Working Moms, Time Is Short

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Two weeks ago, I was sitting in a management meeting and noticed my left hand was shaking. It was just a little tremor and I originally thought it was the result of too much coffee (the working mother’s drug of choice). As the day progressed, the shaking got worse. I knew something was wrong. After a series of doctors visits, I found myself at a local hospital earlier this week, getting a variety of tests done. The purpose of all the testing is to rule out scary possibilities, narrow down the cause, and develop an action plan. My normal routine of kids and work has been thrown off completely. And most importantly, so has my perspective. Today is a day when you realize that YOUR time, the time you spend on things, is not infinite.

Not for me and not for you.

As working mothers, we always seem to dwell on the fact that there never is enough time. As I sat in the hospital, I had an epiphany:

It isn’t really that we don’t have enough time, it is that we are often focused on the wrong things. 

And when I say this, I don’t mean we shouldn’t focus on work or home. Quite the opposite. I just mean that we should focus on the RIGHT things at work and the RIGHT things at home. We should focus on things that move us forward at work and not spend time on office gossip. At home, we should spend more time with our children and less time watching television. 

A co-worker of mine sent this video around the office last week.  Sitting in the hospital earlier this week made me remember it and I wanted to share it with you, fellow Proud Working Mom.

http://www.break.com/video/it-is-always-now-2546704

Just like the video says, the day will come when we wish we could have this time back. Watch this video enough times and it could change the way you think about your life. I have watched it half a dozen times. My view is changing.

My health scare and this video have prompted me to ask myself new questions. Instead of asking myself  “What am I going to do today?”, I will now ask “Do I NEED to do that? Is it a wise use of my time?” I want you all to start asking yourselves those questions.

Remember PWM, time is short.

7 Ways To Get Fired

shutterstock_70617409Spring is here Proud Working Moms, what better time to discuss your job performance. A few weeks ago, we checked in to see how things were going for you at work. For some of you, things are going really well and I am so happy to hear that. Others are looking around for new and different opportunities. If you fall into that category, check out our article about finding a new job.

What about those of you who THINK you are doing a good job and aren’t?

Today, I would like to talk to those of you that think you are doing a good job and are NOT.  Both Jennifer and I have been part of the work force for longer than we care to admit. This ain’t our first rodeo. Every single day we see people in business making mistakes. BIG mistakes. Mistakes that can get them fired.

Here at PWM, we want to make sure you are not making a mistake at work that could get you fired. We are doing it because we love you and lets face it, no one else is going to tell you what you are doing wrong.

Here is our list of 7 Ways To Get Fired:

1. If you lie to your boss, you will get fired. It seems obvious, right? If you lie to your boss you could get fired. This pertains to anything. If you are having trouble at work and you lie to your boss, it is not going to make the situation better. If you lie to your boss about being sick and she finds out you were just hungover, this is also bad.

2. If you are not doing your work on time, you will get fired. I know it sounds harsh but in life, there are deadlines. If you are getting paid to do a job and it is not done on time, you could get fired. Especially if you get a reputation for not making deadlines. No one wants to hear excuses about why it was not done on time. Your supervisor wants to be able to rely on you and trust that it will get done.

3. If your supervisor has to babysit you, you will get fired. Listen, we all already have kids at home. Nobody wants to babysit you. If a supervisor has to watch your every step to make sure you are doing it right (because you are NOT usually doing it right), then chances are, you will get fired.

4. If you are being dishonest, you will get fired. This seems obvious to me and 90% of the population but it is on this list for a reason. There are people everyday that lie on their timesheet, use their work computer for personal use, turn in reimbursement sheets that are falsely inflated, make copies at work for personal use or use work time to get personal things done. These are all dishonest practices. Some are harmless but others are not. If you make a habit of this, someone is going to find out and yes, you could get fired.

5. If I tell you to do something and you don’t, you will get fired. As mentioned above, I have kids at home. If I ask you to do something, as your boss, you had better make it a priority. If you ignore me or don’t think it is important…say it with me…you could get fired.

6. If you act inappropriately towards a colleague, you will get fired. Yes, I am talking about sexual harassment, regular harassment, or if you take a swing at a co-worker because you don’t like what he/she said, you will get fired.

7. If you are not doing work at work, you could get fired. You are getting paid to do a job. Whether it is working a cash register, serving customers or making phone calls, make sure you are doing just that on company time. Your boss is not paying you to work on your ‘mad texting skills’. If you are spending work time ignoring your job or texting your friends, you may not be working there for long.

