September 3, 2013: Ginger Ale

Brendon and Grant at school pick up
Today I was reminded of a comment made by Katie Couric many moons ago. Katie and I have children the same age. We were both busy working women in the mid-nineties when our first two were born. As an avid fan of the Today show, I watched each morning as I got my boys ready for daycare and school.

I will always remember one particular interview Katie had, debating the merits of a working mom vs. a stay-at-home mom. As Katie argued the virtues of working outside the home, she made the comment "I don't think my kids will be psychologically scarred because I'm not home pouring their ginger ale."

This statement always stuck with me. As my kids grew and I wasn't always there, I often wondered about the effect of my absentee role as ginger ale pourer.

Over the years, I have done my best to accommodate and be physically there. Working around the many schedules that consumed my life, I became very efficient in trying to put my family first without sacrificing my career. I also became keen in how to say less but achieve more.

Example: I picked up little Zach from kindergarten for most of that entire year without notice that I was gone from work. I quietly marked out my calendar and would schedule around it. Instead of telling everyone about what I was doing, I just did it. Zach knew, but no one else. And my career wasn't affected. If an important work meeting came up at the same time, I would make that the priority and find someone to help me out with Zach. Easy...and little Zach actually liked a new face on occasion.

That was an example of a balancing win. There have been balancing losses along the way as well. Things have ebbed and flowed from work to home and home to work as I have tried to perfect the mom-juggling-act. For the last few months, I have been busy with my new work venture with more of my energy flowing that way.

The last couple of weeks has ebbed back in favor of the kids. I am now enjoying some school drop offs and meals together. The daily family routine firmly involves me again. It's a good place to be. Although I agree with Katie that putting the kids in good hands outside my own is not a tragedy, I have to admit that I do like to pour the ginger ale for my kids too. The balancing act continues...

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