WT 042: How Do I Manage Being a Working Mom?

by Karen Stubbs | Birds on a Wire | Wire Talk Podcast

Working 40 hours a week, then coming home to help kids with homework, make dinner, and prepare for tomorrow to do all over. Sometimes as a mom you feel like superwoman, or maybe you feel like you are expected to be superwoman. Listen to today’s episode to hear Karen answer your questions on How Do I Manage Being a Working Mom?

Question 1: I have gone back and forth about working or staying at home with my kids since they were born, but the truth is that I love my job and I love working. However, there are days I don’t love it—like when I miss the Tuesday at 10:00am student / parent activities that I can’t leave work for, or the thought that my kids spend more time with the classroom moms than me on a typical day. Will this always be a battle? How do I work through it?

Karen’s Answer:

I did struggle with these issues when I worked at North Point.  I hated missing field trips, or field day.  But, I also really enjoyed my job, and felt like I made other sacrifices for the family. You can’t be at two places at one time.  I just told my children, I couldn’t do all the extra little things, but I would try real hard to make the bigger things.  (and I did) My children adjusted. Realize you can’t do it all and that’s okay.  Your children will adjust, and grow stronger. Do what you can and let the rest go.

Question 2: Karen, I have heard you mention your crockpot before. Please share your favorite few recipes or other things you made getting dinner on the table easy! As a working mom, I rely so much on these!

Karen’s Answer:

I love this practical question. 🙂 Okay, here are some of my favorite and easy recipes.

  • Beef Stew

1 lb of stew meat

1 small onion

3 carrots

1 potato

1 can of tomato sauce

Salt and Pepper

Directions: Put crock pot on medium when you leave out in the morning, beef will be tender in the afternoon, and the sauce is great. I served with a bag salad and rolls.

  • Chicken Tacos

3-4 chicken breasts

Directions: Coat liberally with taco or fajita seasoning, shred chicken after 5 hours or so, stir in favorite salsa.

Serve with flour or corn tortillas, cheese, lettuce, sour cream for yummy tacos.

  • Roast Beef

Chuck Roast (coat with salt and pepper)

Package of dry onion soup packet

1 cup of water

Directions: Stir soup mix in water, pour over roast, cook all day.

Optional: Add red potatoes for a complete meal.

  • Barbecue Pork

Small pork roast

Jar of favorite barbecue sauce

Directions: Cook on low all day, serve with hamburger buns, salad and chips.

My dear friend, Katie Leipprandt, is incredible at this kind of thing. I asked her to put together a few of her family-favorites as well! She can confirm that they are GREAT from her personal experience. Here are the links to the recipes and ingredients!

Katie also recommended two different meal planning services to help you get started! Katie found that using one of these for a few months taught her how to follow the process, and now she’s doing it own her own:

prepdish.com – This plan gives you a grocery list and instructions for doing all the prep work for a week’s worth of meals on one day. (Use the weekend!) Then, on the week nights, it’s 5-20 minutes to get dinner on the table. 

emeals.com – You can choose the grocery store you shop at and they customize a meal plan based on the weekly sales at that store. The grocery list and instructions for preparing each meal are laid out for you.

Lastly, Katie is so wonderful that she even offered to share her personal shopping list that she created for her blog with the Wire Talk moms! You can find it here. Thanks Katie!

Question 3: Karen, what are your tips for work-life balance? When I get home, it’s hard for me to not think about work and when I’m at work, it’s hard to not think about the kids. How do I find this?

Karen’s Answer:

Believe it or not, this is a discipline thing. It means putting my computer and phone away in another room. I gave my kids permission to call me out on it (and mine definitely did!). It’s not always about balance, but about boundaries.

One practical thing you can do when you’re at home is to leave your computer off in the evenings and put away in a different room. Even if you just like to use your computer for social media, you’ll be surprised at how easy it will be for you to suddenly end up checking your work email. This will allow you to be present. One practical thing you can do when you’re at work is to communicate your boundaries to your boss or team. Tell them the times you are free and will be giving 100%, and the times when you have to be off the clock and focusing on your family. You’ll be surprised at how well people respect boundaries when we set them and stick to them. You might even make your fellow working-moms feel comfortable doing the same thing.

Question 4: I am struggling leaving my son with my mom while at work. I need to work financially and I am thankful my mom can help, but I have tremendous mom guilt for leaving my son, and I also experience major jealousy that my mom is with him and not me. Today, he didn’t want me to hold him, only my mom and it just killed me. I’ve been praying about this but I don’t know what to do. I’m almost in tears over it. Thank you.

Karen’s Answer:

If you have to leave your son to go to work, it is wonderful that you are leaving him in such capable hands as your mom.  You know she loves him, is taking good care of him, and he is safe and healthy.  The jealousy? I get it.  She’s with him and not you.  You will have to do your own heart work on that one. Take heart, you are his mom, and he will always love you! When he won’t let you hold him, he’s just punishing you, it’s his way of manipulating you.  My kids used to do the same thing.

There’s a few things that will help you through this. The first is prayer. Lots of prayer. Thank God for the ability to leave your child with someone who loves them almost as much as you do. Often times, when we turn to gratitude, our jealousy starts to get smaller and smaller. The second thing is a community of moms who understand exactly what you’re going through. They can listen to you, empathize with you, and encourage you. If you don’t have this community, then consider starting a BOAW Moms Group. Learn how to start one here. 

Moms, we know your time is precious. Thank for spending it with us. We hope you feel encouraged, equipped and most importantly—the peace of God. If you want to have weekly encouragement emailed to you, visit birdsonawiremoms.com to sing up for free weekly tips of motherhood.

And remember, if you have a question about motherhood I want to hear it, so make sure you visit birdsonawiremoms.com/askkaren and tune in each week to see if we cover your question. You can also find on us on Facebook, to like our page and ask us a question there too.

Thank you moms, have a great day!

Because of people like you, we can have an even greater impact!