Some people find the end of the month relieving. For me, some month ends are more chaotic than others, like fiscal year end or quarterly reporting periods. But sometimes, after a month like this, you just need some good vibes. Going forward, my last post each month will include some of my favorite reads and other goodies from around the web. Here are a few things I’m finding intriguing, entertaining, and funny this month.
Month: August 2017
Meet one of my best friends, Julie. I met her the day after I moved to Sacramento for law school. We were on our way to an overnight whitewater rafting “bonding” trip with all the new students, and she looked nice enough, so I asked her if I could sit in the empty seat on the bus next to her. We rafted, shared a tent, and got to know each other. And we basically never left each other’s side through the rest of law school. She’s brilliant, hard-working, and she’s one of those moms who always lends a nonjudgmental ear and provides just the right balance of experience-based advice. So as you can imagine, I was thrilled when she agreed to let me kick off my new series of working mom interviews with her. Read on for some of that excellent experience-based advice.
Have you ever come across your dream job on LinkedIn or been chatting with an acquaintance who offers to connect you with an executive at a company you’d kill to work for only to realize you haven’t updated your resume in about five years? Trying to update a resume in a short time is a recipe for disaster. The likelihood that it will be sloppy and include typos is high, and you’re sure to forget major projects or milestones when you’re under the gun. Don’t get caught empty-handed when an opportunity arises. You should spend at least 30 minutes once per quarter updating your resume. Spend a little time on these areas to ensure you’re not missing any important pieces when the time comes to send your resume for a potential opportunity.
My kids were never human garbage disposals, but my daughter did, at one point, eat more than just [organic] chicken nuggets and french fries. I mostly blame myself. Because I hate cooking, I stick to easy, tried-and-true meals. After a long day at the office, I just don’t have the energy to fight her on it, so I feel very responsible for her picky palate.
And I am not exaggerating when I say this girl is picky. There is literally not one vegetable on this planet that she will willingly eat. NOT. ONE. I can’t even get her to eat the pouch purees with both fruit and veggies. She only wants the fruit and yogurt ones. I guarantee my kid is pickier than yours.
Any working professional, parent, or adult can tell you they have a lot going on. Life is busy and we move quickly. Working parents, in particular, are in a constant state of context switching between professional, parental, and household responsibilities, and it creates serious overload. It sure helps to have a supportive partner, but there is plenty of research that suggests women take on a lot of the “noticing” about all the little to-dos and it can be overwhelming. I tried to explain it to my husband once, and all he heard was that he’s not pulling his weight (which he is), so it was very reassuring when I came across this article a few months ago.
But what’s a working mom to do when you just can’t shut off the noise? And even if you could, what about all those to-dos that still need to be done? Below are some tips for managing (and coping) with the working mom overload.
Running a household is a lot of responsibility. Most of us delegate out some household work to third parties like housekeepers, gardeners, or babysitters and nannies. And most people tend to pay cash for these and think nothing of the relationship. But in California, these are usually classified as domestic workers and are subject to various tax and employment laws.
I am never away from my kids. I mean, you know, except for 40-50 hours a week while I’m at work. But like, never away away. In the 16 months my son has been alive, I have literally not been away one night from him. Not one night. And my daughter just turned four. In total, I have been away from her four nights. But only one night at a time. Combine these with the fact that my husband regularly travels for work plus some travel for pleasure, and I have been totally overdue for a trip away.
It took A. LOT. for me to ask my parents to watch the kids for us while we went on vacation. My parents are helpful, but they’re busy. They have lives. My kids are little. They need a lot of supervision and attention. And to be honest, that is kind of a pain in the ass. Not only is it hard for me to ask for help in the first place, but it was torture for me to ask for someone to parent for four whole days. But I am so glad I asked. We needed this trip so badly.
I’m at that weird time in life where I still need a lot of things for my kids but maybe not enough to fill a diaper bag. Since I work full time, I don’t typically carry my diaper bag with me–I don’t want it to sit in a hot car all day with snacks, sunscreen, and diaper rash cream going bad. Unfortunately, I’ve found myself picking up the kids from daycare and going straight to dinner and being caught without a diaper, a sweater, or a pacifier for an overtired baby. Since using my diaper bag as a purse isn’t an option for me, (although there are really great ones out there today that could, theoretically, work for some professionals,) I found a nice middle ground for transitioning from full-time diaper bag to a regular purse.
My first move was to think about all the things I could potentially need on an emergency basis and separate those from things I regularly use.
I have a special hatred for making lunches. It’s hard enough for me to get anything made for my kids, let alone for me to make something to bring to work. I’m a special case because not only do I dislike cooking/food prepping, but I also can’t stand the idea of eating the same thing three days in a row or prepping the same meal every other week. My sister is a pro at this. She basically has a rotating menu of about five go-to meals, and that works for their family. But if I made chili two weeks ago and ate it for lunch and dinner three days in a row, I’m not making chili again for two months.
I set out to do this challenge to save money, eat healthier, and prove to my stubborn self that I can find a way to inject variety into my meals even when I’m not eating out at restaurants. So how did it go? Well, it was a mixed result.