- 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
How does Meagan balance it all? Find out here! This popular series continues today, with a new post from contributor Meagan Sabich of Waist Not, Want Not. We hope you’re enjoying getting to know our contributors through this series as much as we are!
-Jenny & Annie
I’ve been asked the question, “How do you do it?” several times. To be honest, most of the time I am dumbfounded by the question, because I don’t feel like I go over the top, and most days I feel like I’ve fallen short in one area or another. It is really flattering when someone thinks I’m doing something supernatural.
If my household has a smooth morning (i.e., family is fed, dressed and out the door at a normal time), I feel pretty dang good about myself. I’m always amazed at the women who wake up at the crack of dawn and manage to get a workout in, before getting their family ready and out the door for the day. Those are the kind of women, who deserve the “how do you do it” question. I used to be a workout in the morning kind of gal until I had a child. Now, I am more of a “push the snooze button until I’m forced to wear a dirty ponytail for the day” kind of gal. Sneaking workouts in during my lunch hour is much more feasible for me these days. Luckily, I work in an office with two other women who don’t pass judgment when I come back from my lunch hour, looking like a total gym rat mess.
As some of you may know, I’m currently pregnant with my second child. Lately, I’ve found myself randomly thinking about this series. Mostly, because I’ve been comparing my two pregnancies and feel kind of like a superstar this round. With my first, I had a terrible first trimester. I was sick a lot of the time and so exhausted. With this one, I was sick and exhausted as well, but there was something very different, something holding me back from naps and pouting on the couch. Oh yeah, I have a toddler! This time, I had to buck up and muscle through the exhaustion and morning sickness. My little one needs me to be well and present. If I could talk to my old self, I might call her a total sissy (although I secretly envy her, sometimes)! With my last pregnancy, if I didn’t feel well, I took time for myself and rested… a lot! I took as many naps as I needed. This time around, if I get sick, feel worn out, etc. I suck it up. I’ve taken a few weekend naps, but only when Sophie naps. This time, I don’t really have the choice/luxury of endless naps, rest and self-pity.
For all the pregnant moms out there with little ones already, you deserve a round of applause! It is really hard to just carry on, but we have to. We’re already mothers and have demands to meet. Sometimes, I find myself thinking, “Gosh, how am I doing this?” Then I remember, I really don’t have much of a choice. It isn’t like last time, when I was childfree and pregnant.
What’s your work schedule like?
I work the typical 8-5 job. Getting to work by 8:00 am can be a total challenge, and luckily my job is a bit more flexible. 8:15 is more realistic for me, especially on the days that I take Sophie to daycare. My little girl is a very slow eater in the morning, she has no sense of urgency (imagine that). I swear, sometimes it can take 40 minutes to get through breakfast. I try to have lunches packed the night before, because I’ve learned that having to pack a lunch can make my morning severely delayed. If you have a child in daycare, you can sympathize. The food and drink labeling is relentless!
Once we’re out the door, my husband or I drop Sophie off at daycare, which is luckily right down the street. I try to get a workout in during lunch at KOR Fitness Reno, which is a short walk or jog from the office. For me, it is a great way to re-energize during my midday slump. I go home for the day at 5:00 pm, sharp. Our daycare is open until 6:00 pm, but picking my daughter up that late is impractical, because when we get home, dinner has to be made, we have to eat, give Sophie her bath, read her stories and put her in bed by 7:30 pm. Doing all that in an hour and a half is almost impossible, hence my reasoning for being out the door by 5:00 pm sharp!
How do you handle childcare?
My little girl goes to an all-day daycare, just down the road from our home. This is our third daycare in 12 months and I must say, I think we have finally found a match. I can drop my little one off, and 99% of the time, there are no tears. She is genuinely excited to go to school. Drop offs at her last school would leave me walking out in tears. She would cling to me and cry endlessly. She seemed so miserable. I’m so happy to have found a place that she feels comfortable. It makes my life so much easier! When I leave the school in the mornings, I breathe a sigh of relief and smile. We love the administrative staff and her new teachers. Everyone is so friendly, and you get the sense that the people there really care about the families and love children. We are so fortunate to have found this place! I shed far too many tears over our last situation.
Where do you work during the day?
