Making It Work - Two Working Parent Household

A lot of times families are split amongst varying types of groups: Working Moms/Dads, Stay at Home Moms/Dads, Working Moms/Stay at Home Dads, Working Dads/Stay at Home Moms, Single Working Moms/ get my point. In our house, it's always been two working adults and then when we had kids it was two working parents.

The stresses of figuring out what to do after the baby was born was very heavy on us. We were not and are still not in a position for one of us to stay home and raise our kids. We were a household that NEEDED to have two incomes. Could it have been done with one of us staying at home? I'm sure it could have - we'd cut back, live on ramen, have one car, cut out luxuries like cable - but it would have been even more of a struggle. We were face with choosing between having a nanny or putting our infant in daycare. Based on what we could afford - nanny was for sure OUT! We could not afford to employ a nanny which by the way is exactly that - you are an employer and you need to file paperwork and taxes and all that good stuff  - we just could not swing it. So daycare won out. I will do a more in depth post on the pros and cons to look for when you're deciding on childcare.

Fast forward to our second baby which means double the cost of everything! So we're still a two working parent household. There's a certain amount of stress when you have both parents working. You are at a job that demands your time 8-10 hours a day then you come home and dinner needs to be made, bathes need to be had, lunches need to be made, playtime needs to be had and finally BEDTIME! It's very easy to feel utter exhaustion and get agitated with the people around you especially your spouse or partner. You don't feel like the other is pulling their weight, you find yourself becoming resentful because you think to yourself "well I work too the least you could do is make the lunches". It happens!

One of the things couples need to remember is that you're both in this together. You're both parents, you both work and you both lean on each other. I know for us - it was easy to get snappy with each other when one was doing way more than the other - it wasn't until we had a serious conversation of "how can we help each other"? The last thing anyone wants is to have their kids see their parents barking at each other - it doesn't teach them good communication skills and it's a little scary for them. So we identified the areas that were giving us frustration - household chores was a big one for me. I feel like a messy house creates a large amount of anxiety in me so I'm constantly cleaning. So we divided household chores - I take care of laundry, bed making and bathrooms while he's responsible for kitchen, floors and dusting - together we tackle the toys. He handles bath times and I cook dinner - together we get both kids dressed for bed. Some days it goes smoothly and some days not so much but the point is we're communicating with each other and we're there for each other.

For us, it doesn't matter how much money the other one makes - my job is just as important to me as yours is to you and we both need to acknowledge that. There are times when the kids are sick I can stay home with them and others my husband can. If one kid is very sick and requires more than one day of home rest, one parent takes one day and the another takes the other day or if we both have to be at work - I'll work half day and he'll work the other half. Just as you have to work with a team at your job - your spouse/partner is your teammate at home and it's both of your jobs to make sure that at the end of the day - you both were there for each other. 

Staying Organized

There is no better feeling to have a spot for everything and everything in it's spot! I live, breathe and eat organization. I scroll pinterest and instagram looking at other people's organization skills - Simply Organized I'm looking at you...Call Me! But organized and kids don't go in the same sentence and as matter of fact those two concepts don't even live in the same neighborhood.

This post is not about keeping my home organized, no - I'll save that for a day when my house is clean. This post is about organizing my life! I have a lot of things I need to keep track of - I'm an Office Manager for a very busy company, I'm a wife to a busy husband who has a busy travel schedule and I'm a mommy to busy toddlers - did you spot the theme? I'm ALWAYS busy! I'm not a savant, I have a great memory but I swear I ask what day it is at least twice.

So how do I do it? Multiple Calendars. I have more calendars then a normal person should have. I have a planner that I keep track of work and family - My phone that I have work and appointments stored on - a wall calendar because when planner and phone are not in reach, I need something to look at - I mentioned how many times I ask what day it is right? And lastly Outlook - Outlook alone I have 5 shared calendars. It's a miracle I know where anything is. So here are my tips:

1. Planner: I'm old school, I like writing things down. I'm currently using an Eric Condren Life Planner which I can do a review on, I'm not the biggest fan but I spent dollars on it - I'm freaking using it! This planner sits on my desk - it has my daily to-dos, appointments, meetings and conference calls all listed out per week and month. When I find time to schedule or move things around, I love having this in my face to write and make notes. I carry this with me Monday - Friday.

