Monday, July 11, 2011

Karen at Home {Working Mom Post}

I am extremely honored to be kicking off Melissa's Life of a Working Mom Guest Blogger series.  I am so excited to be a part of such a great group of women and looking forward to reading all of your posts!!  Melissa is one of my favorite bloggers and someone that I would consider a good friend in the Blogging Community.  Melissa is an amazing Mom to Grayson and I love reading all about her beautiful little boy.  I also want to take a moment to thank Melissa for having me and for hosting this awesome series.
I just want to preface this post by saying that I don't mean to sound like a Debbie downer!  I have always been a very positive person, however, this is just my take on how my life has been for me in the past year being a working Mom.  There are so many positive things about being a working Mom and I know so many Moms who continue to work for so many wonderful reasons.
I think it goes without saying that being a working Mom is hard.  Until I became a Mom, I was always focused on my career.  I began my Accounting career right out of college and started working for one of the big accounting and consulting firms, Ernst and Young.    After several years of traveling and working in downtown Cleveland, I decided I wanted a more relaxing job in the suburbs with less travel.  I found a great opportunity with my current company and have been working there ever since.  Twelve years to be exact!  
I was thoroughly enjoying my new job and a more relaxed pace lifestyle when I met a cute guy who worked across the hall.  After several years of dating, this cute guy and I got married and finally settled down!  Since we were both already in our early thirties, we decided to try for children right away, but God had other plans for us.  After three years of trying to conceive, we were finally blessed with a healthy baby girl named Jillian. 
My maternity leave was wonderful.  Although very tiring, I enjoyed being away from work a lot more than I ever thought I would.  Before going out on maternity leave, I had several friends tell me that I would be "ready" to go back to work once my maternity leave was over with.  However, I didn't feel that way at all!!!  I was surprisingly very sad to return to work and leave my little girl.  Fortunately for me, I had arranged with my manager to only work 3 days a week once I did return from leave.  I was so grateful for this schedule change and that my manager was willing to be so flexible with me.  I really thought going part time would be the best of both worlds.  I could have my career 3 days a week, and be home with Jillian for two.  To be honest, that is not the case at all.   Don't get me wrong, I love and cherish my two days at home with Jillian, but having those two days only makes me want more time at home with her. 
I dread the days that I work and have to leave Jillian.  I work three days a week for nine hours a day.   My days in the office are long and tiring.  I wake up at 5:30am to get ready for work and to get myself and Jillian out the door by 6:45am.  I drive 15 minutes out of my way to take Jillian to daycare and then drive another 30 minutes to get to work and start my day by 7:30am.  I leave the office at 5:30pm to pick Jillian up from daycare by 6pm and then arrive home around 6:30pm.  

My working days are LONG and a lot of caffeine is needed! Here is how my desk looks when I am in the office.  My cup of coffee from the cafeteria for my mornings and a Diet Dr Pepper waiting for me in the afternoon.  You can only imagine just how long and tiring they were when Jillian was still a newborn and was not sleeping through the night!!!  I have so much respect for Mom's who work and take their children to daycare 5 days a week because the few days that I have to do it are so hard on us as a family.   I am so blessed to have a husband who shares in our morning routine and daycare drop offs and pickups.  When first I went back to work, we initially decided that I would be taking care of drop off duty and Jeff would pick up, however, we now do it based on who has the early morning meeting or if Jeff gets out of work earlier than I do.  This has worked better for us and I am so thankful for Jeff's flexibility.  It is truly our partnership that gets us through the days that I have to work.   The days I do work are not only hard on me but on Jeff too and we do our best to try to make them easier for everyone. 

Karen thank you for kicking off this series!  You inspired me to do this series after your stay-at-home mommy series you did on your blog!  If you haven't stopped by you should visit Karen's Blog and read the WONDERFUL series.  Here is the link to DAY 1 of the series!   

I appreciate your time and if anyone wants to contact Karen you can visit her blog here!

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