75: Blurred Lines

75: Blurred Lines

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Multitasking Mom's Survival Guide

Blurred Lines

Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease.

~Lisa Alther

I work two jobs: the first is a Sales Executive role with a large North American company. My other job is CEO of Two Young Kids.

To be honest, I look forward to the days that I am going to the office. I know that no matter how busy things at work may be, I will find the time to drink my coffee while it is still hot. I can also be certain that I will be able to take a lunch break without someone asking me to paint their toenails or read them a book.

I do have it pretty good, though. Two years ago, as my maternity leave was coming to an end after the birth of my second child, my husband and I dealt with the difficult decision of whether I should go back to work or quit my job and stay home with the kids full-time. On one hand, I had spent four years in university, earned a business degree, and spent nearly ten years with the same company working my way up the corporate ladder. I didn’t want to throw all of that hard work away. At the same time, though, I love my kids, and I didn’t want to miss out on a single milestone or on watching my kids grow up in these early formative years.

So being in sales, I made a pitch to my boss asking to go parttime and work only three days per week. I promised I would remain productive and that I would stay connected to the office so that even on my days off, my clients and coworkers would always be able to get a hold of me. Thankfully, I made the sale and thus began the balancing act of being a working mom of two young kids.

During the workweek on my days at home with my kids, there are often important work phone calls and e-mails that I need to respond to urgently. Thankfully, my kids understand when I tell them, “Mommy has to make a phone call for work.” When I turn on the Disney Channel or sit them down with a bowl of fish crackers, they know they are not to come and interrupt my conversation. There are times, however, when my little ones are not so understanding.

The other day, for example. My daughter, Priya, was busy working on a craft and my son, Keegan, was in his bedroom intently lining up his Hot Wheels cars. I thought this would be a good time to return a quick phone call to one of my coworkers about a potential new client.

Unfortunately, I was completely wrong about my timing. Three minutes into my phone conversation, down the hallway and through the bathroom door, came a piercing yell from my (extremely) loud three-year-old son.

“Mommy! I’m done going poop. Come wipe my bum!” I tried to ignore Keegan for a minute and quickly wrap up my phone call, but my son did not like to be kept waiting. Again he hollered, “Mommy! I’m ready for you to clean my bum! Come to the bathroom!”

I couldn’t help but laugh as I stopped my colleague mid-sentence. “Sorry, John, but can you hold please? I need to wipe my son’s bum.”

I know I am lucky to be able to enjoy the best of both worlds. I can continue to pursue my career while still sharing in my children’s special (and not-so-special) moments. There are times when the line between my two jobs will get blurred. But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

~Ritu Shannon

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