I joined a virtual book club recently and I'm painfully behind on the book. The group is wrapping up on it next week and I'm still on chapter 7 of 11. To that I say Holidays... then life... then finding time to read. Even a chapter a week was too hard for me to squeeze in!
Anywho, we are reading Lean In. Oh, how I'm loving it! At times I shake my head and wonder how my humble life compares to that of a Harvard grad and currently the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. FACEBOOK for crying out loud! But once I get over that it is clear working moms, at any level, have many relatable characteristics and paths.
Yesterday I read a chapter about making your partner your real partner. I found myself nodding along as I read and giving myself a huge pat on the back for having done just that.
I often hear the phrase, "I don't know how you do it." With the "it" being the work/life balance as a working mom. The answer is simple. You see, I don't do "it." There is no I in my working mom story. I am part of a WE and if it weren't for my husband, I wouldn't be able to do what I do.
I am able to get myself and two kids out the door by 7:15am because my husband is there to help me. Between the two of us my husband has more flexible hours and tries to pick our kids up early each day to minimize their time away from us.
When I walk in the door from work my husband has given each of our kids a snack and has them entertained while he cleans all of the day's bottles and may even have dinner already started. Of course that's on a seamless evening and when there are curve balls he's handling them.
When I pull in the driveway on a trash night, the trash has already been taken out. If I'm making dinner he's spending time with the kids and vice versa. When it's bath night we bathe the kids together. Either with both kids in the same tub or we take turns with one kid in, one kid out. But we're doing it together.
My work also requires some travel (maybe twice a year) and client events that occur in the evenings or on the weekends and guess who's at home with the kids? When daycare is closed on MLK day and I have to work? Dad to the rescue.
We take turns making dinner, we play together with our kids and we rotate which parent takes which kid up to bed. We take turns getting up in the middle of the night if it applies and some nights we're up together because it is apparent that it's a two person job.
WE do the chores, WE do the grocery shopping, the errand running, the parenting, all of it. It is an even playing field after all. My job may have stricter hours and less flexibility but my husband still puts in 40+ hours a week himself. So why would I expect him to do more or less of anything? Why would he expect that from me?
Furthermore, he is the #1 supporter of my career. He has been there for every success, he listens when I need a good venting sesh, and he's been a shoulder to cry on when I've needed it. I have supported him in the same way.
We are in fact true partners.
We aren't perfect, please don't take this as a humble brag about how we've got it all figured out and aren't we so stinking awesome. Sure our partnership is something I'm proud of but most importantly as a working parent it's something I know is essential for our family's success.
Lastly, it takes a village and my husband and I are also lucky to have so much family near by to help us when we are unable to take off work or if we just simply need a break. We are grateful to our family for their un-ending support.
So, "how do I do it?" With the help, support, the friendship and the love of my partner. We work hard, we parent even harder, and we do it together.
Is your partner the same way? How do you juggle the work/life balance as two full-time working parents?