Cheerleading meets 3 nights a week - Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6-8 pm. We begin our "getting ready" routine at roughly 5 - so as to get there at a reasonable time (a good "pull-through" parking spot means the world to me) and at about quarter to six, we head up that dusty hill that is the West Seneca Football field. We pitch our chairs and send the girls on their way. (yes - girls! Little Loop Cheerleading was the one affordable activity I could involve both of my kids - 6 and 3 - in at the same time. Score one for me on time management!)
So while the kids are practicing, I use this time to do one (or many!) of several things: Chatting with my playgroup buddies (the playgroup - I'll get to that!), Work (my paid job as a Direct Care provider has me pretty much "on call" to field phone calls from my clients at all times), Eat dinner (I love pizza, but the novelty is quickly wearing off) and last, focus on yet another undertaking - Brownies. No, not baking them - leading them. So, score 2 for me on time management! I suppose I could sit and read quietly, but really, what fun would that be?!
Alrighty - so far we've logged Cheerleading and Brownie Girl Scouts... Both activities that my children can benefit from socially, and enjoy as well! Did I mention I work?
I do have a "real" job - and I use the term "real" only because I have made other money-making attempts by selling various products at home parties - and I wanted to differentiate between the two... and while I really did enjoy what I was doing at the time, I found the time and money I was spending to keep afloat was not worth the hassle. My real job consists of me working for a local agency doing what is called "direct care". I help "at risk" families and youth deal with their various challenges, as well as provide advocacy for them. It is extremely rewarding, and I truly enjoy every minute.
Now, even though I technically work, I have a hard time labeling myself as a "working mom". I was a stay at home mom from the time I was pregnant with my first until about this time last year. I do not utilize day care for my children - I rely on family and of course, my husband, to care for the kids while I work. Also, I only log about 5-7 hours a week in the field. I truly do not believe that I am "up there" with those moms who faithfully balance a demanding full time job, a husband, a personal life and of course, their children. So, for all intent and purpose, I am a SAHM who works PT.
Now on to that playgroup. Five years ago, when my oldest was just turning one, I had made several attempts to join and fit into area playgroups, and not that there was anything wrong with them, per se, but being the control freak that I am, I just felt the need to take what I didn't love about the other groups I had found and make one I could love. Since then, WNYMommies has become incredibly successful, and I am thankful every day for my "sisters". I spend a great deal of time managing the operation of this community - both online and in person. Our website and message board requires full time attention, as well as the PR and mom-politics involved.
Cheerleading. Brownies. Work. WNYMommies.
My goodness, I nearly forgot to actually mention the obvious! I'm a wife and mother! The most important aspects of my life - the reason I do everything I do! My loving husband, Scott, who works his behind off in a filthy steel plant every day (and night!) so we can have the life that we have - who has supported me in every adventure I decide to take us on (control freak - remember that!)... and of course my kids, who's names I haven't even mentioned yet!
Sara - my 6 year old. Typical first born, over-achieving, excels at everything she tries. (and unfortunately, is sometimes overlooked and overshadowed by her rambunctious little sister - I'm trying to change that!!) Sara is my original princess, is stoic and has infinite patience and is mature beyond her years.
Erin - my spirited 3 year old. A clone of me, and quirky and brilliant in her own ways - my entertainer. And Erin, even though she often attempts to beat her out for my attention and affections, adores her big sister, Sara.
So for the time being - for today, this is my life... never over-scheduled, but blissfully busy.