Monday, September 23, 2013

Working Mom Inspirations

I am a firm believer that we can all learn from each other and should take the time to do so.   Often in conversations with other moms I ask for their tips/tricks on different subject matters and almost always get a spark for a new idea that could benefit my family.

I recently chatted with one of my oldest friends to get some of her tips.  Meredith is a mother of 2 elementary school aged girls and works full-time as an HR Director.

I am continually amazed how Meredith excels at her job and does a great job raising her two little girls.  One thing in particular that has always stood out to me about her is she is VERY involved in the school system.  She is the one on Facebook sending out updates on school board meetings and rallying other parents with a call to action when needed.  She is a wealth of info on her kid’s school and is passionate about making sure it is the best it can be for her girls.

I asked her for how she manages to stay so involved in the school while juggling work and home and here are her Get It Done Tips:

When you think about getting involved in your child’s school, do not think about what you want to do. Instead, think about what is truly feasible for you to do given your work and home life.

Meredith wanted to do something that would help her feel connected to the school.  She knew that joining the PTA would be a good route to look into to fulfill that goal. 

She knew off the bat things like organizing planning committees, which is an enormous job, would be too time consuming.  She needed something that would allow her to contribute during the evening hours when she wasn’t working, so she volunteered to be the school’s PTA Secretary.  She feels like she is contributing, connected and it fits within the time she has available to give so has not created extra stress.

In her role as PTA Secretary she does not have to give a minute (pun intended) of her time during the day.  She takes minutes at meetings that take place at night and cleans up the documents after the kids are in bed.  

She mentioned she doesn’t often get to school too much during day to volunteer, but from time to time will pick something she is comfortable doing that isn’t too time consuming.  She gave an example of how her oldest daughter’s class had to run their own town and the teacher needed some parents to come in order to ensure it was organized so the fun wouldn’t detract from the learning takeaways.

It was a one day ½ hour commitment.  She blocked her work calendar for the entire time she would be out INCLUDING travel time to/from the office so no one could schedule something during that time.

She recommends being careful to not over commit.  In the beginning she ran into that problem and got herself into a very stressful period.  She said before you sign up really look at the time commitment and review your calendar of commitments in comparison. Is it something that is going to take you out of the house too many days in a row?  Is it going to interfere with spending time with your family? Will you need to arrange childcare?

Finally, make sure you are a star at work so when you do step out no one blinks and eye and you have flexibility.

Thank you Meredith for taking the time to share your tips – you are a source of inspiration!  
I look forward to highlighting other working moms that I admire in the future.

PS - Update on cooking from yesterday - apple turnovers I made for breakfast were amazing and so easy.  My big boy ate 3!  I skipped the part with water/lemon and just put them in the pan as soon as I peeled them. Recommend!

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