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Part-Time Job, Full-Time Kid

Kristina’s post is the final post of our Moms @ Work series! We hope you have enjoyed our features on working moms, daycare/preschool, and Work At Home Moms! Make sure you see all of the posts and episodes in the series by clicking on the Moms @ Work logo to the left!

So, hi. *waves* My name’s Kristina. I live in the middle of Illinois, where we’re about to experience a winter storm of Biblical proportions (so I’m told).
Quick background on me: I am 31. My husband, Ben, and I will be married for nine years in April. We have a two-and-a-half year old daughter named Allyson. I have two part-time jobs – I work three days a week in the corporate/community ed department at a local junior college; and one day a week at my church as the director of the preschool choir. (The latter job is primarily why we only have the one kid so far.)

I only work three days a week, because of my child care situation. I don’t really make enough to be able to pay for child care. So we have cobbled together a solution that works for us: On Mondays, my father-in-law keeps her. On Tuesday and Friday, my grandma. And I’m off Wednesday-Thursday. But on Wednesday-Thursday nights we have church activities: Wednesday is my kids’ choir, plus Ben and I both do Bible studies afterwards and then it’s praise band practice (I sing, Ben plays guitar and directs). Thursdays we have handbell choir and then Sanctuary choir. So Allyson sees a lot of the inside of the nursery. But she loves it and cries when we have to leave, so I don’t feel THAT guilty. 🙂

So I’m trying to find a balance between working and raising a VERY energetic and talkative toddler, all the while trying to save up to buy a house and not murder my downstairs neighbors through the floor. Seriously, it’s like living above overgrown frat boys. I do okay, for the most part. Some days I can go from cooking to cleaning to having a tea party with my princess seamlessly. Sometimes I hide in the bathroom for ten minutes when Ben gets home from work because Allyson is officially on my last good nerve.

But no matter what happens – at the end of the day, every day, when Allyson gives me a hug and kiss and says “I love you, Mommy. You my best friend,” I know it’s all worth it.

Ben and I do find it important to have date nights once in awhile. For us, it doesn’t really matter what we do so long as it’s together. Luckily our parents are nearby and Ben’s mom is more than willing to take her overnight. I also think it’s crucial to take time for myself every day. Sometimes it’s a run to the gas station for coffee; sometimes it’s catching up with my favorite TV shows after Ally goes to bed (right now I’m OBSESSED with “Community” and “Supernatural”).

I fully admit to letting her watch too much TV. Well, darnit, sometimes I need to distract her while I get stuff done. But I’m also convinced that copious amounts of “Sesame Street” and “The Wiggles” and whatever else she likes to watch is actually teaching her something. I don’t know, I grew up watching too much TV too so maybe that has something to do with it. My mom wasn’t perfect, and I’m not perfect, and that is okay by me.

Thanks for listening to me ramble on about this stuff. 🙂 If anyone has ideas on how to make the juggling act easier let me know!

Kristina lives in central IL with her husband, Ben, and crazy daughter Allyson. In what little spare time she has she enjoys reading, watching TV, and drooling over Jared Padalecki. You can read more of her blogs at Funky Mama.

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