Sold Signs and Sippy Cups
Managing the Home/Work/Life Balance
I am a mother of 3 children ages 7,4 and 1. I am also a REALTOR trying to squeeze in appointments, office time and open houses every Sunday. My job does offer flexible hours; however, that flexibility in work schedule means that sometimes I work 7 days straight or am out on appointments until 9 o’clock at night. The key to working outside of the home while raising children is balance. And I don’t say that because I have mastered the formula. I say it because that is what I have heard.
I am fortunate to have a career where I can be with my children in the morning, head off to work for a solid 4-5 hours and be home with them for nap time or to greet my oldest son when he gets off the bus after school. There are many nights where I am not there to tuck them into bed or read a story, but in order to work and bring in a pay check, I cannot be there for everything. My husband often takes over the nightly duties by cooking dinner (yes!) and putting everyone to bed for the night.
There are times when my kids come on work errands with me, and I am serenaded with whiny complaints, “We have to put up a sign again?!” I have a stash of lollipops in my car for when I must take an important call for work and need to curtail shrieks and bickering. There are no “business hours” in real estate, and with the luxury of cell phones I receive work calls all day long from before 8 am to after 9 pm. Motherhood also lacks formal business hours, so I guess I am used to a hectic schedule.
What works for me and my husband does not work for everyone. Parenthood is the same as life- learn as you go. I do believe it is possible to find a balance that fits your life; it may simply take some trial and error.
-Erica Walther Schlaefer