Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Football and Crowns Life with the Browns {Working Mommy Post}

*note from Melissa - I forgot to mention yesterday, but each day until next Monday July 18th, 2011 there will be 2 POSTS A DAY ON WORKING MOMS.  So please check at 8AM and 3PM each day!*
First day posts were a BIG HIT so if you missed them go check them out here and here!

Football and Crowns Life with the Browns

Hi, my name is Rachel. I am the mama to three kids, Claire – 7, Owen – 5 in August, and Bree – 2 in August. You can find my blog, Footballs and Crowns…Life with the Browns, here! I have been working for almost 12 years. I am a born and raised southern girl with a strong accent and a love for sweet tea, shiny lip gloss, bling, razorback football, collecting pigs, big bows, kids in matching outfits, throwing parties, praising Jesus, and guacamole.
I actually shared my newest adventure a couple weeks ago, so this may be the same post for the few followers I have. I feel that I am a huge advocate for working moms and if I can help one single mother, I am doing my real job! It is hard enough being a mother in today’s society, so we have to stick together and support each other! This is the story of my latest work changes and the process of how I got to where I am today.
Over the last few months, I have been on an emotional roller coaster in regards to my career. So buckle up and hold on, here we go up reallllllll slow, get ready to throw your hands up :)...........

Quick recap of my work history: I started working in this sales industry when I was 18. I was on a fast track and kicking butt and taking names. My husband, Shane and I had big plans. Fast forward to March 2003 - BAM, pregnant! SURPRISE!! We decided that I needed to keep working, but from home. Ever since then and 2 jobs later, I have been able to work from home with all three babies and it has truly been a blessing. So let's fast forward to now.
As I have enjoyed working from home and being there for my babies, it has been an adventure. At times, it has been incredibly difficult to manage both sides of my life. With that has come so much stress to be the best in everything. I strive to be the best mother and wife as well as be perfect in my career. Needless to say, that is near impossible, much less when your career is in the same home where the wife and mother should be. I started really praying specifically about the situation for guidance to handle it, and have confidence that I can.
To my surprise, things did not get better working from home. In fact, my job pretty much fell apart. To spare you the details, I realized that I needed to make a change and find a new company for which to work. The rough part, work from home jobs are far and few between. I was finally realizing, my prayers were being answered, just not the way I planned. I started aggressively looking for a new job, a job back in the office.
Now, I say that like it was an easy decision to make. It blows my mind every time I realize how God answers my prayers. I know I should not be surprised and I am working on that, but I am just so grateful. I really struggled with many thoughts of going back in the office.

Am I good Mom for doing this?

What will I miss?

Am I good Mom for doing this?

Is the money worth the sacrifice?

Am I good Mom for doing this?

What will the kids think?

Am I good Mom for doing this?

What will their teachers think? Other Moms?

Am I good Mom for doing this?

Catch a trend :). I was worried. I knew that it was the best thing for me and my family for me to go in the office. If you are asking "Why in the world would she give up working from home?". My answer: Have you ever tried being on a conference call with a kid yelling in the background "Mama, please come wipe me!"? or Have you ever locked yourself in the bathroom to get a phone call in with your VP? or Have you ever worked on an important presentation with a baby in your lap wiping Cheetos on your laptop and your shirt? True stories. All these are funny, but there are also serious times when I am beyond stressed. When I have had my hands full with kids and I have an important meeting coming up and I have not prepared. Other times, when you actually feel guilty for having your kids around while you work. Or when I think I can do everything with them and end up neglecting work and THEN working until midnight. Or when I am beyond stressed and taking it out on my kids and Shane. It has been tough. Still a HUGE blessing, but tough. I would not trade any of this for the world, seriously. Not even the wipe me instances...

I hope you are not throwing up on the roller coaster now...

Even though the Lord was literally punching me in the gut telling me find a new job in the office, I was worried. Stupid, stupid. So I prayed HARD that I would find a job with a small Team, relaxed office, and most of all they would GET that I have kids and they are my treasures. I prayed many specific things, even prayed that I work for a Christian manager, and threw in there that I would love if they went to Cross Church like us. I started applying and one job came up immediately.
Long story short, I found the perfect job and I am back working in the office. This job was exactly what I was praying for and I feel so blessed. The thing that I had not really prayed for was a job that helped my career. I was so worried about taking care of the kids and being there, that I neglected me and my career path. This role was a challenging and exciting job that would challenge and keep me interested every day.
Not going to lie, there are days when I want to cry on the way to work because all three kids were still asleep (summer time, no school) and I want to snuggle with them. Most days, though, I keep myself busy and before I know it, I am on way home and ready to walk through the door to the circus. 
My secret to being a working mom – NO PRESSURE! I am serious. I just go week by week, day by day. We are an insanely busy family, running kids to dance and tball etc. I have my calenders and schedules and I just look at each week and make a plan to get through each day. I am fortunate enough to have my mother watch my children at my house and get them where they need to be and that is a huge relief. Still, Shane and I both have to step up and be available when we can to help. I just try to plan it when I can.
Every Sunday, I plan what I have to. I have chalkboards everywhere in my home. I painted a chalkboard on the back of my pantry door that lists out each day and what we will be eating for dinner (shopping list derives from there). I have a cute chalkboard made from an old window in my kitchen that is by day as well, and it has our events for that week detailed. Mom, Shane, and I all use this board to keep up with our schedule. I have painted the back of the door going out to the garage in chalkboard as well. We use it during the school year as I write out a list of what we cannot forget to take to school each day. It pretty much smacks us in the face as we are racing out the door each morning.
With “NO PRESSURE” includes accepting reality. I have to accept that things are going to be chaotic. We are going to be running around like crazy people. There are going to be days when no one gets a bath. We may go two nights in a row of ordering pizza for dinner. I have to accept that the laundry is not always done and the house is not always going to be perfect. I am fortunate to have my house cleaned and that is another huge relief. If you can do that, DO IT!! It may be costly, but it will seriously relieve so much pressure!! When I get home at night, my main goal is to relax and spend as much time with the family as possible. I will stay up late after they go to bed and have quiet time in prayer, spend time with Shane, watch TV, put away laundry, pick out clothes for the next day, work out etc. If I am not stressed out, I can handle the fewer hours of sleep to do these things. These kids are only going to be each age for so long and I don’t want to look back and regret being so concerned that the sink was full or that my bathroom floor was covered in dirty laundry.
Now all this said, it does not mean I don’t have bad days and I need time away still. I still have girls’ nights and I don’t feel guilty. If Bree is trying to make me feel guilty, I will take her with me. I don’t go home for lunch because it is not easy on me or the kids. I have my bad days and I just have to PRAY and get through it. The number one answer I give people when they ask me how I handle everything is PRAYER!
I don’t have all the answers for everyone, but these work for us. If you have any questions or just want to drop me a note, please leave me a comment on my blog and I will get back to you when I am not saving the world here at work or wiping a booty or making hot dogs at home!

Rachel thank you for being so REAL and writing such a FUN post!  I think so many moms out there can relate to your situation and I am glad you were able to participate in this series.  Stop by Rachel's blog and follow her and her sweet family they are ONE BUSY FAMILY!
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