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Career Moms

We interviewed three women who juggle careers and families with…

We interviewed three women who juggle careers and families with (from an outside perspective) ease. These ladies are mothers who succeed at doing it all. They all obtain admirable traits and are humble about everything they have accomplished. These mothers open up about the hard times, the glorious times, and share advice for other career moms in the world.

Meredith Laney
Not having time to do all the things you want to do for and with your child. Mackenzie, my daughter, was an ice skater, so we spent a lot of time in the car on the way to or from the rink early in the morning or late in the day in the worst kinds of traffic. But it was the only thing she wanted to do. She loved it, so it was completely worth it.

What is the most rewarding part?
Having the money to help her do the thing she loved the most. It’s not all about the money, and you can live on a lot less than you think you can; however, as a single parent for years, it was important to help her succeed in the thing she was most passionate about. It created a confidence and discipline in her that shines through to this day now that she’s a freshman in college.

Is there ever a balance with career and mom? If so, what’s your secret?
Make a date with yourself at least once a week. I’m also a songwriter, so my time for me when she was little used to be Sunday mornings from 9-12. But it can be whatever works for you. But you have to schedule it and stick with it.

Do things change as your kids get older? Does it become easier or more difficult?
It changes in that suddenly they don’t need you as much – they can get to their own practices, jobs, school, without you. It’s easier at first but then you see them less and less because their lives are becoming more independent, as it should be. You want them to grow in so many ways, but there comes a point when you’re more and more in their rear-view mirror as they move toward who they’re going to be. There’s a little sadness there. It’s completely bittersweet, no matter how proud of them you are.

Kat Jones
How do you keep in touch with what your kids are doing when you are a working mom and they live in a different place than you?
Thanks to cell phones, my kids are just a phone call or text away. When they were a bit younger and we all still lived together, pre-phone in everyone’s pocket days, we would always leave each other notes on the kitchen counter.

Is there ever a balance with career and mom? If so what’s your secret?
When they were younger, there wasn’t much of a balance. But luckily I’ve had jobs I loved and didn’t feel like I had to “take work home” with me. When I was with my kids, I was fully there. When I was at work, it got my full attention. Like most things, being in the moment is key for me.

Looking back what are some of the best decisions you’ve made and what are some choices you would want to change?
One of the best decisions I’ve ever made is to stay home with my kids after they were born. I was a stay at home mom until they were in school, and those years were some of my most favourites. As far as decisions I might have changed…I would probably put more of an emphasis on higher education.

If you could describe having a career and being a mom in one word, what would it be?
Grateful.

Natalijia Mijatovic
What is it like having a career and a new born?
Caring for newborn is very intense; it’s a 24/7 job. Moments of unbearable fatigue, love, fear and exhilaration are very taxing on a mother, who really didn’t get a chance to recover from labour. Yet, babies have this wonderful ability to put everything into perspective. They are the priority, and everything else becomes less relevant. The grind of everyday stress and worries gives way to much more important role a woman takes upon herself, and she realizes the change of hierarchy.

Does it ever become easy or do you have to be super woman every day?
Nothing will ever be easy. Rather, life gets more complex but we adjust to our new roles and expectations, and miraculously grow into them. In that respect, we cope better and grow to manage our multiple roles well.

Is there ever a balance with career and mom? If so what’s your secret?
I think the scale with which we measure the weight of these roles needs to be very flexible. There are moments when one of the two will give way to the other, and our ability to switch back and forth is very important in maintaining the relative balance of successfully meeting the needs of our family, and our profession. It is important to recognise that being an artist is a very unique and all-encompassing calling, yet being an educator is a profession which abides by a very specific set of rules and expectations. The two are practically two full-time jobs, and if you add to that children and family, you get three full-time obligations, and only one woman to fulfill it. However, gratification is immense and rejuvenating.

Do things change as your kids get older? Does it become easier or more difficult?
In Serbia there is a saying: small child – small worry, big child – big worry. I have an 8 year old son, and an infant son. I love them beyond words. I never knew I was able to love two different people as fiercely and unconditionally as I do. I believe that parenting grows with the child and embraces all the complexities of his development, allowing us to care for and nurture the child appropriately to his age.

If you could describe having a career and being a mom in one word, what would it be?
Fearlessness.

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