It’s a New Year of Possibility Working Mama!

by | Everyday, Lori Mercer, Working Moms

{In 2015, I left a 22 year career in a M-F 8-5 job that I didn’t hate but was constantly tearing my heart in two directions.  I am so blessed to be in a season where I can be home more for my 4 kids and still be contributing all my purpose and talents in a way that makes a difference outside of my home.   But these blessings don’t come without sacrifice and tough choices and seasons of discipline and focus and crazy unexplainable faith.   My heart is exploding to pour into women who are charging this same mountain.  And that includes a lot of fire wives who add to that the crazy fire life schedules.  Welcome to a new series at 24-7 COMMITMENT meant to encourage all you women out there who are crushing it at home and in the work place and need to hear more often that they rock…..and deserve that 20 minutes of peace they find with their headphones blasting and the treadmill churning while they pretend they can’t hear anyone around them!  Heart you ladies!!!  Lori @wifeonfire }

It’s been over a week since you spent 10 blissful days at home for the holidays where you finally stopped grabbing your phone to check work email and your joy was found in sticky fingers, precious arts and crafts you pretend are the next Mona Lisa treat and finally organizing that bin of outgrown clothes and basking in the accomplishment of getting your toddler to eat green beans. Your nest is organized and your clothes smell like your sweet babies nap time sweat.

Then reality hits. First day back after the new year. At first you do see the positives. Ok. Routine. We’re ready for this. Late nights and late breakfasts are fun for awhile but not so good on that nap schedule nor the waist line. And you do get to wear that new outfit Santa brought you while drinking from a new coffee mug decorated with tiny handprints and spritz on your favorite new scent. Fresh desk. Fresh planner. There is niceness in all that new.

But your whole heart and mind didn’t show up to the office because today, someone else got to wake up and snuggle your babies and / or see them off to school. It stings a little (maybe a lot.)  You compensate by crunching spreadsheets to see what you can squeeze out of your budget to spend every day at home with those adorable curtain climbers. While the rest of your brain is secretly reminding you that after 7.2 days full time at home, you’d miss the chase for that next new project bid and a reason to wear something besides comfy house clothes.

It’s a tug of war between the heart and the mind. You want both. You know you can’t do it exactly.  “You can have it all” is ridiculous because no one has ever really understood in your mind exactly how extensive your ideal “all” stretches.   Trust me.  I used to think we could have it all.  What you really want is to be able to do the right thing in the right moment with a heart that is confident you are serving with your gifts in the right place at the right moment, whether that be showing up in the 2nd grade classroom or taking a red eye to the west coast to make that important contact needed for your business.   That determined spirit inside you who’s already rocked these years birthing children and business projects all at once knows there is a way.

This applies to so many scenarios of mom’s working outside the home.  Corporate desk jobs.  Shift work nurses (although I’m so jealous of your ladies flexible schedules and part time options!).  Teachers (yes, jealous of your summers for sure but that school year M-F grind can be tough!).   Sales reps always on the road.   Small business admins.   Professionals.   Actually, I can’t think of a mom career this doesn’t apply too.   Even for me who runs my own businesses, mostly setting my own hours and working from home, still has to balance and navigate those priorities – is that email more important right now or can it wait?  Which travel do I really need to say yes to in 2016?

Women were made for motherhood and purposes way outside the scope of motherhood.   And….we were made to be able to get it all done well.   And all of us have really flubbed up that balance at one point or another.    Surround yourself with those who’ve been there and believe in you.  We hope you find that here.

It’s only a season

Firstly let me encourage you that no matter where you are, it’s a season. We are either entering a new season, content in a season, frustrated in a season or actively working to leave a season. Here’s what these seasons may look like for a woman with children who’s working a M-F 8 – 5ish kind of job:

Entering a new season:

– was just promoted
– had another child
– changed childcare arrangements (kids now in preschool part time or moved to a new provider)
– just cut back work hours

Entering a new season requires – a new plan, a new schedule, a new way to track tasks and events, training for all the newbies in the season – your new sitter, new team

Content in a season

– your boss rocks
– your schedule rocks
– the money rocks
– your kids seem well adjusted to the current mode
– your husband is managing this pace and routine
– or at least a couple of those things rock and you can tolerate the rest
– you have a side gig that’s fun and manageable and a good break from work

You feel like “you’ve got this” even when you know it’s just an illusion until the next chicken pox / bad project / sports schedule change shows up.   Still, you blissfully enjoy it.

Frustrated in a season

– constant tension between work and family schedules
– a boss who doesn’t understand
– projects that don’t light your fire
– fraught with illness, doctors appointments or some new “stage” of childhood that knows how to push all your buttons
– your husband’s job is high pressure at the same time as yours
– you know you have to keep working to pay off some bad debt
– you’re overwhelmed with all your tasks trying to work your day job and your hopeful side gig

In this season, you may find yourself wondering if you’ll ever be cut out for this life.  That negative self-talk can get ugly.

Actively working to leave a season

– you’re killing it in your routine
– you see a light at the end of a project tunnel and a chance for a re-org with a new team and / or boss
– it’s almost winter break / summer break / vacation time
– your kids are changing an age group – starting into school full-time
– you’re about to start / end maternity leave
– your dream job second job is growing to a point you can maybe leave your daytime gig
– You know you can hang on for _____ days

In this season you feel like you could take on the world and can’t wait to celebrate with that sweet reward at the end.

Will you join us?  A journey together to find our perfect moments no matter the season.  Less judging.  More encouraging.  And trusted advice as we go navigate.  No you can’t have it “all” but you can have all the perfect moments.

There are seasons when we need to hold onto the day job to support our family and seasons when there is nothing more important than getting the heck the out of there. Join our community of women who are burning the candle at both ends to do the right thing for their family and move their career to their kitchen table.


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