Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Working 9 to 5, What a Way to Make a Livin!

That song by Dolly Parton always makes me laugh.  She's just such a character. 

Last night, while Phil and I were eating after the kids were in bed, he was reading my blog post (did y'all know he's my biggest fan?) about the Working Mothers Link-up and said "But where are your answers to the questions?"  Duh.  I totally should have answered my own questions before I made you lovely ladies do it!  So here goes...

1) What do you do for work and why do you work?
I work full-time as the Business Manager at a Catholic high school.  After years of working as a tax accountant, I am loving this position a lot!  I am also the bookkeeper for my kid's elementary school, which is work I do from home, usually on the weekends.
I work because my husband is a Catholic high school teacher and we have a mortgage, 5 kids, student loans and we sort of like to eat every day.

2) Did your mother work?
Yes!  Sort of.  She was a nurse but stopped before she had kids.  Then she volunteered a lot with the church, and then she opened up a homemade ice cream shop on Cape Cod when I was 6 years old, and we had that shop for 20 years.  So my mom was able to stay at home for most of the school year, and then worked her little tail off in the warm weather.  All six of us kids worked there every spring and summer from the time we could scoop!  It was a great way to grow up, learning how to run a family business.  I used to help do the bookkeeping, which is how I got into accounting.  

3) Describe a typical work day.
Here's a funny recap of what a morning is like in our house.  
Normally we are all up, dressed, fed, and out the door by 6:50 am.  I drop the 4 school-age kids off at their Catholic elementary school, and Phil drops the baby off at his nanny's house.  Then we wave to each other at work and most days we get to eat lunch together {awww}.  
Phil leaves work around 2:45 on a good day and heads to the gym to workout, or to coach track for our kids, or to babysit our niece and nephew.  I can leave work at 3:30 and depending on Phil's schedule, I  either go to the gym, or pick up the kids and go home.  We can typically all eat dinner together, the kids get showers/baths and then have a 30 min. TV show before it's up to bed at 7:00.  Phil and I usually fall asleep around 9:30 to 10:00.  Although a lot of nights, I am passed out on the couch at 8:30.  #justkeepingitreal.

4) What's the best part about having a job?
The money :)
But I am lucky to actually like and be friends with a  lot of my coworkers, so that's really nice too!  And using my accounting degree and MBA makes me feel like it wasn't all a waste of time and money.
Plus I can go to morning Mass or morning prayers in a beautiful chapel right near my office.

5) What's your least favorite part?
It's not hard for me to work full-time while the kids are in school, but it has been really hard to work full-time while Alexander is so little.  I used to stay at home with John-Paul and Andrew, and then worked part-time while Eamon and Maggie were babies and toddlers.  I started full-time when Maggie went to preschool and found out I was pregnant with Xander right after I started full-time.  We were so stressed out about who was going to care for him, and nobody in my family could help, so it was difficult.  We finally found the most amazing woman ever who watches him and a 3 year old girl in her home.  She loves him like her own grandson, and spoils him rotten.  He calls her "Ba" and has never once not wanted to go to her.  Plus she is teaching him Portuguese too!

6) What would make your life easier?
A house cleaner!  Because we both work, and our kids play lots of sports, I feel like the weekends are all about errands, sports, and cleaning.  If someone would just come in to clean during the week, we could focus more on family time.  But if we could afford a housecleaner, then I probably would have to rethink the reasons I am working :)

7) How do your children handle their mom's career?
They only seem to mind that I go to work when they are on a school break or during the summer.  I have reduced hours during the summer, so it's not even that bad.  They are so used to me working that they think it is "normal" for a mom to go to work everyday.  And you know what?  It is very "normal".  Most of their friends moms work too.  I'm always impressed at families that can afford to live on one income.  It seems impossible in this area where the houses are so expensive.

8) Do you feel supported in what you do?
My husband absolutely supports me.  We are a total team package.  I help earn money for our family, and he helps take care of our family and home.  There's never an argument about who should clean the bathroom or do the dishes or cook the meals.  We just both pitch in and do it.  I do wish we had family around that was able to help us with the kids more. #welovedatenights

9) What are your future goals when it comes to work/motherhood?
I think I'll just stay here until I retire!  Maybe I can retire early and help raise my grandbabies, if I'm so lucky.  The hard decision is always if/when to try for more children because if I was at home, I would definitely have more babies, but working and daycare costs sort of change everything.  In any case, I know God will make it all work out.

