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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, April 28, 2010

Daycare Download to the Rescue

Dropping my son off at daycare that very first day back to work meant enduring a kind of emotional pain I'd never experienced before. I don't know how you prepare for something like that ahead of time, but I felt emotionally wrecked and cried all the way to work after ten weeks of maternity leave. After a while (a week or two or three) we all happily settled into our new routine, but those first few days were tough. These early memories of being a fledgling working mom came flooding back to me this week when our newest account executive started her own journey as a working mom. She, like me nearly four years prior, returned to work and began the daily routine of daycare drop offs and pick ups. After nearly two years of being home with her young son she decided it was time to get back to her career. We're glad to have her and to be honest, I've been impressed with her ability to stay focused and upbeat all week. In fact, I haven't seen her shed a tear yet (not that anyone saw me either).

Being a mom who entrusts her most precious gift to daycare workers day-in and day-out needs to keep a "glass if half full" attitude. My silver lining is that I've made some amazing mom friends along the way. Who could possibly have more in common with you at this stage in your life than other working moms dropping their babies off along side you every day?

Through our daycare connection we've developed lasting friendships that have moved us beyond the four walls of daycare. We enjoy play dates, GNO (girls' night out) and family-friendly gatherings as a group. We're down-to-earth moms who work hard, value family, and appreciate the value of a good laugh. We're bankers, wealth managers, ad execs, and entrepreneurs. We're moms.

One of our coping strategies is to exchange what I call the "daycare download" which means we share just about everything; milestones, challenges, wins, losses, and lots of funny stories. Right now there's a lot going on between us. I'm still getting used to my husband traveling to Asia on a regular basis and two of the moms have kids moving up to my son's classroom. Although I'm happy the kids will all be back together, room transitions can be challenging for both kids and parents. To ease the transitions among us, the moms are teaming up to ensure that I stay sane and that we do whatever we can to make the children's transition is a smooth one. Whether it's taking the extra time to acknowledge the kids at daycare encounters or responding to emails sent by a mom having a tough day, the daycare download works. It's also our way of getting the "scoop"; what's happening with daycare management, teachers, rooms, kids, everything that's involved in our children's lives while we're working. We have each other's backs and are willing to pitch in at a moment's notice. We share extra clothes, snacks and over the years - a LOT of diapers. Luckily, we never seem to run out of the same thing on the same day.

One day this week I saw two of the moms at drop off and one was having a really tough time. I didn't know all the details, but her frustration and concern showed on her face. Via text and voice mail, I later learned that she had to wipe a few tears on her way into work. I've been there too many times to count. And my mom friends have been there for me. Some days are - like they are for everyone - better than others, so having a network of mom friends with all the modern day ways to communicate: Twitter, Facebook, text, email and cell phones, makes it easy to stay connected.

I'm personally grateful for these conversational exchanges (in personal or otherwise) that calm shaky nerves and make it easier to juggle life's important things: work, family and on a good week - some personal time and space.

Daycare downloads are just moments of vents, questions, comments, and sometimes - critical information. My favorites are vents. You need them if you're going to hunker down and be productive at work. For example, sharing a moment we had with each other's children at drop off or pick up that the parent missed can make a mom's day. Any working mom knows that moments that make you laugh, help you worry less, and inevitably make your day better are precious. When it comes to being a working mom, having a network of trusted friends makes the journey that much sweeter.

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Blogger Sonia said...

Excellent information provided by this blog.

Kids Day Care

February 23, 2011 at 1:22 AM 

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