Working parents go with flow
Mom, Jennifer, works full time — including one day at home with her 15-month-old son — and is very active in the community. Dad and husband, Chris, also is a business owner. These first-time Millennial parents share their perspectives on how parenthood and work flow.
Two “opposing pieces” by Jennifer Sugarman and Chris Sugarman
The constant theme of being a working mom for me is “beautiful chaos.” As I write this very article, I am on a conference call, answering emails, and counting down until my little guy wakes up from his nap so I can whisk him away to a doctor’s appointment and feed him on the go.
While I am there, I will no doubt be answering emails and texts as I coral him away from touching everything he isn’t supposed to in the waiting room. It’s beautiful because he is joy personified, full of wonder and making me proud every single day. It’s chaos because these days, being a working mom has taken on new meaning.
We are more accessible than ever before, and as such our once distinct sides of mom and career are merging into one. I have many mom friends who consider a commute to be a luxury — a chance to clear their head and switch hats before they return home to their children. Other moms walk in to the next room from their home office where their children await with a sitter. Some moms are the sitter! It’s all a sacrifice.
While personally, I have a visceral gloomy reaction leaving my son for work each day, whether he’s with his father or a sitter, some moms can feel caged in. I am blessed to work from home one day a week, and to have wonderful hired help, so I am in a position to experience both versions of work — away and from home. While my whole heart belongs to my family above all else, most of us have to work and compromise daily. It’s important for all mothers, whether working or not, to find comfort in the fact that being a parent is hard, finding balance is near impossible, and that’s OK. Take motherhood as it comes. Over prepare, and then go with the flow.
Going with the flow is my strength. I am as laid back as they come, but even I would be lying if I didn’t admit that being a working parent is difficult. Most would expect this to be the case, but it’s a profoundly unique situation to be the owner of your own business while your wife also works full time (plus) in an important community role. It’s complicated!
There is no shortage of work to be done at the business and when you add that to the neverending piles of laundry and dishes (jump in and help, fellas), taking care of animals and the house, and making sure your kid is keeping dangers out of his mouth, it can be overwhelming and exhausting.
I feel it’s important to most parents for their child to have a better upbringing than they did, and it’s easy for both moms and dads to beat themselves up when you feel you’re coming up short. I’m living my dream owning my own store, but being a business owner is not as glamorous as some would have you believe, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you are rolling in the dough.
Finding the balance among provider (important particularly to most husbands and fathers), husband, and father is a tightrope walk. Loving my family above all else allows me to be a better husband and father with each day that passes, and I believe that’s where I am rich. The greatest contribution any man can make to his work is to love his family well and the rest will fall into place.
As featured in our DIGITAL MAGAZINE.