2. Phone: I am an iPhone user, I tried going LG I couldn't do it! I'm sorry but iPhone for life! This syncs my work calendar so if I need to reference something after hours I can. I also schedule appointments directly into my phone - no more appointment cards, I lose those things faster than you can imagine. When I'm finished with a doctors appointment I immediately whip out my phone and look at my calendar to see if my upcoming appointment is going to conflict with anything I have prescheduled. I also sync our family calendar with my husband's phone so he can stop asking me what we're doing a week from today. Later on - I'll add that to my physical planner.

3. Wall Calendar: I feel like this is just a necessity in any home - like why should you not have a wall calendar? When neither phone or planner is near by this is just a great quick reference to look at - I sometimes don't always update this but for instance if I'm in the middle of planning meals for week, I'll glance at this calendar, conveniently placed in my kitchen, to see what days I've purchased school lunch. It also comes in handy when we're planning things together, we generally reference this.

4. Outlook: If you do not know how to use Outlook, you need to get on YouTube and start watching videos. I use this strictly for work. I manage a lot of people and between the 5 shared calendars, I know where everyone and everything is at all times. I have 1 calendar for myself which I only use for meetings and calls that are just mine & scheduling office meetings - 1 for my entire support staff, it shows their vacation or days off schedules and internal chores list (yes we have chores) - 1 for each of my bosses - 1 for marketing schedules.

5. Excel: This is a recent addition to our family. I created a huge worksheet that is solely dedicated to bills - in it is a calendar and breakdown of when pay days land and where the bills fall. I'm in love with this system. It has allowed us to be better organized with our bills and our money. We'll save the details of this for another post.

After all that you may be asking yourself, why do you bother having so many calendars - can't you use just one? I'm sure I could but the problem is - when you stack all that on top of each other - it gets hard to read and it can be easily overwhelming. By writing appointments down so many times and looking at calendars constantly, I'm less likely to forget something - I feel like I have a good handle of things and what comes after the other. I know it seems a lot but all these things make my world go round - give one a try - tell me how it goes!

It's Good To Be Back!

Hi Friends! It's so good to sit down and start writing again. I've really missed it! SO MUCH has happened to me over the time I've been gone and it made me do a lot of reflecting on what exactly I wanted to do with this blog. I felt like I was putting content out just to fill the blank space and it seemed just as empty if I didn't say anything at all.

First, I changed how I looked at My Mommy Place, I wanted a more simplistic look - I wanted chic and simple, nothing to take away from the points I want to make. Next, I wanted the meaning of My Mommy Place to change - yes it references "Mommy" because I am a mommy but this is a play on mixing work and parenthood. For me the two get blended so often - it's hard to see where the "mom" part of me stops and when "Lisa" jumps in. Somedays I have to be both at the same time. I want this to be a place for parents, not just mommies. There are so many different types of working families out there, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, single moms, single dads - they're all part of the tribe called parenthood.

Finally, I wanted to incorporate more tips on how to be a SUCCESSFUL working parent. Tips on being better organized, getting ahead at work, how to work toward and get raises you deserve and how to keep moving upward and forward. I want to help people breakdown the stigmas that parents are less focused, less dedicated, less motivated because they have children than someone that doesn't. In fact I want to make employers see that it's people who are parents that will work the hardest because they have a lot to lose. I didn't graduate from college, I learned everything as I went on and I feel like even though I'm not a CEO...yet, I'm definitely on my way and I want to take you with me. I want to share those experiences with you and give those confidence in themselves to be better providers for their families.

Even if you are not a parent, have no plans on becoming a parent - most of everything I'm going to walk through can work for you too! You are not excluded - I like non-parents too :)

I even have plans to incorporate videos into this blog - yes I want to talk to you! Let's get personal for a minute okay! I don't know how it's going to work out and I may be completely awkward at it but I think it's going to be great. And if I fail, well then I fail but at least I gave it a try! So keep a look out because the first video is coming soon....Oh My Lanta!

It's an all new My Mommy Place and we're going to talk about everything and we're going to succeed together!