Working Mama

I have been meaning to write a post about my work, since it’s how I spend a lot of my time – and even when I’m not getting work done, I’m thinking about what I have to do, stressing about what isn’t done yet, worrying about when I will have tome time to make it all happen between naps and feedings and prepping dinner.

Today I clicked over to Home Sanctuary, and the post today is about work! Perfect. I’m linking up as a company girl, sipping my coffee, and will write about my work.

Right now I’m juggling 3 “jobs”. I write that in quotes because two of them are volunteer positions, but they are jobs that I take seriously nonetheless. Although I consider myself a volunteer, I don’t think of my positions as voluntary – they are essential to the organization, to my identity, to my sanity. Even though I often think I’ve bitten off more than I can even fit in my mouth, retaining some responsibilities to organizations I love, and having some connection to the outside world keeps me feeling some semblance of “normal”. The importance of my work and the value I add to organizations can be pretty central to my sense of accomplishment, and keeping that alive has also kept “pre-mama megan” alive.

My “real” job is with the Washington State PTA. My role with the PTA is as exhibitor manager for the upcoming state convention – I am coordinating the businesses who exhibit at the convention, and helping to market the opportunity to companies statewide and regionally.

My “jobs” are with Rain City Rock Camp for Girls and the Moisture Festival. I’ve worked with the Moisture Festival since 2003, I think. I’ve been with Rain City Rock Camp since 2009.

For Moisture Festival, I coordinate the benefit shows. Each year 4 organizations are chosen to be beneficiaries of the proceeds of one Moisture Festival show. Some of these organizations put on their own show, such as the Seattle-based School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (let the record reflect that I once said I wanted to have babies just so that I could send them to SANCA) and the New Old Time Chautauqua.

Side note – don’t know what a Chautauqua is? Here’s a super-brief explanation…

And for Rain City Rock Camp for Girls, I sit on the Board of Directors and am the Development Director – all volunteer! We’ve just wrapped up a $10,000 campaign, and we’re moving on to bigger things for 2011.

Since I work at home, and since I have a new baby, all my work gets done during naptime and during those brief moments when the Pie is willing to play by herself.

Uncle Bugg is a pretty good babysitter.DSC_0226 

But working from the living room, and needing to be able to work for only moments at a time, and needing to be able to be within arms-reach of the Pie, I don’t really have a desk or a good filing system to keep track of everything. And in addition to my “jobs”, I’m working toward a certification to become a postpartum doula and looking for a house. Oh boy. My saving grace is that I am an obsessive list-maker (that’s another post) – it’s the only thing that keeps me anywhere near organized. Case in point: here is my “desk”. This is embarrassing. It’s the end of the couch. It looks horrible. It’s practical for me right now, but I hate it. DSC_0230Any ideas about a super-easy (seriously – I mean as easy as a pile) workspace in the living room that doesn’t look like this? Rachel Anne & girls, I need your help here. 

Anyhow, the stress aside, the impending doom of failure always knocking at my door, and the time it takes away from my full attention being on the Pie, it’s something I need right now. I feel guilty a lot of times that the Pie is hanging out, playing, learning new skills on her own while I clack away on the computer, or that instead of taking care of the house I am often frantically making phone calls and sending emails. But I’m not willing (yet) to give up on the person I used to be and what I used to do.

I guess I’m not willing to commit fully to being a stay-at-home mom and housewife. I need something more. I sometimes wish I didn’t but I do.

I hate the stress and the juggling, it makes everything seem so overwhelming. Add that to a new babe who just won’t sleep, and sometimes I don’t know what to do with myself.

But I really think that I also have some kind of weird need for that stress and over-committed lifestyle. If I wasn’t doing it with these projects I would surely start some other things to keep me way too busy and keep my mind firing on 47 different projects all at once.

Someone save me from myself.


  1. You shouldn't feel bad about wanting to do stuff out of the house. I'm the same way. I own a cheer gym, mostly so I get out of the house three afternoons a week (because it's certainly not making me rich!!).

    I keep my work stuff in a laptop bag behind my favorite chair. It travels well, and keeps everything contained. When I need it, I pull it out, then when I'm done, I just cram everything back in and hide it again.

  2. Hi there- your laptop bag system made me realize that I HAVE something! (mommy mush brain strikes again) When I worked at home full-time I had a little plastic upright folder holder that was great for me, because it takes so little effort to stuff the papers in the right folder. So I pulled it out of the closet, blew the dust off, pulled some file folders out, and started organizing. It took me less than 15 minutes and I have a cleared-off couch. Also, I found my drivers license renewal form that needed to be sent in. I almost missed the deadline. Yipes! Apparently the pile wasn't working for me after all. THanks for your suggestion!

  3. Glad you found a good solution. I am an organizational flunkie so I had nothin' for you except encouragement to hang in there and just really seek out what is most important to you and to your family! Good luck!

  4. Oh my word. I feel so much better after reading your post. I TOTALLY use the end of my couch for a desk. Cuz my desk has been a DISASTER for months. So I spent yesterday cleaning up my desk, and now I can incorporate my "couch" work center into it. woohoo!!!

    I LOVE the picture of Uncle Bugg. TOO cute. And that baby blanket is ADORABLE!

    I know about the "need" to be overstressed too - but God has been breaking me of that for the past 18 months, so I'm seeing life in a whole new way.

  5. Hi there One More & Queen Mommy! We'll see how well this works in the long-term, for now my couch is cleared off (ok, well there's more stuff on it now, but it's not longer my desk)

    I'm thinking I might need to build a little secretary desk on wheels or something - that I can close & roll away when I don't need to look at the mess, but when I need to work I can pull it out and my mess is just as I've left it... maybe I need to buy a jigsaw after all.

    I'm hoping that when 2 of these projects are done (in June) I can more reasonably assess how much time I really have. Although I knew how all-consuming baby care was, I severely overestimated how much time I would really have. So we'll plow through it for now, and see how we come out on the other end.

    And I know the easiest thing to drop would be blogging. Ha!

  6. I like the secretary desk idea. Sorry I have no organizational expertise to offer. If you saw my house, you'd probably have some advice to give me. =) Thanks for your visit.


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