my “real” life as a working mom

Back in 2003 I graduated from law school. At that point in my life it was my greatest accomplishment. After countless years of school I was finally an attorney and ready to begin my career. My professional life was in the driver’s seat.

What I didn’t know was that was all about to change. Just 3 years after I became an attorney, I shoved my career to the backseat to make room for three very special people.kids

Ready or not, I entered the up and down, often chaotic, challenging yet rewarding world of being a working mom.

“Working Mom”. Just saying the words conjures up different images and meanings, some correct, others mere stereotypes. But  beyond the “official” definitions of what a working Mom is, lie the “REAL” definitions. The definitions you won’t find in any parenting magazine or textbook. The definitions straight from the trenches.

So what are the “real” life definitions of a working mom? Well, if you ask me…

It means I have on more than one occasion pulled out a file in court to find a Transformers sticker has been placed on top of it.

It means I believe one of the greatest inventions ever created is the mute button on my work phone. I wonder how many people know that on the other end of the conference call there are three noisy children running around.

It means that other attorneys have to wait behind me to get through security at the federal courthouse because I have to explain to the federal marshals why my bag is full of Matchbox cars.

It means that although I don’t travel in luxury on business trips… you truly can’t beat my “flight crew”.270.JPG

It means that my brand new suits may have “hopefully non-noticeable to others” finger sized grease stains on the bottom from my morning good-bye hugs.

It means the degrees displayed on my office walls are overshadowed by priceless finger-painted works of art.

It means I know the heartbreak of hearing my children crying “Mommy don’t go” when I leave for work, and the pure joy of our daily 5:00 p.m. reunions.1

It means I’m the Mom that comes sprinting  into the school Halloween party after running like a mad woman from my office to make it on time.

It means you will often receive emails from me after midnight because my house is finally quiet and clean (well…clean enough) and I can now tackle that huge mail pile.

It means my sick days have been replaced by my kids’ sick days so although I stay home to nurse my children’s colds…you’ll see me sniffling at my desk dosed with cold medicine.

It means my direct line at work often rings with such riveting questions as “Honey, what should I feed the kids for lunch?” or “What time does dance class start?”.

It means I understand that I certainly have missed some of my children’s “firsts”, but that never stops me from deeming the date I saw it as the actual date it happened and the one documented in the scrapbook. If Mommy didn’t see it…it didn’t happen.

It means I have to swallow my pride and realize I can’t do it all and no matter how hard I try there will never be more than 24 hours in a day.

It means my kids will probably grow up thinking all dinners magically come out of a freezer or a crock pot.

It means I have more than one legal assistant.2It means that some days I feel like a world class juggler, while other days I have balls dropping all over the place.

It means climbing ladders in a game of Chutes and Ladders and climbing the corporate ladder have to each be given priority in my life.

It means I understand that I will never, no matter how hard I try, be a perfect Mom or a perfect attorney so I strive to be “good” at both.

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So, what are your REAL definitions of a working mom? 

 

About Mandi Richards

Mandi grew up in Princeton, Illinois and has lived in Davenport since 2003.
 She has been married to her husband Todd, a complex operator at Alcoa, for
 8 years. Mandi spends her days on her never-ending mission to find the 
perfect balance between a busy family life and hectic professional life.
 She is the Mom to a dancing-fashionista-diva (Jocelyn, 7), a lover of all
 sports and Packers fan (Hayden, 6), and an on-the-go match-box loving boy
 (Landon, 3). Mandi graduated law school in 2003 and is a partner at Betty,
 Neuman & McMahon, P.L.C. in Davenport where she practices civil litigation. 
When she is not preparing for trial or spending long hours in her favorite
 Dance Mom/Soccer Mom roles; Mandi is an avid scrapbooker and photographer
 who loves decorating, crafting, and party planning.

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6 Responses to my “real” life as a working mom

  1. Heather Stocking December 3, 2013 at 9:04 AM #

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE every word of this! I resonate with this on so many levels and you have written it so beautifully!! Great job!!!! Thanks for the encouragement. Even though I only work part time outside of the home, I deal with many of these daily battles, thanks for reminding me I am not alone!

    • Barbara December 3, 2013 at 10:47 AM #

      Love it! Thanks for such an honest and beautiful glimpse into your world.

  2. Patti Kenyon, PHR December 3, 2013 at 10:43 AM #

    So true on every level. I’ve often had to explain why “Miss Kitty” had to stay in my computer bag when I travel.

  3. Megan Wanek December 3, 2013 at 12:45 PM #

    You hit the nail on the head! Great post!

  4. Emily December 3, 2013 at 1:53 PM #

    My mom was a working professional, so I always thought that’s just what you did. When I became a working mom I had NO idea how hard it was…and I had such great respect for my mom & how she seemed so easily to balance everything. Now when we chat she tells me honestly about how those days really were, but to see such a great example for myself, it’s given me hope that even though my floors may not always be the cleanest or dishes always put away that I, too, can find fulfillment in my job & my home (which is what makes me most happy). I was nodding right along with you for many of these – thanks, Mandi!

  5. Sarah Pruitt December 3, 2013 at 9:37 PM #

    A real and inspiring article about having and doing it all. You are an amazing mom, professional woman, and a kicka** scrapbooker.

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