Blogs > Media Moms

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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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In our own time zone

"You haven't had dinner yet? It's 8 o'clock; don't the kids have to go to bed soon?" My mother on many occasions, despite the regularity of our late suppers, asks this.

It's not that I wouldn't rather sit down for out evening meal at a "normal" time, but getting out of the newsroom around 5 p.m. is impossible. Reporters are finishing their stories, which many times require at least a quick edit by me before being passed to the copy editors. And, inevitably, we end up having to react to a news story of some kind. When the police scanner starts screeching in the evening, and the fire trucks whiz by our office on Lake Avenue, a chorus of "no's" can be heard from those of us who arrived early and are desperate to throw in the last comma and get out.

For me, this isn't usually until about 7 p.m. or a little later, which means I'm rarely gettting home before 7:30. Not normal in comparison to many work schedules, but something a friend at church said helped me put it into perspective. After hearing me over many months drone on about trying to fix the situation, he told me accept it — embrace the time we have together and stop trying to make our lives like everyone else's.

So now, when the hour hand has already passed 9 p.m. and my daughter is begging for me to read just one chapter of "Junie B. Jones," I try to relax about the fact that it's technically past her bedtime. Same goes for when my son is lying and bed and wants to chat about Pokemon characters. Those moments are worth far more than the few minutes of sleep.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Working Motherhood

Nearly four years ago my friend and colleague Betsy and I were having lunch (or was it coffee?) on Broadway in Saratoga talking about starting a blog for working moms like ourselves. Why? Because inevitably we'd start out day sharing drop off stories or post weekend stories of the never-ending struggle (or, was that joy?) of balancing a career in media with having a family. Whether it was forgetting something at home and having to go back to get it and still make it to the early morning meeting on time or having to rush out mid-day to replenish diapers or extra clothes or mittens or a permission slip, Betsy and I could not quite escape - not that we wanted to - the dance called 'working motherhood'. We figured that if we needed to talk about all this stuff, maybe other working moms did too.

I always say that if I ever meet the woman who coined the phrase "you can have it all" I'll slap her. Or, at least imagine slapping her. Seriously, each and every day you come up short somewhere. It's not possible to give 100% to two different priorities. On the mom side or on the work side, we never get it perfect. Did I mention we're both 'type 'A' controlling perfectionist over- achievers' who try really hard to get it right every day even though we're smart enough to know that's not possible? Does that explain the drive and then dissatisfaction when we have to leave work earlier than we should or come in on the weekends when we really want to be hiking or swimming with the kids?

Betsy and I both love our jobs and our kids (I only have one). Oh, and we have husbands. Yes, wonderful supportive husbands. Seriously, how on earth could we do it otherwise? And, our bosses are pretty great, too.

This is the beginning of the two of us "Media Moms" sharing our working mom moments with our coworkers, friends, other parents, our community and you. We hope it's worth the read.

And, don't give us a hard time about the blog taking four years to start. We're working moms, after all.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Daring escape from the office

I've been mulling starting a blog for awhile. It seems every day includes something stupidly eventful with my kids, my job or some combination of the two. So, with a little push from our publisher and Lauren as my partner, we're opening the door for all to see the chaos in our lives as working moms.

And chaotic it is. I've been here in the newsroom since 9:30 this morning and just finished editing what I hope is the last story that needs my attention today. We've had no shortage of death-related stories this week.

It's already 10 minutes in to my son's baseball practice. Despite the fact I told my husband this morning we could "all go to practice together," there was no surprise in his voice when I called at quarter till 7 and said, "I'll have to meet you there honey!" Par for the course. Ten years in, and he knows so much better than I do the blackhole I get sucked into as soon as I enter the newsroom in the morning. God bless him; that's all I can say.

If I close this introductory post here, I can still make the second half of my son's practice and get home to throw together what I can pass as a healthy family dinner (frozen meatballs thrown in some spaghetti sauce from a jar and heated in the microwave with whatever kind of pasta I can dig out of the cupboard, and some sort-of fresh broccoli on the side).

Super Mom I am not, but they love me the same — at least they say so.