Mamas, do you juggle work and family? How did you choose the best childcare for your family? Did you take time off? How did your career change after you had kids? In my experience, every woman figures out a slightly different way of doing this — we make different trade-offs, come up with different systems, and generally struggle with all of this alone (with our families, of course). Sure, you can find advice from celebrities (from Sheryl Sandberg to Gwyneth Paltrow), but for regular moms, it often ends up feeling like you’re reinventing the wheel, because it’s really hard to find solid examples of women just like you, either in terms of geography or occupation or balance.
I haven’t found anything exactly like this (save a few specific articles here and there) — and as a mom I want it! So here’s where you come in: Sign up to be a guest blogger on CorporetteMoms. Anonymity is OK, and I get that you’re super busy (aren’t all moms?), so the posts don’t have to be terribly long. Here’s the commitment I’d be looking for:
- 10 posts
- at least 300 words each
- at least one post every 2 weeks (but if you feel like knocking them all out in one afternoon and sending them our way, that’s cool too)
We’ll have an “about me” page for each blogger where you can link other blogs or personal businesses you run, should you want to.
Suggested topics for all bloggers
- Introduce yourself: city, occupation, # of kids, marital status, what made you want to blog about the work/life struggle
- What was your career plan going in (before you got pregnant) — what choices did you make in your career with the hope of a family in mind? What choices would you make differently, knowing what you know now?
- Daily schedule – a day in your life
- Have you done any rethinking of your career plan? Has your partner?
- (Optional: What does your family budget look like now? What did it look like 5 years ago?)
- (Optional: Do you have a plan of attack for college or tuition issues?)
- (Optional: How has your marriage or partnership changed since having kids?)
Suggested Topics for New(ish) Working Moms
(In addition to the ones above… and you’re welcome to look at the questions we’re recommending for older moms!)
- (Optional: Did you have a long road before your child joined your family? Did you have to undergo anything time/energy consuming like IVF or adoption, or anything emotionally devastating like a miscarriage? How did that affect your work/life balance?)
- What was your first (second, third, fourth) pregnancy like at work? What challenges came up (extreme morning sickness? did you have to reschedule trials/meetings/presentations because of pregnancy concerns? How did you handle all of the appointments?)
- Maternity leave — how much did you take? were you prepared for it? Did you work or network during it? Or just recover/enjoy time with your baby?
- Choosing childcare — how did you choose childcare for your first child? What were the pros and cons as you saw them?
- Did you later change your thoughts on childcare? What were the new pros and cons based on your prior experiences?
- Returning to work — how did you reestablish your schedule? Did you negotiate for anything like flextime/reduced hours (and when did you negotiate – before or after maternity leave)? What was it like emotionally to return to work — how did you cope, how long did it take to regulate? Did you get any killer advice during this time period?
- (Optional, depending on your path: Did you take any time off (beyond maternity leave) to be with your family? How did you adjust to that time, and how did you re-enter the workforce?)
- How has networking for you changed since having kids? Do you go to fewer events? Consider broader activities to be networking? Have you had career opportunities come from parenting-related activities?
- Your household — how is it different now? What role does your partner play? What duties are done by whom (partner, you, nanny, housekeeper) Which things do you view as indispensable, and which things are luxuries? (For example: I WILL find room in the budget for my cleaning lady, but if push came to shove I’d give up some or all of our dinners out.)
Suggestions for Moms of Older Kids
(In addition to the suggested questions here — and if you’d like to tell us about your maternity leave/pregnancies etc you’re welcome to look at the questions for newer moms, too!)
- Where are you in your current parenting journey — how old are your children at this moment, what are they like? Do you they hobbies or activities that have become a big part of your life?
- How has parenting changed your career — e.g., how do management skills/parenting skills complement each other, have you found a new interest through your child that has become your career,
- What kind of parent is your partner — are there areas that you admire their parenting skills? How do you balance and complement each other?
- (If you are sharing parenting with someone who is not a partner (i.e., an ex), how is that going? Do you have tips you’d share with fellow co-parents? Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share on dating as a parent, finances as a single-parent, or more?)
- Have you run into any issues thus far you’d like to blog about (each one a blog post) — e.g., secondary infertility, family drama (grandparents/siblings/marriage), memorable colds or illnesses, sibling issues, childcare drama, workplace drama re: your parenting, neurodiversity such as ADHD, learning disabilities, speech therapy, occupational therapy, etc?
- Did your child have any particularly difficult phases or challenges, e.g., poor sleep, potty training issues, eczema, broken bones, allergies, etc?
- What financial moves have you made for your children over the years – 529s, UTMAs, trusts, opening lines of credit, Roth IRAs, etc.
- Has your child had to apply to any middle schools, high schools, colleges, or more? How involved have you been in the process? What are your thoughts on all of the issues and the general industries involved?
- How are you feeling about your retirement/the kids’ college funds?
- Has your relationship with your parents changed as a result of either parenting or just the passing of time? Would you share any stories regarding retirement (anyone’s), eldercare issues, wills/estates, funerals? How have these issues affected the rest of your life, i.e. parenting and work?
- How have your relationships with your friends changed over the years? Have you had specific “mom friends” you met through school, activities, playgrounds, etc? (Have you made any new non-mom friends since becoming a mother?)
- How has your relationship with yourself been over the years? When did you feel like “yourself” again, what have you considered self care over the years, how much alone time did you have (compared with time with your partner like date nights, time with your friends, time with your parents and siblings, etc)?
- Extended family: anything you’d care to share about being or having in-laws, balancing
- Have you had any memorable family vacations? How have you saved/paid for vacations?
I realize there are a TON of topics out there that I don’t even know about — how to deal with your job when your child is in an activity with a million performances or games? how does the juggle change when you send your child to sleep-away camp? when you have a special-needs kid?) so these are just guidelines; bloggers will be given a pretty free range to write about any aspect of your work-life balance. (But: I do feel like there are other blogs that do a great job of addressing parenting issues and mom-style, so I would want the majority of posts to be about the work-life balance.)
What you get out of it:
- Fame! Money! (Kidding, on both counts — sorry!)
- A platform to talk about the issues that you’ve maybe had to figure out the hard way
- An opportunity to give advice to the women who are a few years behind you — to pay it forward, so to speak
- Links to your personal blogs (should they exist and should you want the links)
Right now I’d love to find 10 guest bloggers to blog about their juggle — we’ll introduce a new “class” of bloggers after these have finished their run.
How to Apply
Interested in guest blogging about discrete topics on your motherhood journey? You’ll find the blogging application / Google Form here — if you’d like to see a PDF of the form, you can click here.
Huge thanks to everyone for considering this!!!
Stock photo via Stencil.