most of you know, it can be difficult to say this to yourself...but I'm learning to show myself some grace!