Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Mojo Mom Party Kit is launched

Whew. I've finally finished the introductory session of the Mojo Mom Party Kit, and it feels great to have that done. It was amazingly frustrating to see how hard it was for me to find the uninterrupted time I needed to finish it. Part of the problem seems to be the flow of summer. It seems like all my time is spent putting out fires, running around doing things at the last minute rather than planning ahead. But seeing that my daughter is in camp for almost as much of the day as she is in school during the rest of the year, I am afraid this way of working might be permanent.

Now that my book is done and I am getting the word out about my work, I am more accountable to other people's schedules, and they expect to hear from me. The beauty of writing the book was I always had work that could be done, but nobody really knew the difference if I took a day or three weeks off. (I am not complaining, however, because I am thrilled that the book is done! Looking back on the past year, during which I had strep throat 5 times and finally had my tonsils out, which put me out of commission for three weeks, I really can't believe I ever finished Mojo Mom.)

I am now coming face to face with the reality of running my own business and trying to fit almost full-time work into a very part-time schedule. Managing the Tiemann family household really could be a full-time job in itself. Michael and I are trying to negotiate shared responsibilities so that we both "get" to work outside the house.

In the excellent book How to Avoid the Mommy Trap, Julie Shields says that the ideal work situation a family with kids is to havet the couple's two jobs add up to about a four-thirds position (I will double-check this figure--I can't put my hands on the book right this instant). In our family, my husband's job is itself about a four-thirds position, which makes it a challenge for me to add my career back in. I have responded by being as flexible as possible, and writing certainly fits that bill. But with so many couples having a primary breadwinner whose job requires more than 40++ hours a week, and/or extensive travel, it's a real challenge for the other partner to keep her or his career alive as well. That is a big part of the Mojo Mom challenge.....

3 Comments:

Blogger FTmomPTatty said...

I feel like the only direction I get is to outsource tasks - child care, food, cleaning etc. It's so hard. How do you not feel like a total failure? A professor once told me that you can find a loving person to take care of your children when they are young and that you truly need to be around more when they reach the age of reason. I am having a hard time with that concept. I understand it and kind or agree but in practice how can I let go?

11:40 AM  
Blogger Mamma-San said...

You aren't a total failure because you do the most important thing of all -- you're there for your kids -- and they adore you, flaws and all. They don't want anyone else to be there for them except you; no "perfect replacement" could ever be their mom. So keep on doing what you're doing and know that some days will be better or worse than others -- and that's okay. Children, at all ages, just need to know their mom is there -- and because they think so concretely, that means that they need to see you (and not a babysitter or someone else).

11:26 PM  
Blogger MojoMom said...

I've been thinking a lot about your comment and looking for time to write a response! Outsourcing is fine for those things that you feel aren't essential that you personally do. (For me this includes getting help cleaning the house, and totally outsourcing the yard work.)

But I empathize that outsourcing is not the complete answer. When you need help for child care, I encourage you to start looking within your own family. If you are married or partnered, it's essential to negotiate a childcare sharing arrangement that is fair to both of you. I encourage Dads to be as involved as possible, and I encourage Moms to let Dads do things their own way as much as possible.

I know it can be hard to negotiate and to ask for help, but it's time to learn. I empathize for women who have negotiated themselves into a corner with an arrangement where they are doing too much--maybe it was fine for a while but isn't working any more, or the kids are getting older and she wants to go back to work. I myself have been through this. I found that a key skill was to honestly and clearly ask for what I wanted. Women need to learn hoe to make requests that can be filled, rather than passively-aggressively grumbling that no one appreciates them.

I know you aren't a failure! Hang in there, decide what are the key elements of family life and your relationship with your partner. Hold on to those priorities and let everything else go.....

8:12 PM  

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