Ladies, the job market is a very competitive place these days. No matter what job you are looking to get or keep, there are probably 5 other people out there that would do almost anything to be in your shoes. Don’t forget it. Show up and do a great job everyday and make us proud!

Why Business Travel Is Secretly Awesome

shutterstock_183436412It’s Monday and you are suffering from the Monday morning travel blues.

The alarm went off at 4:30 am and you are headed to the middle of nowhere, the second such trip this month. (As you read this post, I am headed to Little Rock, Arkansas. Living the dream!)

You are tired already. Your social life has been non-existent. All you have been focused on is work, the kid shuffle, and more work. As you hit the snooze button (just once or three times) you swear under your breath that you will find a job that doesn’t require airplanes and overnights. That voice creeps in, the voice of self-doubt: Is this worth it? Am I a good mom?

Well today is different. I want you to stop that voice dead in its tracks. Lets focus on The Reasons Why Business Travel Is Secretly Awesome: 

So there are a zillion working mom articles telling us how to prepare for business travel. We even have one of our own written a year ago (The Working/Traveling Mom). But lets cut the bullshit and get down to it. While we would never admit it to our family or partners, traveling for work is fucking awesome and here’s why:

1.  Those 2 Little Words: PER DIEM. Seriously, I think I eat better on the road than I do at home. Think quiet, local restaurants that don’t offer chicken nuggets. Think ribeye not McRib. I am not embarrassed to say some of my very best meals have been without my kids or husband.

2.  Room Service. The next best thing to a meal in a restaurant is a meal all by yourself! After a long day of work, I get to change into my jammies, order something that my entire family hates, get under the covers, and watch an uninterrupted episode of Breaking Bad (which is amazing if you haven’t checked it out).

3. Miles and Other Benefits. I know it is weird but I secretly get excited when I earn a free night’s stay at a hotel, discounted plane tickets, and points to cool restaurants.

4. Time Alone Naked. Did you know that there was a recent survey done that said that moms in general (working or not working) have an average of 17 minutes to themselves a day? WHAATTTT?!? I love a hot bath and at home, a nice leisurely bath is almost always interrupted no matter what I do (think door barricade). There is always a fight, a broken toy, a broken leg…you get the idea. In a hotel room, you can take an uninterrupted bubble bath until your feet and hands prune up!

5. A Night OFF From Chauffeur Duty. If you say anything to my family, I will deny it and you will be kicked out of the PWM club for divulging secrets, but I really enjoy having a night or two off from the daily grind of running my three kids to their various practices and social obligations. It is exhausting, am I right?

6.  Confidence and Affirmation That You Are Doing The Right Thing. Ok ladies, 100% truth here. While I enjoy my time away, the truth is, coming home is the best part! I always remember and appreciate the amazing people that wait for me. I love seeing my children and their smiling faces. It makes me so happy, I almost forget the fact that they haven’t brushed their teeth for three days and have trashed the house. ALMOST.

So get out there PWM and have a great week traveling!

 

No Bi*#& I’m NOT Pregnant!

not-pregnant-just-fat_designBack in the day, when my kids were younger, I was a busy working mom trying to balance all the things that came with motherhood. My weight was one of the things I struggled with the most. The pounds didn’t just melt off of me and instead, I held on to about 20 more than I wanted to. It was frustrating enough not being able to exercise, eat right, and lose the weight but compounding the situation was the number of people who would ask me if I was pregnant. I’m not talking about an occasional person that wanders up and whispers “Are you pregnant?”  I am talking about all kinds of people approaching me in public places, asking loud and clear  “OOOOHHH, when are you due?” 

If there was a Guinness Book of World Records for the category “Most Asked if She Was Pregnant When She Was Not” – I would hold the record.

I had people ask me at the store, in a crowded courtroom, in a packed elevator, and even on an airplane. Once the awkward silence passed, it was my job to let them down easy (while my cheeks flushed with embarrassment).

And if you think that it was only insensitive men asking these questions, you are wrong. It was men AND women!

After a few years, cracks started showing in my otherwise confident exterior. While on a small airplane with my 4-month-old son, an eighty-year-old man asked me (really loud) how it was possible that I could be pregnant again. My response “its not possible. I’m not pregnant” and I continued down the aisle with my crying baby. The last straw came the day after my 40th birthday. I was at the gym getting weights before the start of an exercise class and a woman came up to me and asked “When IS that baby due?” as if she had been waiting for the baby for months. In front of about 25 people I responded politely “I am not pregnant” and walked away. Instead of dropping it and feeling embarrassed, she boldly continued to follow me and insisted “No, you are pregnant!” I ignored her and kept walking back to my place in the class with this woman still on my heels. She said one more time “You are definitely pregnant!” (as if I was and just didn’t know it yet) and that was it. I turned around with clenched teeth and with trembling hands and finally said what was on my mind:

No Bi*#& I’m NOT pregnant!

