MBA Mommy

Part MBA, Part MRS, Part MOM…..All ME

Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Make it Count

Posted by mbamommy on August 7, 2012

In my last couple posts, I’ve made reference to the fact that there’s been a lot of change around here recently, which led to my blog absence. In some sense it’s been pretty life changing. All good changes, thankfully, nothing like going through Z’s diagnosis a couple years ago, but life changing nonetheless.

Almost exactly a year ago today, I posted about my life as a slot machine. Well, the slots have stopped. The Refresh button has been pressed. FINALLY!

The kids are fully entrenched in their languange immersion school. They’re doing so well that S actually won a speech contest earlier this year. They’re making friends, having fun and learning a ton. What more could I ask for?

J’s job is going great. He’s loving it and is on a fantastic career track.

We bought a HOUSE. We’re no longer renting our teeny tiny temporary home and have found our dream house. I’m never moving again. Seriously, it’s from here to the old folks home. I can walk the kids to school. I can walk to Starbuck’s. I can walk to the parks, the pool and my friend’s houses. It’s an easy commute to downtown and basically anywhere else I’d want to go in Denver. I’m so thrilled to have found it and so happy to have that stability in our lives.

I found a JOB. A full time job, working at a really great digital agency, managing top brand clients, making more money than I expected and with a Senior Director title.

I quit that JOB. A full time agency job, with all its stressors, travel, and demands on my time and mental bandwidth turned out to not be what I wanted. I could have done the job. We, as a family, could’ve manage the travel, the hours, the chaos, the craziness. But I realized that I didn’t WANT to. Yes, it was great to have the extra money. Yes, it was fun to be challenged and work with smart, engaging peeps. But, I wasn’t sleeping. I was eating poorly, not working out and drinking too much. I wasn’t healthy and I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t being true to myself and playing to my strengths.

I started another JOB. A part time, work at home opportunity with my previous client. This one is perfect. Just enough responsibility without requiring me to be on call 24/7. Minimal travel (only once a year), working with great folks in an industry I love and with the flexibility required to keep my family running smoothly. I’m making some money, not a ton, but some.

And, who knows, maybe someday it’ll lead to something more. But for now, it’s allowing me the balance I so deeply crave. It’s allowing the MBA, the MOM, the MRS and the ME to have equal opportunity to shine. I’m happy and I’m being true to myself.  Not all the time, of course. I’ve certainly had my moments. This is life, not a game show, afterall. But, with the balance I’ve created, worked for and am lucky enough to have, I can handle those moments better.

I can (dare I say it?) have it all.

The morning after I left my previous job I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “This is the first day of the rest of your life.”

Now that we’ve completed the refresh of our lives I can actually start living it. Between Crossfit, eating well, working part time, playing with the kids, playing with J and living in Colorado, I think I can make it count.

Posted in MBA, ME, MOM, MRS | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Play To Your Strengths

Posted by mbamommy on January 25, 2012

My friend Rebecca over at unexpecting! recently invited me to write a blog post talking about Motherhood Lessons for MomsTalkNetwork. You should go read her post about what she’s learned as a Mom: nobody’s perfect. It’s awesome…and so, so true.

I find it ironic that she invited me when she did. I’ve been mulling this idea over in my head for a couple weeks now. There are a million lessons I’ve learned since becoming a mother almost exactly 5 years ago. Give yourself a break. Take time for yourself. Focus on your marriage. Give lots and lots of hugs. Take deep breaths in crisis moments. Cherish the kairos moments. Go to the gym. Etc, etc.

But, what resonates most with me, at least recently, is this idea of playing to your strengths. I mean…..

If you’re a coach of a football team, would you put your quarterback in as a linebacker?

If you’re a soccer coach, would you put your fullback in as your center forward?

If you’re a choir instructor, would you assign a tenor part to a soprano?

If you’re a manager, would you put your IT guy in front of your biggest prospective client?

Probably, not, right? You’d probably play your strongest team member…the one who has the natural inclination, the “at-bats” experience to succeed, the one who has spent time training just for this moment. Not the one who thinks the should be doing it.

So, why in the world do we do that in our daily lives?

I do it all the time when my brain gets going with the “shoulds”. I should be working. I should be stay at home. I should be doing more/less/different than what I’m doing right now. I have this ideal in my head of what my life should look like. And, guess what? It’s not. Not even close. And you know what? That’s ok. It’s more than ok, it’s absolutely perfect in its own imperfect way.

But, I struggle with reminding myself of that on a regular basis. When the should demons start up, that’s when I start getting annoyed at J because he forgot to bring S’s bunny to school when he dropped off the kids one day. Shouldn’t he know better? We ALWAYS bring bunny. And, now I have to go home, grab bunny, bring her to school, sneak in to S’s class without her seeing me and sneak out without Z seeing me through his adjoining classroom. Ugh.

