It will come as no surprise that for the last 10 years of my career, I lacked any fondness for Monday’s. In retail, the days are long with review meetings, and the state of the business sets the intensity level for the whole week. I worked for a few years at a flash-sale start-up, and Monday’s were so volatile that anxiety would start creeping in around brunch time the day prior. My coworkers and I affectionately branded this angst the “Sunday Scaries”
Motherhood has changed my tune. After spending 48 straight hours with a sick husband and a cranky, teething baby last weekend, I practically skipped into the office Monday morning. In fact I think I did, quite literally, skip. After dropping the toddler at daycare I was suddenly free of needy humans. Off to Starbucks (who I’m actually supposed to be boycotting over the La Boulange scandal), and then on to the office where I savored the utter tranquility of my boring, quiet cube.
Monday escapism: a working mom perk.
Welcome to the 3rd installment of my series Moms to Marvel. Each month I am sharing a story from an inspiring mom to get her take and experience on balancing working and motherhood. Check out previous posts here. If you have a story you want to share, or just want to pontificate about this topic with the rest of us, contact me!
I’m so excited to introduce you to Gillian. Our mom friendship kicked off in birth class in San Francisco. Natural-birth class, that is, because we were both into that sort of thing. (Story for another day!) We happened to live within less than a mile of each other, and our due dates were ~10 days apart. And after watching numerous VHS tapes of women from the late 1970’s giving birth, we were bonded for life.
It probably shouldn’t be so hard, but getting all the elements of the work/daycare commute down has been a big part of my new working mom life. Yet I don’t feel like I hear other working moms talk about this as much as I feel like I’m thinking or complaining about it. Perhaps it’s city living, or perhaps it’s just my utter disdain for all things commute related- it’s always on my mind!
Welcome to the 2nd post in my series Moms to Marvel. Each month I am sharing a story from an inspiring mom to get her take on working and motherhood, her decision about working or not while raising children, and her feelings about it all. If you didn’t catch the first post, check it out here. If you have a particular story you want to share, or just want to pontificate about this topic with the rest of us, contact me!
I’m so delighted that Lauren reached out to me after I kicked off this series! Though we haven’t met in person, we have mutual friend and after learning her story I feel I could talk with her for hours on end all things working mom. She is truly in the thick of juggling a career and motherhood, and she’s doing it abroad! Lauren’s perspective on how to approach this journey really resonates with me, especially when I am feeling (as I am currently) totally and completely overwhelmed by all the things. She has reminded me and exemplifies by her own actions that it’s up to us to choose our path and then do everything we can to find our way along that path. That’s not to say it’s easy, but I know I’m due for a good dose of self reflection on what “having it all” means to me right now- and then making intentional choices to get there, including the tough sacrifices.
So lets get to it! Meet Lauren:
My 2nd Trimester was supposed to be fabulous. It was poised to occur right in the middle of the winter holiday season, the most wonderful time of the year! I would cross over from 1st trimester misery around Halloween and not reach the awkward 3rd trimester until well after the new year.
The proverbial “they” agreed I was going to feel so much better once I hit this magical 2nd trimester. Supposedly I was even going to want to have sex. Big promises.
One of the biggest sources of stress for me prior to returning to the office was the thought of pumping. Being a breastfeeding mother means you must stop and interrupt whatever you are doing every 3 hours or so to either feed your baby, or express the milk you would be feeding your baby. Every. 3. Hours. Not the most compatible thing with a typical 9-5 working life.
For anyone out there feeling overwhelmed by how to make this work, let’s start with the basics:
Prologue: When I was pregnant, I spent countless hours on the internet looking for stories of working women who were experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum and had hope and coping ideas to share. Especially the moderate variety- the kind that only puts you in the hospital a few times, instead of the poor women who just have to quit their jobs and live with an IV trolley next to their couch. The middle ground of this sickness was emotional torture because I would have moments of feeling ok, which made me (and others) think it shouldn’t be getting in the way so much. Or that I could predict and/or control it.