Every day this month, I will be featuring an interview with a working mom just like you. It’s called A Day in the Life of a Working Mom.
We’ll learn about what she does for work, her family life, and….her tips/tricks for getting everything done.
Tell us about your family (married, significant other, children’s ages, etc.).
I have one 16 year old daughter. I am a single mother and I have always considered myself a single mother, although I was married for a short time and have been in a few long-term relationships.
Where do you live?
I currently live in Southwest VA.
What do you do for a living?
I work at a local Community Service Board (CSB) as a Case Manager for adolescents with a mental health diagnosis.
How do you fit a side hustle into the mix (if it’s not your “day job”)?
I have done many things in the past that would be considered a “side hustle.”
My full time job allows me the flexibility to make my own schedule; therefore, I am able to adjust my schedule to make extra income.
Currently, I tutor a student two hours a week, at my home. I only tutor on days that my daughter participates in extracurricular activities at her school because this allows a one-on-one learning environment, without interruptions with the student.
By the time the tutoring sessions are over and my student is picked up, my daughter is ready to be picked up at school.
Another example of a side hustle I have had is hairstyling. This is usually done on Fridays in my home and I am able to get housework done while my customers’ hair is being processed or they are sitting under the dryer.
What is your typical day like?
There is never a dull moment in my day and usually no idle time.
My day begins with taking my daughter to school and going to my office to start my day. Not only does my job permit me to spend time in the office, but I also spend a lot of time in the community with clients.
I often attend court hearings, school meetings, and doctor’s appointments with my clients.
Due to me providing transportation for my daughter to and from school, I adjust my schedule to be available to pick her up from school, take her to extracurricular activities, and often return to work.
Due to the emergencies that can occur unexpectedly with my clients, I often find myself trying to find transportation for my daughter to extracurricular activities or to our home, at the last minute.
What’s the best thing about being a working mom? What’s the hardest thing?
The best thing about being a working mom is being able to provide my daughter and myself with the things we both need and often want.
I also enjoy being a working mom because it allows me to show my daughter that women have an important role in this world and that a woman’s worth is just as important as a man’s in the working world.
It also affords me the opportunity to meet new people and expand my social networking circle.
The hardest thing is time management. I have always worked jobs that were very demanding and I am often both physically and mentally exhausted by the end of the workday. I am often unable to make arrangements to attend events that my daughter participates. Thankfully, this does not happen too often, due to the flexibility of the job that I currently have.
Do you experience guilt associated with being a working mom?
Yes! I actually was just having this conversation with someone a few days ago.
My previous job required me to work rotating twelve hour shifts. These shifts were days and night shifts. I often feel that that time period in my life is a “blur” because all I did was work and sleep on work days.
I feel that more time should have been devoted to my daughter, but it just was not possible at that time. I had a great support system from my family, but often felt she was being “raised” by others due to my work schedule.
My daughter was unable to participate in recreational sports, as a lot of her friends did, because I knew I would not be able to consistently take her to practices. I feel that due to my career, I “robbed” my daughter of several things in her childhood.
How do you handle day to day responsibilities (meals, laundry, cleaning, chauffeuring kids, Dr. appointments, school meetings, etc.)?
I have certain days of the week that I routinely do things and I make sure I stick to it.
I often have to leave work early for school meetings and appointments, but luckily I can work late on other days to make up my time.
It is easy to say “tomorrow,” but it has been proved that “tomorrow” turns into “another day.” It may seem hard to stick to a schedule and get used to it at first but after the first month it becomes routine.
I do laundry on two particular days of the week (usually while dinner is cooking).
I reserve one day of the week to eat out (Tuesdays) and also try and cook one big meal that will have leftovers (Sundays). On other days, we often have to eat later than I would like, but we prefer home-cooked meals instead of fast food. There are times we do not arrive home until 8:00pm.
I always clean house on Fridays, allowing a free weekend of leisure.
I also take advantage of carpooling, when it comes to my daughter attending practices and after school activities. I always offer to provide transportation to her friends on the days that I am free, so it makes it much easier on days I have to work late to find someone for her to ride with.
As I said earlier, I have a good support network within my family, therefore I can sometimes rely on non-working family members to take my daughter to medical appointments during the day if needed.
I actually feel weird if my schedule has been broken but then again I have often been told that I have OCD. (LOL.)
What are your top 3 – 5 tips for keeping everything together?
Planning, consistency, and organization.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that you think would encourage other working moms?
Just know that no matter if you have to work due to financial or other reasons, it is okay. In society most moms have to work, single or married. I feel that children (especially teenagers) understand what it takes to provide for a household. It is so common now for the mother to work that most kids expect it.
Just know that you are not the only one, look at the benefits, and try to have fun on the job.
I actually was a stay home mom for one year and went back to work because I was bored. Sure people think it sounds good to be able to sleep in, watch soap operas, and shop all day but it is no fun when you have to do it alone because everyone else you know is at work.
What was helpful that you can apply to your work mom life?
Let me know in the comments below. If you have an extra moment, head over to give that working mom some love!
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If YOU would like to be featured, send an email to raki at outsidetheboxmom dot com. If all of the October spots have been filled, I will feature your interview in a continued series.
[…] Day 29: A Day in the Life of a Working Mom in the Mental Health Field […]