Author: Sara Orris

The Hardest Choice a Working Mother Must Make

I am a working mother and I always have been. I took only six weeks off after the birth of my first daughter (thanks to no paid maternity leave) and twelve weeks off after each of the births of my other two daughters (still no paid maternity leave but we were better able to manage). As a special educator I am lucky to have July and August off from work if I so choose although most summers I work at least part-time for either summer school programs or at another, flexible, part-time job. I work to support my family, of course. My husband and I have always agreed that we would both work hard to provide financial support for our family (it may have even been in our wedding vows). I don’t even remember ever having a conversation suggesting otherwise. I have never planned to not work (and neither has he). It’s part of who I am, I love my career, and I’m proud to successfully juggle a career and motherhood. I read other blog posts listing various challenges of working parenthood and I usually feel as if I’ve got it all handled. My family has never known any differently and I believe my kids are thriving, my home is (mostly) under control, and I give plenty of my best effort to my career. There has been one challenge...

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Taking Back My Time

2015 was one of the happiest years that I have been blessed with in a long time. My husband and I made a huge decision to sell our business and as of January 1, 2015 our lives almost instantly changed for the better. Without the stress of a business we are able to focus more on our careers, our home, and, of course, our children. Without the stress of the business we both feel happier, healthier, and we are better able to cope with other stress in our lives. We smile more, laugh more, sleep more, relax more…the list goes on and on. Most importantly, however, we have been given back the gift of TIME. Time that should be used to live a happier life. Prior to last year, I was definitely aware that our business was making our lives more difficult than maybe they should be but it was, essentially, what it was. My life chugged along with this massive commitment being just one more thing on my list of responsibilities. The business did not keep us from having a third child, me completing another advanced degree, or me volunteering my time for committees or organizations related to my kids. People would often say, “you’ve got too much on your plate” or “how do you have time to do all of this?” and I would laugh them off....

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I’m Sorry but I Need my Tablet

The week before Christmas I broke my tablet. While it will still turn on, the screen is so shattered I can’t run my finger across it without risking a cut. I am devastated. I keep reliving the moment when I set it down on a counter because someone asked for something and I quickly realized I had misjudged my place in space and missed. It fell quickly to the hard floor, screen down, and smashed. As it was the week before Christmas and I had spent way too much money on gifts for my family I knew, instantly, that I would be without my beloved iPad for some time. And I cried. Well first I imitated Steve Carrell, then I cried. Now, I know how I sound. A person who cries over the loss of her tablet sounds like a person who may be a bit too “plugged in”. I may be giving you the impression that I am someone who has too much “screen time” and who is too dependent upon this device for her happiness. Well…yeah. My tablet was vitally important to keeping my life organized. All of my email accounts are synched to that iPad. Any meetings and commitments are transferred to my calendar app with a quick touch. My calendar app is set up with alerts and reminders and alarms to keep me aware of...

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This is (Almost) Forty

So 2016 is the year I turn forty. I’m not sure how well I’m going to handle it. I’m constantly reading posts with titles like “Life Begins at Forty!” and “Forty is When Life Gets Good!”. Hmmm…. Well, I’m trying to stay positive as I hurtle toward this milestone but lately I’ve definitely been feeling my age. I will admit that I can list many good points to being…older.  However, I also can list many, many not so great reasons why forty is most definitely NOT “The New Thirty”. I’ll start with those: My more recent Christmas “gifts” have included: a new transmission, a new stove, and a new ceiling in my dining room to fix the damage from my leaking bathroom (oh and a new shower). I was excited about all of them. Saturday nights are often laundry nights. Every other Saturday night is bed-changing night. If I drink more than two glasses of wine while out silliness, tripping, and spilling will ensue. More than two glasses of wine consumed at home leads to extreme sleepiness. I have aches and pains in strange places and no idea how I injured anything. I wake up more tired than I was when I went to bed. Instead of receiving wedding invitations we hear about divorces. Instead of attending baby showers I attend “graduations” from pre-k, sixth grade, middle school… Several...

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This Mother at Christmas

This mother at Christmas is… 1. Busy  As a working mother with a very full schedule, I do not get anything checked off of my “Christmas To Do List” until after Thanksgiving. From Black Friday until Christmas Eve, however, I run at full speed, filling our month with Christmas-themed activities, shopping, wrapping, baking, and celebrating. We take the youngest on a ride to the North Pole on a local steam train. We take them all into New York City to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree as well as other decorations and Christmas attractions. We drive around looking at lights. We spend an entire day baking cookies. I order, address, and mail cards. We attend holiday parties. We watch Christmas movies. We go to rehearsals for our church’s pageant. We wrap and deliver presents. We read every Christmas book in our house…twice. And, of course, I find time to move the stupid adorable Elf every night. All this is done while I continue to work my usual schedule and conduct our normally busy lives. 2. Excited I really love the Christmas season. I’m thrilled to have an excuse to spend more time with family I love. I look forward to watching my children enjoy the season, the fun, and the gifts. As the month unfolds, I get more and more excited for the upcoming days that are always filled...

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