Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Working Mother - Amy Vastine

It's a funny term - working mother - because let's be real, what mother isn't always working? Of course lately, I feel like I have three jobs. I work outside the home as a school social worker during the day. At night, I try to squeeze in some writing because by some miracle Harlequin wants me to write more than one book for them. And in between all that, I have three kids and a husband who like to be fed, clothed, and live in a house that's not a dump. So sometimes it feels like the only time I'm not working is when I'm sleeping, which I do very little of these days.

Don't get me wrong, I love my job. I enjoy working in a middle school (shocking, I know). I love the people I work with and the students I get to know. At the same time, I can't lie, I'm looking forward to summer vacation as much as the next guy. I also love writing. Writing someone else's love story is a wonderful escape from reality. It's a creative outlet that I can't see ever giving up.

Being Mom, though, is my favorite. I don't love the laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, or general housework - who does? (If you do, please feel free to contact me. You are welcome to come do all those things for me whenever you want!)  But I can't get enough of the time with my kids, talking about their day or snuggling on the couch watching a movie together. I can't wait for the summer when we can go boating or to the park. I cherish the moments big and small. The bedtime chats, the girls only trips to Starbucks, the football games, the "I love you more" contests.

In the rush of life, these are the moments that we can sometimes forget or sacrifice to make room for another job or responsibility. I would like to invest more time into the mother part of my "working mom" title. Life is about balance, but if the scales have to tip one way or the other, I'd rather they tip in the direction of my kids than anything else. Which way does your scale tip?

24 comments:

  1. I'm 100% with you on this Amy - if anything has to give, it's usually work and or writing because the kids and husband come first always for me. Of course, after the graduations are all done, that may change - we can revisit then though, right? And for the record, you are one FANTASTIC lady in all three areas! XOXOXO - Jo

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    1. Thanks, Jo! You are one of the best at finding the balance. I wish I had your self control to stay off social media over the weekends. I love how your family is always the priority! xoxo

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    2. well you know it doesn't always work. LOL but to quote Modern Family, I just don't want to Cat & Cradle myself. ;) ILY woman. You do such a great job and I am in constant awe of you.

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  2. Right now my scale definitely tips toward the kid. What I give up on is sleep. Maybe in a month, I'll catch up.

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    1. I hope to catch up on a little sleep once summer vacation starts. Of course, my oldest is going to summer school and has to be across town by 7:15 am. So that could make sleeping in a bit of a challenge! I hope you get more than me!

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  3. Amy, you are dead on. My kids are grown now and I like to think the way they're raising their children and devoting time to them is due to all Denny and I did with them. We were the parents who always made time to take them and their friends to and from school functions or fun activities. We both worked and had hectic jobs. But you can make time. I always said I worked for my family, not to get away from them. Time spent is what gets paid forward. Keep enjoying the time you have with your family.

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    1. Love that, Roz! You and Denny did it right. I sure hope that my kids learn from my example as well. They drive me nuts sometimes but when I really think about it, I know that the best moments of my life are the times I have spent with them :)

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  4. So hard to maintain that balance. I too am a teacher, writer, mother, wife and everything in between, but I agree that the kids/family has to be the priority!

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    1. It's amazing we fit it all in! There has to be some balance or else we'd go crazy ;)

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  5. Family always comes first, though it is sometimes quite the juggling act. I will admit that I can be a bad friend sometimes, as I often put my writing above coffee and lunch dates. I know I need to place more priority on those things...but I just love my fictional friends so much!! lol.

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    1. Sometimes all I want to do it write (especially when the words are flowing!) but the real people in our life are important. Gotta make time for everyone!

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  6. I'm with everyone else. Before I had my son, our oldest, I thought I'd get a little crazy if I was home every day. The second I looked at his little mug, everything changed. My entire day job career was based on managing to work from home. When other moms were hip-hooraying about the children going back to school, I was already missing mine. The last day of the school year was always my favorite, too, Amy!

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    1. The first day I had to go back to work after my oldest was born, I cried the whole drive! I am very fortunate to have a job that allows me to be home when my school-aged kids are home. I love having the summers off and being able to spend that time with them. I don't know what I would do if I was gone more. Glad you managed to make things work for you and your family! :)

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  7. Family, hands down. I'm like Pamela - sleep is the first thing to go.

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    1. What's the saying - I'll sleep when I'm dead? Yeah, that's me!

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  8. Amy, what a beautiful family you have! Cooking and cleaning is always the first to go for me. Sleep is a close second.

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    1. I could easily give up cleaning. The dishes and laundry have to be done because I don't want people to think my family smells, but dusting, vacuuming, and making the bed? Forget about it!!

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  9. My grandson-in-law is of Laotian and Vietnamese ancestry, has a sort of Bruce Lee vibe, and lots of tattoos. On his left forearm is a beautifully inked, Family First. We relate to each other completely.

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    1. Love that, Muriel! Family first is a great motto to live by!

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    2. Muriel-the more you reveal about your family, the more I'd like you to adopt me and mine:) I'd love to meet you!:)

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    3. Jen - consider yourself and your household adopted! I was so hoping we'd get to national this year, but while Ron's general health is holding steady, his ability to get around is deteriorating. And - speaking of family first - I just can't leave him. So, you all have to get together and have something chocolate for me!

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  10. There will be time later for sleep--or maybe not (grandparenting is serious business)--but I've never heard anyone say they regretted a single minute they've spent with family.

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    1. So true, Liz. I don't know anyone on their deathbed wishing they had spent more time at work or cleaning their house.

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  11. I'm late to commenting, but I love this post, Amy. So close to home! It's definitely a struggle juggling it all, but you're so right about work/cleaning not being a top deathbed wish :). BTW, I LOVE that photo of you and your kids!!! :)

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