champagne & black coffee

A lifestyle and fashion blog offering personal style & beauty tips, inspiration, and glimpses into my everyday life.

Month: September 2016

There Is No Such Thing As A Working Mom

Earlier this week I was in the produce aisle at our (new!!) local Publix and I had a really impactful conversation with a complete stranger.  It was 9:45 in the morning on a Tuesday and my almost-2 year old son was riding in the cart, talking about a lottttttt of apples.  A woman approached me simply to compliment my son and his big blue eyes but the conversation evolved into some pretty standard small talk.  She made a comment along the lines of “isn’t it so nice to be able to do your weekly shopping during a time where the store is not super crowded”.  I agreed that yes, it’s definitely nice, and that I’m not used to being able to shop during the day because I’m usually at work.  My son just happened to be sick so I was grabbing a few necessities following his doctor’s appointment.  She asks what I do for work, and then responded with “Oh wow it must be so hard to be a working mom.  I’m just a stay-at-home mom.”

JUST a stay at home mom?  It stopped me in my tracks and I think my jaw may have literally hit the floor.  She struck a chord with me so I proceeded to give her an impassioned pep talk about the importance of being a stay at home mom and that she’s not JUST anything… other than selling herself short.  She is a badass rockstar MOM who does some of the toughest, thankless and most rewarding work on the planet.

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a mom who works full time or part time or who works multiple jobs, a single parent, an adoptive mom, a homeschooling mom, or any other type of mom, YOU are a working mom.  Every single way you can possibly slice it, you are a mom who works your tail off to provide for your family.  Whether you’re providing love, care, financial support, emotional support, stability, or any combination of of those things, you are a working mom.  To define a working mom as a mom who holds a paying job of some sort is both careless and irresponsible.  No one ever refers to a man with a job as a Working Dad, do they?  No. They don’t. Ever.

It is my opinion that it is not any more difficult or easier to be a mom who also works versus a stay-at-home mom.  The two are very different but both very hard, and there are challenges and opportunities that are associated with each.  Sure, sometimes it’s hard for me to have a sleepless night and have to get ready and get to work first thing, ready to attack the day.  And it’s hard for me to have to coordinate with my husband when one of us needs to work late, or to juggle our travel schedules because we both require some level of travel for our jobs.  But I can promise you that it’s also hard to be the mom who is spending a long, grueling day with a teething, napless toddler. Or the the mom who misses her previous life in the corporate world, putting her career on hold so she can spend time with her children in their younger years. Or the mom who hasn’t slept well in months but is forced to choose between showering, napping or eating lunch for those few short minutes (or hours, if she’s lucky) while her child naps.  Being a mom of any sort is hard.  It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and from what I’ve heard, it will only get harder with new sets of challenges as time progresses.

I think I’ve proven myself wrong with my claim that there is no such thing as a working mom.  There are only working moms.  Be proud of yourself and the work you do.  Even when no one sees it or appreciates it or recognizes it.  I see you and I think you are amazing!

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Life Happens.

July 7.   The last time I published a blog post or even logged in to my website.  It wasn’t on purpose and it wasn’t a preference, it just kind of happened that way.  My life and the lives of my friends and family have all been set into hyper-drive lately so certain things got prioritized and de-prioritized.  My lil side project blog received that latter treatment.  And that’s OK.

Guys, life happens. Every day.  And sometimes the really, really bad or the really, truly good gets poured on in abundance and all of the to-dos on the list become overwhelming.  It happened to me and it continues to happen to me and for the good and the bad, I am grateful.  For my mistakes and missteps, I am grateful.  For my positive outcomes, I am grateful.  For the unconditional support of my family and friends, I am grateful.  For the roof over my head, I am grateful.  I have one million and one things to share with the universe about some of life’s recent lessons, personal successes,  and struggles I search for help in trying to resolve.  And I’ll get to them, eventually.

Today I want to share what I want to focus in on and prioritize for my life:

1) Balance.   This sounds a bit contrived and cliche’ but it’s arguably one of the most important things.  Finding that balance between work and life, between happy and humble, between routine and spontaneity. It’s hard.  We all spend our whole lives doing it unsuccessfully most of the time.  And I think I can do a better job of achieving balance if I keep a more consistent eye on how I am managing it.  Be as thoughtful and meticulous with how you are managing your everyday life as you would with a big important project at work or the planning of a big life event.

2) Love.  This is the most overused AND underused concept on the planet.  Think about it.  We, as a society, throw this word around so much that it’s basically becoming meaningless. “I love your hair!”, “I love that show so much”, “I love ice cream!”, “I love that quote!”.  Everyone loves everything all the time.  One definition of love is an intense feeling of deep affection.  INTENSE DEEP AFFECTION.  That is a big freaking deal, people.  So for all of the things and people you really, legitimately love, how often do you tell them?  More importantly, how often and how well do you SHOW them?  For almost everyone the answer here is probably “not enough”.  I am so very guilty of this – assuming people know how I feel about them because it’s how I’ve felt for a long time or because I have told them before.
It’s not enough.  I need to hold myself to the same standards to which I hold other people.  In the past I’ve found myself frustrated with my husband for not being affectionate enough or for not doing as many romantic, for-no-reason things for me as he has before.  Or for something as silly as not giving me enough hugs.  But what have I done for him to show him how much I need him?  Am I any better? (nope) I’m trying to focus in on telling people how important they are to me through action.  Checking in to see how people are doing. Sending a postcard or leaving a note.  Telling people you love them.  Doing something nice for someone despite it potentially being an inconvenience.   Going out of your way to do something helpful for someone with zero expectations of reciprocity. Thinking of others before myself by default more often.  It’s tough.  This one will take work.

3) Simplicity.  Less is more in so many ways.  Less noise, less stuff, fewer plans, less screen time… more REAL connections.  More conversations, more focus, more being in the moment.  Next time you’re in a public place just take a look around.  You’ll see more than 50% of the people in group settings with their eyes and minds glued to their phones.  People take time to schedule dinners with friends and then sit there staring at their phone, spending the majority of their time on social media telling everyone about where they are sitting with their friends while not acknowledging them.  It’s ridiculous.  I do it, too, sometimes.  I want to be intentional with how I spend my time and I want to do a better job of being in that moment, away from all of the distractions we allow to creep in.  I want to disconnect so I can create better connections with people and with the world around me.
(Sidenote:  my friends Lindsey and Lincoln are a HUGE inspiration to me, taking this idea to a whole new level!!)

4) Health.  Plain and simple, make it a priority.   Eat well most of the time and exercise consistently.  Nothing too crazy other than just generally being nice to your body.  Nothing in excess, everything in moderation. I strive for this, although I fail often.

What do you want to change about your own habits?  What have you learned about yourself recently?

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