the perfect mom

This is my first official blog entry for CT Working Moms! My little “advice to working moms” bit on my bio page (“Don’t try to be the perfect mom”) may be easy to say, but hard to follow. I do think we all need to accept that we are not perfect, but we all may be SuperMoms anyway. Sometimes, we just need to give ourselves credit for all that we are doing. I do think that working moms feel substantial pressure to be able to juggle all those balls in the air with complete perfection and poise. Do you ever feel like you have to not only be a superstar at work, but also a superstar mom? Or friend? Spouse? We all have friends who make their own fantastically-decorated cakes for their kids’ birthdays, have matching outfits for their perfectly groomed children, send cards out for every friend/family member/pet’s birthdays, prepare only organic food, and do all of the above while appearing completely calm, cool and stress-free. I am not that mom. I wish I could make Star Wars or Thomas the Tank Engine cupcakes. I wish I remembered to respond to that birthday invitation on time. I wish I had less clutter or chaos in my life or at least felt like I had my act together a little more. I sometimes feel like the mom who barely...

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“We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist…”

I watched the video below at a staff meeting where I used to teach in 2008. It’s been in the back of my mind lately. Nate, my older son will be three at the end month and began preschool this past week. Preschool, now, it seems is a different world from what it was when I was a child. Conversations about making sure children were reading upon entry into kindergarten and how best to teach numeracy skills to such young students buzzed around me. Should we push academics in preschool? Should my son, who only learned to walk roughly two years ago, even have sight words on his radar right now? As a mother and as an educator, I’m immensely worried about how the heck we can possibly prepare the next generation…it honestly does keep me up at night. What are the skills on which we should focus? Academics? Social skills? Technology? Something else? I will leave you with the video, and this quote from it: “We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist…using technologies that haven’t been invented…in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems...

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Pregnancy beautiful? Yeah right….

So here I am 8 months pregnant with only 5 weeks left and over the last year I have decided that all people who say pregnancy is a beautiful time are in fact BIG FAT LIARS. Do not get me wrong I am very excited for the arrival of our little one….but seriously how can someone claim everything we go through over 9 months is beautiful. Add a full time career onto this crazy change and it leads to a lot of issues. Basically when I found out I was pregnant I realized there were going to be restrictions and things I needed to curtail for the safety of my baby (So doc you are telling me a whole bottle of red wine is not OK?) but I did not realize the list has more than quadrupled since my mother had us. Let’s see: no alcohol, no to little caffeine, no tanning, no ham, no cheese, no frozen yogurt, no face wash that will actually help clear acne, no fun, no life, no sleep, no…no….no! I literally got to the point where I was checking everything in fear that my child will come out with two heads. I have been the lucky lady to have weird symptoms that do come up in books but only affect like 1 pregnant lady every ten years. First off I had hyperemesis gravadarum which basically means...

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I’m a mom of a Toddler – a One Year Old – when did that happen?

I’m a mom of a Toddler – a One Year Old – when did that happen?    When did that happen? Did I blink? He was just born it seems….the ambulance ride to the hospital a month early, the baby boy in my arms in a little over two hours from the start (I know don’t hate me – it was fast but it was considered a traumatic birth), the return to the hospital and then a transfer to a different hospital for high bilrrubin levels (jaundice) – I thought it was the scariest thing as a first time momma being in CT Children’s Hospital with this tiny baby hooked up to wires and lights, how could we get through that, well we did!  We got through those first few days and then they rolled into weeks being home as a family unit Mom, Dad and baby. We were learning about each other and just how much sleep you actually needed to survive – umm I mean function – to change a diaper and hopefully prepare yourself something to eat. Sandwiches and anything small and portable were my best friend in those first few weeks after his birth. Portable foods are easy to hold while nursing an infant.  Although, to be honest, there was the occasional noodle or grain or two of rice that fell on the baby’s head while...

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Baking for Baby

Following up on last week’s post, dinner time at our house also includes the care and feeding of the little guy.  Fortunately his food prep takes a lot less time than boiling a pot of water for pasta.  Adding to the guilt I already had for going back to work and not following in my mother and mother-in-law’s footsteps by being a stay-at-home mom, I quickly began to feel guilty that I may not have the time to make Jake fresh baby food.  My mother always told me about how easy it was to make baby food for my brother and I, but then I thought, no matter how easy it is, how am I going to find the time to do it!?  (remember those two little precious hours between 6:00-8:00??)  Well, guilt be gone, I was happily surprised to find out how quick and easy it is to make baby food!  Now don’t get me wrong- I still use jarred baby food for day care- Jake’s teachers have enough on their hands looking after 8 babies under the age of 9 months without worrying about returning my little baby food storage containers every day.  BUT, at night time and on weekends, it’s chef Marie whipping up veggies into oblivion!! One of the best gifts I received at my baby shower was the Beaba Babycook. (http://www.beabausa.com/product-babycook.cfm) This little gem can steam veggies, fruits...

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New Mainstream Movie About Being a Working Mom

Have you seen the trailer for this new movie with Sarah Jessica Parker? I’m curious to find out what happens at the end. Does she give up her career for her family or does she find a happy balance? Perhaps we should have a special get together with our CT working mom blog followers for a movie...

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When Thinking in Advance, Sometimes You Miss the Moment

I have found that some of the skills I’ve developed in my career, I use as a mother. In my past life, I worked in scheduling and advance for a U.S. Senate campaign.  I helped organize a statewide bus tour The New York Times said was “run with military precision and precise planning.” I cut that article out and framed it. But I digress. Doing “advance” on a campaign involves a million things, but the most important is arriving at an event before the candidate to make sure everything is in order and goes smoothly. If something bad happens, it’s your fault. It’s this mindset I find tough to break as a mother. Whenever I walk into a new location, I quickly scan the room for the following: A. Where is the bathroom located? B. What are potential hazards? C. What are some entertaining distractions for Mia (and myself)? D. Where can I sit/stand so I can quickly flee the room when these distractions wear-off and Mia starts yelling? We were recently invited to a gathering at the beach. I felt myself hesitate, my brain spinning with questions like: A. How long will we be in the sun? B. When will we be eating? C. What will we be eating and will it be ok for Mia to eat it? D. How long will we be expected to stay and...

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Quotes

“I was brought up to believe I could do anything I wanted professionally and, of course, be a mother at the same time.  But I’m finding out that it’s complicated.  It requires a lot of thought and planning and I haven’t figured it out yet.” Maggie...

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New Study: Less depression for working moms who expect that they ‘can’t do it all’

Contact: Daniel Fowler pubinfo@asanet.org 202-527-7885 American Sociological Association LAS VEGAS — Working moms have lower rates of depression than their stay-at-home counterparts, but buying into the supermom myth could put working mothers at greater risk for depression, suggests new research to be presented at the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association. The study shows that working mothers who expressed a supermom attitude that work and home lives can be blended with relative ease showed higher levels of depression symptoms than working moms who expected that they would have to forego some aspects of their career or parenting to achieve a work-life balance. “Women are sold a story that they can do it all, but most workplaces are still designed for employees without child-care responsibilities,” said Katrina Leupp, a University of Washington sociology graduate student who led the study. In reality, juggling home and work lives requires some sacrifice, she said, such as cutting back on work hours and getting husbands to help more. “You can happily combine child rearing and a career, if you’re willing to let some things slide,” Leupp said. Leupp analyzed survey responses from 1,600 women, all 40 years old and married, across the United States. The respondents, a mix of stay-at-home moms and working mothers, were participating in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. As young...

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