Being a working, married woman, it’s sometimes hard to avoid questions about whether or not we are planning to have kids – and if so, will I continue to work? You would be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t!) at how many people feel comfortable asking you that question. And, honestly, it’s a hard one to answer. I love being a designer for children’s products, but I guess you never know what life is going to hand you when it’s your time to be a parent. It’s hard to predict. I frequently read Cup of Jo, and recently she did a series on how working moms balance their lives. I loved the series, but genuinely wanted to know how the strong moms that I work with everyday handle it.
How do they do it?!
I honestly can barely get myself out of bed and ready in the morning. So, over the next few weeks I’ll be featuring a different lovely lady that I have the pleasure to work beside.
First up! Mrs. Desiree Wright. Des is a textile CAD designer for Graco, but at heart, she is a full-blown creative junkie. She is truly an amazing artist. Not to mention she is a mom to 5 kids and has one of the most infectious laughs I have ever heard. This is how she handles it all…
What’s your work schedule?
8:30 am-5:30 pm
How do you handle child care?
Either my husband or I drop off the two littlest ones (ages 21 months and 4 years) in the morning and my husband picks the girls up in the evening. I chose a daycare that is right down the street, since I have to get my other children on the school bus.
Where do you work during the day?
I work in an office.
What’s your favorite part of your work?
Being creative…I am lucky enough to have a job that I desire to go to! I made a passionate choice when I was a little girl that I would only work at a job if I love it and love what I do. That was the number one factor that brought me here today and when I chose to have children…I would never leave my children to go to a job that didn’t put a smile on my face.
What do you like best about your current set-up?
I chose to move to Georgia for the family and work flexibility both in my career and my daycare. In the past…I had absolutely no flexible schedule either way. I managed to juggle daycare and work, but it was much more stressful.
What do you find difficult/tricky/comical about your current set-up? What would you change if you had a magic wand?
If I had a magic wand, I would turn my Toyota into an Invisible Jet like Wonder Woman and fly over all the traffic I get stuck in (both to and from work) and once that was complete, I would make one bus stop and one school stop instead of four, and I would appreciate if my son would stop getting detention in the morning before my day even begins. Keep in mind…I have a high school-er, a middle school-er, an elementary child, a pre-K child and a baby….getting them all off to school/day care then jumping into the traffic to getting to work is definitely not the easiest part of the day.
What’s your favorite part of your home life?
Everything…I enjoy the chaos of my home life…from the noise in the morning till night. I enjoy the sit down dinners of hearing about all their wonderful school days and what they did during the day since I am at work. I enjoy the dancing, smiling, and I guess…just the “NON-QUIET” life I lead. I appreciate just how lucky I am, even when all four of my girls get into a scream fest.
How does your partner contribute to managing the house/childcare?
My partner is my husband David and he is the most laid-back, quiet person you have ever met. He contributes 100% and I contribute 100%…there is no 50-50 with five kids, athletics and a full time job. We all need to do teamwork. Usually I do all the cooking and cleaning, but now my husband is learning to cook, so he helps, and we are cleaning together since I have a larger house in Georgia than I did in the past.
Do you have time to yourself? What do you do with that time?
Since I am an artist I always try to find time for myself to create…whether it be scrapbooking, magazine browsing or painting..the only down side is…I do not find time for myself until everything else is done, which means I am giving myself time at 11:00pm and later. Also, I joined a tennis team to give myself a “set” time for myself to have. I also try to go out on a late date with my husband once a month to give “us” some time together. Those who know me well…tell me that I need more time for myself…and guess what..I will when my baby moves out..then I will get my toes done!
What advice would you give to other moms or first-time expectant parents about how to balance work and life?
My advice is “You bring that wonderful bundle of joy into your life…not the other way around!” When I travel, my babies travel, when my schedule changes they change along with me. I guess, because of my busy life and even when I was a new mom of just one… I always went with the flow of Motherhood. I have brought my kids everywhere and done everything with them and - guess what? They are fine! I do believe in consistency…so even if you are busy..try and keep the same bedtime, bedtime stories…etc…and most of all communication. My other advice is…don’t feel bad about working, the most important thing is making every free minute you do have with your kids count!
Wow! What a great first interview! I am already excited to hear more and see how everyone does things differently. Thank you, Des, for being so open and willing to share with everyone.