Have you ever looked at a woman who works full time and has a family and thought, how does she do it? For me, someone who is in their early 20s, I envy moms who work and raise a family because they are doing what I hope to be able to do one day. I think for many women out there, we want to be able to raise a family but also work because it gives us a sense of accomplishment that you wouldn’t receive if you only raised a family. Below we have two amazing woman who are doing just that. They share their struggles, wisdom they’ve learned over the years, and the reasons they love what they are doing.
Catherine Culler is a Professional Recruiter here at Godshall. She has been with the company for over 10 years. She has three children, a son who is in seventh grade and twin daughters in sixth grade.
Cathy Boggs is also a Professional Recruiter that has been with Godshall for over 15 years! She has two children that are 6 and 4.
What prompted you to continue to work after becoming a mom?
Culler: “I have numerous reasons for continuing to work. I needed the professional challenge and I enjoy engaging with other professionals. It also eased the financial burden on my family to have that second income. I get satisfaction out of being able to help others.”
Boggs: “It was truly a financial decision. I reduced my schedule to 4 days per week to help with the work/family balance. It has been a blessing to my family and my sanity as well! I chose to continue to work because I want to be able to pay for my children’s college education, have a healthy retirement nest egg to travel with my husband, and to be able to afford family vacations beyond the beaches of SC!”
What is it like trying to work and raise a family at the same time?
Culler: “It is challenging to balance work and family. There is very little ‘down time’, so I try to streamline as much as possible. I cannot keep my house as neat as I would like it, but the nice part is I am not in it very much anyway! We rely on our family a lot for support. We also have a great network of friends that we carpool with, which helps everyone.”
Boggs: “Very difficult. I am so thankful for family support. My parents are retired and they play a BIG part in of our lives and pitch in on a weekly basis to help make my family run smoothly! Having a family and a career is a juggling act. It takes a lot of planning to make sure 2 kids are picked up from 2 different schools by 6pm and then rushed off to the baseball and/or soccer fields. Thanks goodness for carpools, good friends, good family, and a company that understands family needs!”
What advice would you give to young/brand new moms that are trying to work and be a mom?
Culler: “Young moms must understand that life is a jog, not a sprint. It is okay if everything in a weekend does not get checked off the list. I still try to remain involved with my kids’ school and church. I still attend almost all of their sporting events, because that matters to me. Moms need to pick a few outlets outside of work and children and let the things go that are not important. For me, I enjoy running and cycling. I also really enjoy teaching younger kids at church; they keep me creative. On the flip side, I rarely put much time into house decorating. I have pictures that have not been hung for three years! My toilets get rings on them and there are dresser drawers without handles. If a plant makes it in my house, it must be a cactus!”
Boggs: “Be organized. Use the time that your kids are napping or sleeping to get your chores done (laundry, paying bills, prepping dinner for the next day, etc). When you are home, enjoy every minute with your child and play with them! Being engaged with them during the time you are together is the most meaningful.”
What is the biggest struggle you have had to overcome being a mom and working?
Culler: “The biggest struggle for a working mom is the attempt to balance it all–making sure homework is done, laundry is done, we have food in the pantry, errands are run, etc. Time management is critical for survival. I rarely watch TV, so sometimes I feel clueless about any pop culture.”
Boggs: “The feeling of guilt. It is hard to accept that school/daycare spends more time with your child than you do. Initially, I felt like I was choosing a career over my children–then I realized I was choosing it FOR my children. Other than a dog, there is nothing that my boys are missing in their life. 🙂 They are showered with love. We are active parents and we are committed to being there for them. I hate the word ‘Supermom’ because it is an impossible standard. I just do the best I can each day and am the best mom I can be while I am at home.”
How do you manage the cooking, homework, sports, etc.?
Culler: “For cooking, we often grill several meals on Sunday and freeze. I also let my daughter do some of the cooking. Cooking is relaxing for me, but I have to get my kids and husband to help with the cleaning. I also try to plan my list of meals for the week and shop all at once on Saturday. I have ‘given in’ and often serve my kids frozen pizzas and corn dogs, which would not be my first choice if I had more time. My husband is in charge of my son and his homework. We visit the teachers’ websites on Sundays and get his assignments for the week, so we can stay on top of what needs to be done. I also help my daughters with study reviews right before bed and quiz while they eat breakfast.”
Boggs: “Simply put…the best you can! Utilizing friend and neighbors for carpools! Cook when you can and Chic-Fil-A it when you can’t!
What are the joys you get to experience that you wouldn’t see if you were a stay at home mom?
Culler: “Because I work, I’ve been exposed to so much about different industries and businesses. I have taken plant tours, attended fun conventions, traveled to new cities, eaten a ton of good lunches, and made a new network of friends through professional business connections. My work gives me a purpose, as well. I feel independent and accomplished.”
Boggs: “The excitement on their face and all the hugs I receive when I get to pick them up early from school or have lunch with my son at school. You can’t take those little things for granted! I also really enjoy the experience of having a life outside of my children. There is certainly a sense of achievement you get from career success that is different from ‘mommy success’.”