The good news is that she finally got the message (along with the 25 other people in the exercise class) but the bad news is that I left the class on the verge of tears and it ruined my week.

At the time, I swore that I would take this topic to the masses. To address this faux pas with both men and women. I needed to call Oprah. I didn’t have her number. I still don’t. Instead, I am writing this to publicly implore everyone: PLEASE STOP ASKING WOMEN IF THEY ARE PREGNANT!!!!

If you find yourself curious about a potentially pregnant woman, follow these 5 easy steps:

  1. Don’t ask her if she is pregnant.
  2. No, you can’t ask her “How are you feeling” while staring at her belly, it’s the same thing.
  3. Seriously, don’t ask her if she is pregnant. It’s none of your business anyway.
  4. You will regret it, I promise. Just drop it!
  5. Follow steps 1-4.

I am proud to say that I finally did get some results and my belly is definitely looking slimmer. Well, lets just say that no one has asked me if I am pregnant in a few years. I have had luck using something called Garcinia Cambogia and did a review on this blog a few weeks ago. Click here to see that review.

 

Top 5 Ways to Stalk Your Teenager

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Yes, you read that right. The title of this post is Top 5 Ways to Stalk Your Teenager. It is dedicated to all you PWM’s who have teenagers and are holding onto your sanity.

I have a preteen that is quickly moving towards those teen years. Most of the time, I see the same sweet kid with an old soul and a great sense of humor but then there are glimpses of what is most certainly to come. He is starting to bark back at me, to challenge me, questioning if “I even know how to do this” ~ in that tone that says it is definitely coming.

THE TEENAGER.

Its like that horror movie that you haven’t seen yet but you keep hearing about. It’s awful and no matter what you do, you are going to live it. I hear what some of my mom friends are going through and it scares me. In this day of smart phones and social media, I am terrified that my teen will make the wrong decision. You see, I love him but I just don’t trust him.

Here at PWM, we believe that information is power. We have compiled the top 5 ways to keep and eye on your teen without being super-lame (another word my 12 year old keeps using).

1. MAMA BEAR ~ This app is a great start to supervising your teen. It allows you to see where you teen is on a map and if said teen veers off to another location. Mama Bear will alert you when your teen arrives or leaves the place you set up on the map.

imagesMama Bear allows you to keep track of your kids on social media, too. You will know what your kids are posting or tweeting. It even has an alert for risky language or signs of bullying. If your teen is driving, Mama Bear will alert you if your teen is exceeding the speed limit you set. It isn’t the full picture but a great place to start.

2. PARENT KIT ~ Raise your hand if your teen is on the phone or watching a video on her device when she should be sleeping. Teenagers are sneaky! Check out  ParentKit – it is an app that you can install on your phone that allows you to control the time in which your teen can use her phone or device. You can now set a bedtime and be sure that your teen is not on her devices. Now if it would only put them to sleep!

3. CREATE AN AVATAR ~ No, I don’t mean paint yourself blue and talk in another language, I mean make up another identity and get on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media site. Once on, start interacting with other public figures that your teens are identifying with and then seek friendship with your Teens’ friends. They will add you because teenagers are just looking for numbers. I know, it IS sneaky but so is your average teenager. If you really want to know who your teen is friends with and what is going on, sometimes you need to resort to this.

4. KIK ~ Heard of it? Me neither. If you are still checking your teen’s phone at random times for text messages and not finding anything, check for a texting app called KIK.

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It is a free texting app available for iPhones, Android, Windows, and Blackberry phones. Keep in mind that you can also use this app on an iPod Touch or an iPad. A brief look at the material on KIK shows that it is for adults. The texting content is full of suggestive material and appears to be a popular place to exchange nude photos. *Helpful hint, you can adjust the settings on your teen’s phone that will restrict the downloading of apps based on age.

5. ASK YOUR TEENAGER ~ Nope. This is a fake to make sure you are paying attention. You should NEVER ask your teenager because your teenager will NEVER give you the information you are truly seeking. Who are you ‘dating’? Are you sending nude pictures over the internet? Are you actually going to the movies tonight? Are you posting appropriate things on social media? 

The goal for mothers everywhere is survival. We want to make sure our teenagers make it through this time safely without making serious, permanent mistakes and as mothers, we want to make it through without becoming raging alcoholics.

PWM, ARE YOU STALKING YOUR TEENAGER? SHARE YOUR STORY!

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