Work It Mama: Smart Limits as a Working Mom

Life as a Working Mom

I have written here before about life as a working mom, and since it seemed to be a topic that so many live and deal with every day, today I am kicking off a periodic series about the crazy, exciting and rewarding daily race of being a working mom called Work It Mama.

You see, I work outside the home and from home as a PR and brand promotion consultant. Which means, while I may not work a traditional 9-6 schedule in an office, I work and work hard. Sometimes this means ending my office day at 3 pm and spending the afternoon with my munchkin, then hitting the computer again at 8 pm until midnight.  It is essentially a daily balancing game of spinning 10 plates at once and doing my best to make sure none of them drop.  And, you know what, I would not change it for the world.

One of the things in life that gives me the ability to do this is my smart phone  – my lovely iPhone.  It is my business phone, my personal phone, my internet and e-mail on-the-go, my tether to the web for my laptop when WiFi is no where to be found … and it is also a constant distraction in those precious hours I have with my munchkin and husband every day. Why?  It seems to me, after doing this working mama thing for two years, that once you let work into your personal time you can’t get it out.  And while some may be able to ignore that e-mail for a few hours, I can’t.  I am a get-it-done now worker.  I don’t want to wait, I want to get it done now, yesterday … last week really.

But this week I had a wake-up moment … it was about 7:00 pm and munchkin was splashing away in the bath tub.  Me, I had finished washing her curly locks and was sitting on the floor right outside the tub keeping my keen eye on my toddler escape artist.  I had my phone nearby, as I most always do in case my husband needs to reach me.  I received a text message, looked up, grabbed it, answered the message and before I knew it, it was several minutes later and I was lost in checking Twitter and my e-mail. Then I looked up to see my munchkin looking lovingly back at me with a smile, holding her foam bath letters in her hand, telling me “mama, S, S, S” ….

It was then and there that I realized the one thing that allows me to do the work I love, while also being there for the people I love, is causing me to miss the small moments that add up to so much in the end.

So now I am setting some limits — some rules —  to keep my heart and mind in balance. Here they are:

  1. No checking e-mail or social networks between 6 pm and bed time.  This is family time, bath time, dinner time and memory time.
  2. The iPhone stays out of my daughter’s room and bathroom. Nearby for emergencies.  But it does not stay in her room for longer than 30 seconds ever.
  3. Check and respond to e-mail once a day on the weekends. This may sound simple to some, but for me it will be hard. Very hard.

That is it for now — I figure three rules will help me go in the right direction, and help me find more heart and mind balance in the end.

So how about you, what digital limits do you set? Please share … I’m all for your great ideas!

– Julia

Julia Montgomery Stewart

Nicknamed “Julia Child” at a young age, our own Julia is most at home in the kitchen. Lately, she has combined her culinary talents with a new hobby—fitness and healthy living. As a result, her recipes reflect an intriguing balance between eating well without sacrificing flavor. Outside the home, Julia is a consummate event planner, and spent the first ten years of her career as a publicist before expanding her portfolio of talents with the launch of Live Pretty in 2010. Balancing the busy demands of career and family, Julia lives with her husband and daughter in Orlando, Florida. In addition to her work in marketing, she serves a number of community organizations and initiatives in Central Florida.

  Pin It

Leave a Comment