Profile: Working Mom


The Mommy Network Interview: Working Mom.

By Lori Bratz


Mommy Profile:

Name: Traci B.

Married: Yes

Age: 35

Location: Minneapolis

Education: BS in Education

Children: One child, age 1



What is your schedule like?


5 a.m. nurse the baby, get up, shower, get dressed, dress Meredith and have breakfast.

7 a.m. drop baby off at day care.

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. work.

5:30 p.m. pick up baby from day care.

6 p.m. nurse baby.

6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. dinner, workout, chores. ______________________________________________________


Q. What is your career?

A. I am a special education teacher at an Area Learning Center in suburban Saint Paul. I am also the lead teacher of a program that specifically serves teenagers who have been through chemical dependency treatment and are trying to work a program of recovery.


Q. Do you think you’ll always work outside the home? If not, why not? If so, why?

A. I’m not sure that I will always work outside the home, although I really love working and am currently doing my dream job. I love having my summers mostly off (I teach summer school, too) but I always have a tough time structuring my own free time. My ideal scenario would be to work part-time. That way, some of the hustle and bustle of a full workday would be lessened but we would still have money coming in, I would still get my “grown-up” contact, and my daughter would still get to go to the fantastic day care to which we send her.


Q. Do you ever feel emotionally conflicted about not following the “traditional” role of the stay-at-home mother?


A. I think the biggest downside of being a working mommy is that I feel emotionally conflicted in almost all areas of my life. I often feel like I don’t have enough time to be a good mommy, wife, friend, or teacher. I have to remind myself every day that what I am trying to do is very hard yet very rewarding and that trying my hardest is good enough. My husband is very good at reminding me to be gentle with myself and that I am doing a good job. My daughter is thriving and very happy. My job is very fulfilling in that every day I know I have the ability to affect others’ lives in a positive way. I’m not at the point right now where it feels right to be an at home mommy. Even though times can be tough, I see the benefits far outweighing the negatives for us.


Q. What is your typical day like?

A. I am still nursing and we do the “family bed” so I roll over and nurse Meredith about 5 a.m. Then I get up, shower and get dressed, dress Meredith, have breakfast and get us out the door by 7 a.m., drop her off at day care and get to work by 8 a.m. I usually work until about 4:30 p.m. and then I pick Meredith up at day care. I transport her both ways because the day care is near my work. Then we get home usually about 6 p.m., I nurse Meredith for about 10 minutes or so, then get started making dinner (unless my husband is on dinner duty for the evening) while she supervises from her high chair. After dinner, I usually try to squeeze in some “me” time by working out, getting online or calling friends but often the early evening hours go to things like laundry or bill-paying. Some nights I am just so beat all I can do is veg out in front of the TV while my husband gives Meredith a bath. About 9 p.m., I go to bed with Meredith and cuddle/nurse her to sleep which only takes a couple of minutes.


Q. What is the hardest part about balancing family and work?

A. Time management is really a bear. Also, I have really lowered my housekeeping standards (which weren’t high to begin with) and have grown more accustomed to having less time to do what I want to do. An unexpected perk, though, is that trivial matters that used to get me so preoccupied at work or in my relationship with my husband concern me far less. I no longer lose sleep over minutia. Ear infections and middle of the night fever spikes, yes, but work? No.


Q. Some moms feel guilty having their child in day care. Do you?

A. Happily, I have little to no guilt about having Meredith in the day care we chose. The woman whose home it is in is very impassioned, talented, and knowledgeable about what she does and she really provides a wonderful and nurturing learning environment. She does much more with the children than I would ever dream of doing if I were home and Meredith loves being around the other children so much. There are good day care programs and not so good ones. We shopped around until we found a terrific one.


Q. Do you think your daughter will see you as a strong female role model? Why or why not?

A. I hope so. A big part of why I work is that I feel a strong calling to see the type of school I have created thrive and be replicated elsewhere. I hope to instill in my daughter that everyone has their passion and that we all deserve to pursue that passion no matter what society says about what we choose to do. I want her to know that she as a woman is powerful whether she ends up with an out-of-the-home career or not.


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