As I write this, I am sitting in the car watching my son practice baseball. I don’t typically get to stay through an entire practice (other kids to shuffle) but today is a special treat. (If it weren’t sprinkling, I would even be sitting in the stands.)
That being said, I don’t necessarily need to give my undivided attention to his practice for the next 90 minutes. It’s my chance to catch up on the little tasks that I have saved up for just these occasions.
Respond to emails… check.
Transpose meeting notes to my digital files… check.
Proofread the grant application… check.
Read student event proposals from class…check.
Write summary notes for my last event… check.
In order to have the flexibility I want in my work, I find ways to fit work in.
For example, I left the office an hour early today to drive my children to their sports practices. Between all the schlepping (love that word), I knew I would have moments where I could check some tasks off my list.
Twenty minutes between baseball and soccer – perfect for emailing my vendors.
Forty minutes of softball before dinner – time to work at emptying my email inbox.
To prepare for these, I have a specific folder in my briefcase where I put any busywork that needs to be completed. These are the things I work on when a meeting is done 10 minutes early or we are between games at soccer so the kids are at the park.
I can just hear the sancti-mommies now! “You should be focused on your child, not doing work!”
If I want the flexibility I need to get him to that practice, my co-workers need to trust that I will pull my weight. That means working in the parking lot during baseball practice.
More importantly, my son is happy that I am here! If he needs my attention, he certainly knows how to get it. Even he understands that in order to get him here, it means I will work while he practices.
Working moms need to be able to figure out how to be both working and mom in the way that works best for them. When we honor the needs of working moms, we have incredible employees AND community members.