Welcome to my new series looking inside the minds of working moms. In an effort to ‘break the silence’ on the struggles of being a working mom, I’m asking some brave souls to open up about their experiences working a 9 to 5, or perhaps an 8 to 6 – or even longer – job. Oh, yeah, and then there are all the responsibilities once they clock out for the day. Read on to learn about our first featured mom, Julie. I swear, this mom is inside my head. I totally feel like everyone has it together but me! Glad to know I’m not alone!
Tell us a little about you.
Hi, I’m Julie. I have a 2 and a half year old super busy toddler who never wants to sit still, two dogs and a cat. I also have a husband who’s in the military and is often away. I work for a consulting company doing environmental compliance, which typically involves air and water permit review, creation of actionable tasks for various personnel to complete in order to maintain compliance, and agency reports.
Why did you pursue this particular career? What did you do to prepare for this career?
I got my Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering and in my final year of school I interned for a local air quality management district. After graduation, I started working for an environmental consulting company, and here I have been for about 11 years now. I kind of fell into the work, as I didn’t really know what I wanted to do exactly, but I knew I didn’t want to work in a lab or be very hands-on with chemicals or substances.
How have your professional goals or career outlook changed since becoming a mom? Have your expectations of yourself changed?
My expectations of myself have definitely changed, so I’ll start there. My ambitions are not what they used to be – I just want a quiet, comfortable day and don’t seek out new exciting projects or try to stand out anymore. Motherhood is tough; working motherhood is tough; I just am trying to stay afloat. My career goals now are to find a way to do this part-time so my home life can be better. I still want to maintain my skills and continue to contribute to a working environment, and to my family, but I am struggling being pulled in so many directions all the time.Balance -- It is elusive. Everything is rush, rush, rush. @juliecookies Click To Tweet
What do you find to be most challenging as a working mom?
Balance — it is elusive. Everything is rush, rush, rush. Running on little sleep, to still have to get up and brain all day, drive too far, and stay healthy. It is tough.
If you have chosen to ‘dial it back’ or transition professionally as a result of family obligations, please tell us a little about that decision and how it has turned out.
I hope to answer this question someday. For now I’m working on growing my blog so that maybe it can start bringing in a part-time income, and I can pursue a “dialed back” corporate life.
Do you ever feel conflicted as a working mom?
Oh yes! I feel like I should be able to DO IT ALL! On the outside it looks like everyone else is handling things so well and other working moms (like coworkers) are doing way better than me. But I know the reality is not what the outside appearance is and that we are all struggling and are conflicted with being away from tiny babies and not being fully present either at home or at work. We’re just doing our best and what I love about the blogging community is all the support of each other.
You Can find Julie at http://www.fabworkingmomlife.com/