Monday, March 9, 2015

4 Things Working Moms Struggle Fit Into Their Spring Schedule

Working moms are often tasked with what seems like a heroic feat: schedule work and life without sacrificing quality from either. And make sure nobody realizes that it takes even a second thought or an ounce of stress.

We know that our single and/or colleagues are constantly scrutinizing our ‘availability’ and the amount of time we spend in the office, so we often find ourselves trying to function as if parenthood does not overlap with our professional life.

As we roll into spring, there are several such instances where this becomes increasingly difficult.

Spring Break. Sure the kids deserve a break, and we can tell they are ready for it … but what do we do with them? Some are lucky enough to have vacation days, time, and budget to take a great trip or spend some quality time at home. But many working moms struggle to figure out exactly what to do with their kids for FIVE days during an otherwise normal work week.

Good Friday. There are very few professional companies that offer a holiday on Good Friday, but schools and day cares are often closed. At least, they are here in the South. Easter Monday can also be a school holiday. So working moms scramble to find baby sitters, have personal days approved, or sometimes just suck it up and take time off without pay. Right on the heels of spring break, too.

Time Change. Parents around the country are either celebrating or cursing this right now. We are all a bit off as our routines adjust to daylight savings time. But we try not to let it show. Whether we have to drag our kids out of bed in the morning or fight them into their new bed time, readjusting schedules is always tough. And nobody really wants to hear about it around the water cooler.

Field trips, spring programs, standardized tests, and other milestones. We already miss out on so much in the daily lives of our kids. We already ask for a ton of time off, late arrivals, early departures, and sick days. We hate to miss the fun stuff and we will not miss the milestones, but scheduling those in on top of what we have already had going on this spring … it’s a tough balancing act, for sure.

I actually have a coworker – he is young, unmarried, and does not have children  yet – who spent years watching those of us with kids come and go from the office for various kid-related issues. He jokingly made up a birthday for his ‘child’ and all of the non-parents would take off early every year on this date to celebrate Kasie’s Birthday at a local happy hour.  

Personally, I think it is hilarious, and I do not blame them one bit for feeling like they get the short end of the stick when it comes to flexibility in their work schedule.

My hope, however, is that those without children realize that we do not consider this balancing act to be a perk of any kind. Sure, we absolutely appreciate the jobs that allow flexibility when necessary, but we also feel like we are always letting somebody down.

I think about how executives have personal assistants, sometimes for the sole purpose of keeping their calendar updated, efficient, and accurate. Wouldn’t it be amazing if all (working) moms were able to have a personal assistant to help balance work obligations with personal life events?!  

What schedule struggles do you have this spring? 

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