- I Don’t Know How She Does It: Lynnette
- I Don’t Know How She Does It: Shelley
- I Don’t Know How She Does It: Jessica L.
- I Don’t Know How She Does It: Fayth
- I Don’t Know How She Does It: Gemma
- I Don’t Know How She Does It: Jenn D.
- I Don’t Know How She Does It: Annie
- I Don’t Know How She Does It: Aramelle
- I Don’t Know How She Does It: Jessica S.
- I Don’t Know How She Does It: Meagan
New post today in our ongoing series, “I Don’t Know How She Does It!” Reno Moms Blog contributor Aramelle Wheeler of One Wheeler’s World a turn with this post about going back to work last year and forging a delicate balance between a fulfilling job and family life. We hope you’re enjoying getting to know our contributors through this series as much as we are!
-Jenny & Annie
A year ago, I was in the midst of preparing myself to go back to work after being home with Runt for more than two years. Among the seemingly endless things that my brain obsessively worried about in those weeks between accepting the job offer and my first day of work, thoughts of how I was going to juggle the life of a working mom was high on the list. A one point, I even took to the Internet, begging friends who’ve been there, done that to share at least some small tidbits of their secrets with me. Clearly, there had to be some magical formula that they could bestow upon me that would suddenly make this new life that we were about to be thrust into a whole lot easier than my frazzled mind was making it. “How do you do it all?” I asked, innocently enough. You might be able to imagine my frustration and…let’s be totally honest here…annoyance when they all chirped up with some level of an answer that equated to “I don’t, and you can’t either.” Heh. I would show them.
And maybe, just maybe, I will. Someday. For now, I’m just concentrating on coming up with a new excuse for all of the things that are often left undone, since the one about the “adjustment period” seems a little far-fetched a year into this gig. In the meantime, here’s the right-now answers to how I’m doing…or not doing, as the case may be…all of the things that still demand to be done.
What’s your work schedule like?
For the most part, I work a standard 8:00-4:30 job. There are a few times a year, though, when life gets extra complicated because I’m working a lot of late nights for a few weeks at a time. The payoff to those late nights is that I get to sleep in a bit, spend time snuggling with my little man, and sometimes even get the opportunity to be the one putting him on the bus in the morning. I’m also really blessed to have a fair amount of flexibility with my schedule, so I can change my hours up a bit here and there if needed for appointments and such.
How do you handle childcare?
We are blessed to have a really awesome family friend who takes care of Runt for us while we’re both at work. He loves our boy to pieces, and Runt really likes going to his house every day. Runt also attends the preschool at 2.5 hours a day, four days a week through Washoe County School District. The combination of this one-on-one time with his buddy, as well as the time spent with peers in school is a perfect solution for us, as a traditional day care center is a challenging setting for our little man to handle.
Where do you work during the day?
My office is located off of USA Parkway, about halfway between Sparks and Fernley. It’s a gorgeous setting to be surrounded by while working the day away. I also traipse out and about Reno and Sparks, visiting the schools where some of our programs are hosted.
What do you like best about your current set-up?
I absolutely adore my job. The organization that I work for is truly amazing, and in nearly a year there, I haven’t yet had a bad day at work. That goes a long, long way in making this life of being a working mom work out really well for our family. I also am really happy with the solution we kind of stumbled into as an answer to day care.
What do you find so-so/tricky/hilariously bad about your current set-up? What would you change if you had a magic wand?
I tend to get incredibly frustrated by the complete lack of time to accomplish all of the everyday parts of life that have to be tended to. Each time I step foot in a store on a weekend, the piece of the stay-at-home mom that still lurks inside of me cries a little bit, while the other parts of me focus most of my energy on not completely losing my mind. And I won’t even start on my tangent on how impossible the feat of keeping my house presentable feels these days. I’d be a blissfully happy person if I could go back to the days when weekends were about nothing but hanging out as a family. If I can’t get a magic wand, could someone at least float me enough money to afford a cleaning service and a personal assistant?
Do you have any time for yourself?
Hubster is really good about telling me to take some time for myself. And I’m really, really bad about listening to his suggestions. I do get a bit of quiet time for myself during my commute, and that really does go a long way to helping me feeling slightly more sane. Still there are days when it feels like I don’t get even a minute to breathe on my own. The more we get settled into what our everyday life is now, though, the more hopeful I am that it won’t always be that way.
How do you and your husband fit marriage into the balance?
This is something that seems to ebb and flow for us. Sometimes, we do really awesomely at carving out extra time for the two of us, heading out on the occasional date night and spending quiet evenings in at home after Runt is settled into bed for the night. Other times, it seems we suddenly realize that it’s been way.too.long since we last did anything resembling quality time with one another.
Do you ever wonder how other women manage the juggle? Have you talked to other women about it?
All.The.Time. I’m still waiting for someone to share that magical formula, and I’m not completely convinced that they’re not all just holding out on me.
What advice would you give to other moms about how to balance work and life?
I’ve got nothing. But I’m ready to take notes, if anyone would like to share their tips with me!