I'm introducing a new series featuring interviews with real millennial working moms (MWM)! Every month I will be profiling a different MWM to get the inside scoop on motherhood, balancing work and home, and carving out 'me' time. Oh, and I'm including fun little tidbits like their drink of choice and trashy TV picks 'cause let's be honest, we all need our little indulgences.
Today I’m profiling MWM Keely, a substitute teacher with an adorable two year-old daughter, B. She discusses how motherhood changed her approach to teaching and how contrary to popular belief, having children isn’t the kiss of death to your pre-baby life and interests.
What is your job title?
I am an occasional (aka supply) teacher with a public school board in my city. This year, I am designated to one school, which means I will cover any last-minute absences there, unless another school close by is in need of a supply teacher.
What do you love most about your job?
What I love most about my position this year (which I have never done before) is that I have guaranteed work 5 days per week, instead of taking it day-by-day and being at different schools all the time. Because of this I have gotten to build a strong rapport with the staff and students, which makes my job all that more rewarding and fun.
How has being a mom influenced your role at work?
Being a mom has made me hyper aware of how much of an impact school life has on a child, and how important parent involvement is to student success. Since I am now a mother, and know what it’s like leaving your child with someone else for a whole day 5 days per week, I now approach students in a more maternal, caring way, rather than simply as an educator.
What do you find most challenging about being a millennial working mom?
I am finding that juggling home tasks is more difficult now because unlike when I was on maternity leave, I only have a few short hours every day (most of which I am too tired and busy with my daughter) to get things done around the house. There is also so much more to do around the house now that I have a child.
What has been most surprising about motherhood?
The most surprising thing about motherhood for me was how seamless B’s entry into our world was. Was it a big change? Absolutely! But as soon as she arrived I felt like she had been with us all along. We manage to continue to do the things we love but now with our daughter in tow, which makes things all the more fun and exciting.
How do you carve out ‘me time’ and what does that look like for you?
I find it easier to have “me time” when you have a predictable schedule and routine. So, I make sure that wherever we are as a family that we get home in time for nap time so that my daughter can get her needed rest, and I can have some uninterrupted time for myself or with my husband. We will either read, watch a movie or show (where would we be without Netflix?!), or catch some zzz’s if it’s been a busy morning. We are also very fortunate to have supportive and loving family in the same city and surrounding area whom absolutely love to spend time with our daughter. That lets us plan nights out with each other or friends.
What is one essential beauty product you can’t live without?
I absolutely love Garnier’s BB Cream. I wear it every single day. It is light, has a refreshing scent, and gives me just the right amount of coverage without feeling too cake-y or looking too “made-up”.
What is your drink of choice?
I really love a slightly sweet glass of red wine in the winter, or a crisp white in the summer; however, I do not discriminate and love a variety of drinks depending on what I’m eating or what I am doing!
Must-watch trashy TV?
The Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise. I can’t get enough!
What is your favorite item of clothing for work?
Since I’m constantly on the move throughout the day as a teacher, comfortable pants are a must! I have a thicker pair of black leggings with a leather detail down the sides that give them a slightly more professional vibe, and they are so comfortable.
If you could offer a piece of advice to other millennial working moms, what would it be?
With so much pressure to look and be the perfect mom/wife/friend/daughter/employee we can get lost in others’ views of perfection and ideals, and lose sight of what is important to us and our families. Give yourself a break and keep in mind that making things easier does not mean that you are taking any shortcuts—it means you are being efficient and smart with your time, and that is perfection in and of itself!