The should demons guilt trip me into doing bath time with J when all I want to do is finish cleaning up in the kitchen, get lunches packed for tomorrow, and then kiss my sweet kiddos goodnight. Because frankly, I’m pretty much out of steam; it’s been a long day, after all. Instead, I force myself to help out, which annoys J because I’m annoyed with the kiddos, which makes for an unpleasant bed/bath time. And then I’m annoyed because after we’re done J sits on the couch and watches TV while I’m in the kitchen cleaning up, packing the lunches (God forbid I let J pack a lunch…he does it all wrong!) and wishing I could just collapse on the couch.

When, in reality, if I stepped out of the situation and did what I wanted to do, it allows J to have his daily quality time with the kiddos and me to finish up my tasks such that we finish at the same time and can collapse on the couch together.

The should demons force me to fight against the natural flow of what my life is. I don’t want to work full time (at least not in a role that requires me to work outside my home…but give me a WASM role that allows for some flexibility? I’m all over it.) and yet I feel like I should be contributing more to our family finances than I currently do. If I were completely honest with myself, I’d admit that I’ve got it pretty good right now. If those damn should demons would sit still and be quiet, I could look around and appreciate my life for what it is.

Here’s a few things I’m really good at: running the house, keeping the kiddos on schedule, running errands, taking breaks for myself, and working on and off throughout the day. I’m good at creating a balance with all the different things I juggle. After 5 years, I better damn well be a ninja master at it.

Here’s a few things I’m not really good at: missing the kid’s school activity because I have to work, spending all day in an office or traveling and not seeing the kids in the morning and at night, having so much stress weighing me down that I can’t see the kids for the sweet little rugrats they are, and letting J take some of the household responsibilities because he doesn’t do them the way I do. It’s not that he does them wrong, it’s that I spend waaayyyy more time at home and if something is off or misplaced or the wrong brand is purchased it annoys me.

So, why….WHY….do those stupid little should demons keep coming back and biting me in the ass?

That’s my biggest Mom lesson so far. Play To Your Strengths. Embrace them and live them like the warrior-ess you are. Recognize what you’re good at with this new life that includes dependents. Do them. And tell those should demons to go suck it.

Posted in MOM | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

The elephant in the room

Posted by mbamommy on August 10, 2011

Dear S,

You amaze me every day.  That goes without saying….after all, you’re my daughter and I find just that simple fact amazing.

But, last night you literally floored me.  See, you’re 2.  And at 2, you’re not supposed to have a whole lot of empathy. You’re supposed to be in the “Me. Me. Me.” phase that you (hopefully) eventually grow out of.  I’ve said before that you have a heart as big as a mountain and that you already have more empathy than most adults I know.  And, last night, you proved me right again.

There you were, in a sea of kids running around playing with YOUR toys, in YOUR house…sharing everything without batting an eye.  Your little friend who you were holding hands with all day long was getting ready to leave and began to cry because she couldn’t take the elephant she was playing with home.  So, she asks you for it.  And…you hesitate for a minute…you do love your elephants after all…and then you run back inside and grab an elephant.  Not just any elephant but the elephant you earned from doing your chores.  The one that you worked for and chose yourself at the toy store.  The one you sleep with every night.

I stopped you before you got outside and asked you if you were sure.

S: Yeah, I give MC my elephant because it make her happy!

MBAMommy:  But, S, this is Rosie the elephant.  You LOVE Rosie.  Don’t you think you’ll miss her?  You earned her by doing your chores.

S: I no miss her. I ok.

MBAMommy:  S, you know you don’t have to give it to her, just because she wants it.  She WILL be ok without it.

S: No she not!  She not happy!  She crying!

MBAMommy: Yes, she will.  I promise.  Listen….I don’t even hear her crying anymore.

S: She ok?  Wet me see.

We walk outside and MC has already forgotten about the elephant and is getting into the car with her Mommy.  You look at me, giggle and say “She ok!  She happy!” and run over to say goodbye.

S: zài jiàn, MC!  You come back and play wif my toys!

The heart you already have…that you already wear on your sleeve…brings me enormous joy….and enormous concern.  Will you be taken advantage of as you get older?  Will people understand what a truly amazing gift you are?  I wonder if I did the right thing last night, by dissuading you from giving away your prized toy.  You probably would have forgotten about Rosie soon enough…you are only  2 after all.  But, I just don’t want you to think you HAVE to do these things just to make others happy.  It’s a wonderful trait…but one that could bring you pain later on.

Ah well….you keep doing what you’re doing, little angel.  Leave the cynicism to me. I promise I’ll try my hardest to help you understand when and how to give your heart away while still keeping it safe.

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