10) What are some tips that help you balance it all?
Exercise is a big help with my mood and finding sanity.  

Blogging is my creative outlet that also serves as my social network, so that helps me feel fulfilled.

And, as MC Hammer sang, "You've got to pray just to make it today!"  God is first and foremost in our lives and He gives us the graces we need to get through anything.

Now you should go link-up with the more amazing working moms!


  1. Oh Colleen I loved reading your answers!!! That is awesome that you enjoy working.. I work part-time 4 hours a day from home I have no kids... :( keeping my fingers crossed... My husband told me from the get go he didn't want me working full time. His mom did not work, and all the women in his life didn't work. That is ok I have lots to do here at home cooking never ends and cleaning never ends. right now I have a load in the washer that keeps beeping...I admire all that you do for your family. Loved this post.. Have a blessed day.

  2. Hmm, I wonder if it is easier when you have school aged children. Only one of mine is (Kinder). I try to tell myself it gets easier when they are all in full time school but I think it just might be different.

  3. Loved your answers, Colleen! Thanks for sharing. As for EC's comment...I don't know. I used to think (maybe b/c I was working full time with infants) that it couldn't possibly be worse than that...they can't tell you when they're sick...if someone's bothering them...missing milestones (sure, my daycare lady swore to me that Mary Catherine didn't take her first steps with her! LOL), but now that I have 2 school-agers I see how much they need me! First, as chauffeur, but also to create a nurturing environment for them to relax and escape from the realities of the outside world. I always feel for my nephew who has to go to before and after-school care...makes for super long school days with constant "supervision" and structured activities. I put, supervision in quotes, b/c it's not that my children aren't supervised at home, but they are able to relax, run, go outside, lay and read books, watch a show, do homework at the table with Mom, etc. Just less structured...

  4. i totally agree with you that it is no problem leaving the school aged kids. it is the babies that i feel so guilty about. it seems like you have the best possible situation to be working full time. it is so nice that you get off at 3:30 and have reduced hours during the summer. i would love to get a house-cleaner as well. someone to clean the bathrooms, vacuum, and dust. that would be amazing, esp when pregnant. I don't get how family's make it on one income either, i guess they have to have a six digit income.

  5. The cost of living here is insane! Everyone I meet here says I "have" to go back to work eventually if we're going to stay here long term. I don't think that's necessarily the case but we're going to have to make sacrifices, like public schools or homeschooling instead of Catholic or private schools. And I don't know when we'll be able to buy a house... It's super depressing.

  6. Wow, I loved reading all your answers. I am always fascinated when I hear of a mom like you who not only has a large family, as in 3+ kids, but also works! I can imagine, as you answered in #8, that it must take a lot of team work for you & your husband & that must be great for your marriage! I also live in the Northeast & it's crazy how expensive houses are around here! We feel so blest that we can (most months ;) afford our tiny 3 bedroom ranch & hope to cram as many kids in here as we can without me having to go back to work but we'll see...

  7. Sounds like you have a great situation - esp working at a Catholic school with a chapel right by your office! Loved hearing about the ice cream shop your mom ran - sounds like many great memories those summers!

  8. Honestly, I don't know how you do it! I barely get enough done when I'm home pretty much full time! It really does stink that the houses are so expensive in New England! You can send your lovies over here anytime you ant a date night! Or...I Jon and Sarah make great babysitters:)

    ..and we have to plan that get together:)

  9. Loved reading your answers. You have a pretty good situation, except for being out of the house at 650. I am not good at the mornings and might die if I had to have all bodies out of the house that early. Also the chapel and prayer offerings there are really nice. When is the nurse retiring????? Good idea for a link up!

  10. So, I loved reading your answers! I do have a question though, if you don't have family around, then why do you live where you live, if the cost of living is so high? You could live in Minnesota for example,(hint hint--it's not THAT cold here) and live in a really big house and work part time or maybe even not all. Or if you still wanted to, you could still work full time too. Just curious what keeps you where you are?

    What a blessing to be able to go to Mass every day and have lunch with your husband!

  11. loved this.

    and honestly, on one income--we can't afford it, which is why we are so poor :). I want to work. Truely, we need 2 incomes and have one. I just have no one to watch the infant and toddler and I keep thinking that day care would eat up all my money and not be worth it.


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