Learning to Say "Yes" to Help
After spending four years as a single working parent, Camille has finally come to grips with one of the toughest parts -- accepting help from the people around her. While leaving her daughters at daycare for nine hours a day is hard enough, the Make It Work Mom is learning to depend on her loving family and new husband to lighten her load. See what Camille told Care.com about being a working mother, how a job was never part of her plan, and how she makes the most of those precious moments with her girls.
Tell us why you work.
I chose to work only because of financial necessity. Just recently, I re-married, but I was a single mom for 4 years, needing to make ends meet. If I had a choice, I would always choose to stay home with my children and raise them myself, but circumstances never allowed for that reality.
What are the greatest challenges to being a working mother?
The greatest challenge is not being available for my children 100%. As a single mom, working a full-time job with a one-hour daily commute, I had my girls in daycare for 9 hours a day. The challenges were overcoming the guilty feelings of missing out on my children's milestones..
Can you share the best parts of being a working parent?
Because of the limited time I actually had with them, I didn't want to be absent from my children, even in their presence! So I feel peace in knowing that the hours spent with them after work until bedtime are fun, memorable, and positive experiences for all of us.
Everyone's heard the phrase, "It takes a village to raise a child." Tell us, who's in your village?
My village consists mostly of my family -- mother, sisters, brothers, dad -- and my good neighbors and friends who were involved. Also, my children's daycare providers who are with them on a daily basis.
This phrase holds true not just for me as a working mom, but also as a single mom. There have been many times I've needed help picking up sick kids from school (I worked 30 minutes away), or watching one child while I took the other to the doctor, or even if I'm sick, my "village" would offer to sit with my kids while I healed.
How did you find your "village" and have you ever had to kick someone out?
The largest contributors to my "village" are my direct family. And they have made my life so much "easier" than if I were doing it on my own! Thankfully, they come to me, and I just learn to "accept" their offers. The members of my "village" that I've had to search for are the daycare providers. The only time I had to "kick" someone out was when a certain daycare provider was proving to be less than trustworthy.
Do you consider your spouse part of your "village"?
I just recently re-married (2 months ago) and am learning (and loving the fact) that he IS a part of my "village". He is lightening my load by helping out with the duties in preparation for daily routines - i.e. bedtime routines, morning routines, going over homework with kids, preparing dinner so I can have one-on-one time with my girls, etc. It's nice to have a teammate who supports me and lifts the burden and can be a moral support.
Camille is a thirty-something, full-time staffing recruiter by day and a mother by night, where everything is governed by "Eenie-Meenie-Miney-Moe" and fun. Just recently re-married, this mom offers tips for balancing the chaos and minimizing the guilt of working mothers on her blog. You can also find Camille on Facebook and Twitter.
See who other working moms turn to in our Care.com Interview Series: Who's In Your Village »