I work in an office with big windows and a pretty great view of Reno. I’m on the eight floor of the big Regis/Wells Fargo building, downtown. Our office is small, it fits three desks, but I like it. Facebook has a communal workspace culture, so no one has private offices – not even the top execs. It took a bit of a mind shift to get used to, coming from Microsoft, where people had offices and cubicles, but I’ve really grown to like my open office of three. Our location is unbeatable when it comes to lunch choices. We have a lot of great restaurants to choose from. On the way back from my workout, I’ll call in a salad or chicken dish from Old Granite Street Eatery or one of the other fantastic choices we have downtown.
What do you like best about your current set-up?
I have a lot to be grateful for. For one, my job. I really have a great job. Secondly, given that taking your child to daycare is hard enough, I am so happy and thankful to have found a place our whole family likes. Lastly, I’m thankful for my two co-workers. Not a lot of groups of three women do well together, especially when being crammed in one communal workspace. But somehow, we’ve managed to stick with each other over the past few years, and we’re all great friends. We’re all moms, and I am so thankful for that. I love sharing our mommy stories, and we all learn from one another. I couldn’t ask for more in the co-worker department!
What do you find so-so/tricky/hilariously bad about your current set-up? What would you change if you had a magic wand?
Easy: I’d work less hours, or I’d take my magic wand and add five hours to the day. For me, work doesn’t end when I leave the office. I usually pick up my daughter and when we get home, I start her on a snack and begin cooking dinner. Once we finish dinner and cleaning up, we have a little family time and bam! Suddenly, it’s 7:15, time to get the bath going and start Sophie’s bedtime routine. A lot of the time, the bedtime routine is a joint effort. After being away from her all day, we both want to spend as much time with her as possible. Once she is down, I fight the urge to crawl in bed, especially since I have been pregnant. The hubby and I go downstairs and pack lunches. After that, I try to get some laundry or other housework in and by 9 pm, I am ready for bed. Before Sophie, I used to have a ton of TV shows I watched. It is so rare for me to sit down and watch TV these days. My hubby stays up later than me and has this whole secret life of television when I’m sleeping. If I had a magic wand, work days would be 8 am-2 pm, or I’d cram another five hours in the day.
Do you have any time for yourself?
Does the grocery store count? No, but seriously, I do, just not every day. I make sure to get in the occasional ladies night out, or sneak in some “me time” with a prenatal massage. I don’t get my nails done, and I have a hairstyle where the maintenance is about every four months, so those aren’t things I do for “me time.” I would much rather spend that money on a housekeeper, and I do. The best gift to myself is having someone come and deep clean my house every two or three weeks. It gives me like six hours back each time; the time I would have spent cleaning. And we have a fantastic housekeeper to boot! Sometimes, she surprises us with freshly made tortillas and the best homemade salsa. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
How do you and your husband fit marriage into the balance?
It is really hard to carve out large plots of time for each other. We use the dinner table to catch up with one another, and we try to cook together. We should try harder, to fit in more date nights, but with our recent move, we’ve been even shorter on time. We have one scheduled for next week, I cannot wait! Traveling is really important to us and it doesn’t have to be solo. A family vacation is a great time for us to fit marriage in the balance, because we’re away from the daily grind and work. We try to go on one to two larger vacations a year and strive to fit in a few weekend road trips.
Do you ever wonder how other women manage the juggle? Have you talked to other women about it?
I stopped pondering over this question, because I don’t like the idea of comparing myself to other women. I’m open to hearing tips and tricks, but my philosophy is that we all take on what we can. Life happens and we do the very best we know how to do, with what we have. We’re all juggling, and the woman who says she is efficient in everything has some serious truth-seeking to do.
What advice would you give to other moms about how to balance work and life?
For me, little things like Crockpot meals and pressure cookers make life so much easier. I’m also a huge advocate of weekend prep work. I spend some time every Sunday evening meal planning and prepping what I can for the week. I’ll do anything I can to cut down the prep and cooking time. It just gives me that much more time with my family during the busy weekdays.
When it comes to work, I believe in balance. I believe in doing a good job at work while I am there, but when I get home, my work hat is off. Something has to be really, really urgent to pull me away from my family. I believe in being present. I believe in taking things day by day; giving 100% to work during work hours and giving 100% to my family during their time.