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We are two working mothers — Lauren Rose, the director of business development for Name Bubbles, and Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor at The Saratogian. Try as we may to be really good at both, balancing motherhood and career can get pretty messy. As professionals, work schedules and mommy schedules often collide. So, we plow through, hoping at the end of the day, our kids — Lauren's 5-year-old son and Betsy's 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter — know how much we love them.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Working Mom's Vacation

I'm not great at taking vacations. Just ask anyone who's ever lived or worked with me. In fact, I haven't taken an entire work week off since 2005 when my husband and I went to Isle of Palms, South Carolina pre-baby. I'm not one of those people who can leave work AT work. I answer calls, trade emails and hop on conference calls. Coming back to an unmanageable workload post-vacation creates more stress than checking off a few things while I'm actually on vacation. It's just the way I'm hard-wired.

In 2006, our son Kenneth was born which meant my vacation was coupled with maternity leave to maximize time spent bonding with my newborn. In 2007, my vacation was a piecemeal of time taken off for ear and sinus infections and stomach bugs - his and mine. My 2008 "staycation" meant entertaining friends visiting from Ireland interupted by a mid-week business pitch and dinner with a visiting client. Last year, I tagged along on my husband Scott's business trip to Japan and left my son for the first time for five days (a BIG step for any mom, working or otherwise). I travelled 30 hours each way for three nights and two picture-perfect Fall days in Kyoto.

Today marks my first day back to work from our first official family vacation to Florida. The first two days in Fort Myers at Grammy and Grampy's villa was spent digging for shells on the beach and splashing in the pool. From there we travelled to Orlando for two additional days. We arrived at SeaWorld, paid the piper to the tune of $275 for two adults and one child, and waited for the much anticipated awe everyone said my son would experience. After 15 minutes, my husband leaned over and said "we're down 300 bucks and we haven't seen a fish yet". I had to laugh. So, we headed to the main attraction: ORCA! With video camera in hand, I zoomed in to watch my son's reaction to killer whales diving and splashing. Smiles, yes. Awe, no. Then I saw my son whisper something in my husband's ear. I imagined he said "Dad, this is the best thing ever!". After the show, I asked my husband what the whispers were all about. My husband replied, Kenneth said "Can we please leave and go get some candy?" At this point, I stopped waiting for the awe and started laughing and smiling at my son's fascination with the little things. The turtle had a hole in his shell. The Flamingos stand on one leg when they sleep. Penguins swim pretty fast. Sharks are definitely scary. Oh, and candy tastes better at SeaWorld!

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