Moms Who Work

We made it! Twenty fifteen is here, and I’m already beyond on my content calendar.

Since I started Mommy Sanest, I knew the “mommy blog” space was relatively crowded (#understatement). I wanted to do it anyway, but I also wanted to find a niche that felt like the right fit for this blog. And while I am not about to abandon general parenting topics or personal essays — I like that stuff — I want spend a little more time discussing moms and work.

I’ve decided that the whole stay-at-home vs. working mom thing is a red herring. It’s good for headlines and makes for feisty debates in the comments sections of The Huffington Post and Jezebel. But the Internet spends a lot of time pointing fingers and judging everyone else’s choices… probably because no one feels totally comfortable with the ones they’ve made. It’s a distraction.

Here’s the thing, I don’t know any moms who don’t work. Some do unpaid work, taking on the lion’s share of childcare and home management responsibilities. Some stay in the more traditional workforce. Some do side projects or freelance work during nap times, in the evenings, and on weekends. Others start their own businesses.

Moms who work: Presenting the Work Life Mom series on Mommy Sanest

I’d like to to talk about the different choices moms make with regard to paid and unpaid work, the ins and outs of going back to an office job after having a baby, the policies and politics that make balancing careers with family life more difficult or more doable, and how motherhood doesn’t have to be a fork in the road where you either off-ramp or step on the gas, but rather, how it can be a time to reassess and re-imagine.

As part of the discussion, I will be profiling moms who work. I’m planning to divide the year into three parts. The first part of the series will profile moms who own businesses. The second part will look at moms who take on freelance, project, and/or part-time consulting work. And the third part will profile moms in more “traditional” work roles. The series will kick off with a profile of — and I think this is especially apt — founder and CEO Sara Sutton Fell. If you’re not familiar with Flexjobs, it’s an awesome website where job seekers can search for and find legitimate flexible work. Sara actually started the company when she was pregnant, but you’ll hear more about that later this week.

I hope you guys dig this stuff. I legitimately believe that changing the way we work so that all people, including moms, dads, and caretakers, can better balance the demands of home and career is quite possibly the legacy that late-Gen-Xers and early-Millennials will leave the next generation of American professionals. That’s my hope anyway. Probably too lofty a goal for this lil’ blog, but I’m excited to contribute to the conversation.

Moms Who Work: Check Out Profiles in the Work | Life | Mom series

An Interview with Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of Flexjobs
An Interview with Abby Brennan, Owner of Brennan Spa

How Busy Moms Make Time for Fitness

When my daughter was born, I struggled to make time for fitness — something that I was desperate to get back into because I felt it would help me feel “normal” again. But let’s be real: Every one of us has a handful of hours each week when we can do exactly what we want to do. These hours seem to dwindle through your 20s, 30s, and 40s — if you work, get married, buy a home, own a pet, have a kid — most of your hours are spoken for because, you know, you’re responsible for other stuff. So the question becomes, if you have a handful of precious hours, how do you want to spend them?

How busy moms make time for fitness. Learn 8 doable and practical tips about how to make time for fitness.

So to figure out how busy moms make time for fitness, I went straight to the source — my fellow Fit4Mom Body Back participants. (You can read about my progress through the current session of Body Back, a moms-only fitness program through Fit4Mom. Stroller Strides is one of their other programs.) I talked to several of the moms in my class to see how they are able to make the commitment to two group fitness classes a week, better eating habits, and workouts on their own.

You can read their responses on the Fit4Mom Chicago Western Suburbs blog.

And it’s totally worth checking it out! Their answers were awesome, practical, and relevant to any mom who wants to find a way to make fitness a higher priority in her life. I loved hearing how each mom overcame challenges and barriers to make time for fitness.

Keep in mind, these are regular moms with young children and a variety of schedules and childcare arrangements. Every single one of them is busy, attempting to balance a full plate, and making sacrifices to participate in Body Back (to the benefit of the whole family ultimately, but it takes some shifting). You might find that one of their tips helps you make time for fitness too.

Check out all of their tips.