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Full Time, All the Time

with Britt Reints

Forget the 9 to 5; the demands of a working mom aren’t limited by a time clock. Full Time, All the Time is a blog about balancing the many roles of a modern woman - and maintaining your wellbeing while doing it. I am a writer, mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend and sometimes volunteer living in Pittsburgh. Oh, and I think you look pretty today.

You can also find Britt on Twitter and at InPursuitOfHappiness.net.

5 Ways Busy Moms Can Find Peace

Categories: Uncategorized, balance

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118/365 - meditate Chaos tends to reign supreme in the life of a working parent. The metaphors used to characterize us include juggling, wearing multiple hats, and balancing on what must be a precariously narrow line. If those images are true, danger – or failure – is always one small mistake away. It’s no wonder, then, that so many women tell me the one thing they want to feel more of is peace.

Peace. Calm. Serenity.

These words are rarely used to describe our lives, but we need quiet to balance out the rest of the noise and frenzy.

I’ve found adding one or two little habits to my routine can make a big difference in how peaceful I feel overall. A few moments of calm helps me cope with a whole lot of chaos.
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Do You Celebrate Yourself Enough?

Categories: Uncategorized, break from reality, holidays

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I turned 34 this month, and I’m happy to say that my birthday was a wonderful day. I received gifts from my husband and mom, and cards and texts from friends and family. But perhaps my favorite thing I received that day was something I gave myself: permission to celebrate.

It seems like the older we get, the more we’re supposed to insist that our birthdays aren’t worth recognizing. We’re not supposed to request gifts or expect singing. I don’t know if this is because turning a year older can be a little scary, or because with age comes the expectation that we aren’t worthy of a fuss.

Well, I am worthy.

And with age has come the realization that I don’t need to wait for someone else to throw me a party.
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How to Balance Your Kids’ and Spouse’s Needs

Categories: Uncategorized

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Every night, in houses around the world, a similar scene plays out. As the day winds down, baths are drawn and pajamas are fetched. Bedtime stories are read and lunches packed. One last goodnight kiss is given, again. The bedroom door is closed, Mom breathes a sigh of relief as she turns for the couch… and is met by Dad, anxious for his chance to connect.

The details can vary. Dad might be doing story duty; maybe Mom is coming in from a late night of work. What’s universal is the sense that there is not quite enough of us to go around. There are days - and nights - when it can feel like there is no way we can accommodate all of the people who need and want us.

How do we stretch ourselves further? How do we find the energy to consistently connect with the most important people in our lives?
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My kids make me a better grown up

Categories: Uncategorized, balance

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Reunited! This weekend, I drove to Chicago to retrieve my children from their grandparents. After 6 weeks away, they are finally back where they belong: in my home. While I missed their faces, voices, and hugs terribly, I confess that I have more selfish reasons for being happy about their return. My life is much more balanced with kids.
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A new (to me) definition of balance

Categories: Uncategorized, balance

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Enlightened When I signed on four years ago to write this column, my intent was to discuss the constant quest for a work-life balance. I imagined sharing my best productivity tips as well as commiserating about the days when those tips inevitably failed. Over time, I also began sharing how my definitions of "work" and "life" were evolving . But while the balls changed in shape and color, the desire to keep them aloft always remained. Recently, however, I’ve begun to question my understanding of balance itself.
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In support of Marissa Mayer’s new “no work-from-home” policy

Categories: Uncategorized, mothers in the media, the new office

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Marissa Mayer, Google The blogs are buzzing with news about an internal memo announcing changes to the work-from-home policies at Yahoo!, a tech company that has seen more ink dedicated to its CEO than its products in the last year. The gist of the memo is this: all telecommuters must report to Yahoo! offices by June, or quit. The gist of the response in my news and social media feeds: CEO Marissa Mayer is setting back women. Personally, I have more problems with the criticism of the policy than I do with the mandate itself.
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Tips for delegating in the real world

Categories: Uncategorized, balance

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Balancing ActA few weeks ago, I wrote about how learning about my Myers-Briggs personality type helped me get more done by pointing out my natural weaknesses. We’ve also talked a lot about how working parents can’t be expected to do it all. In order to get it all done without doing it all, we’re often told to delegate, but what does that look like in a real household?

It’s easy to say that we need to delegate, to hand out tasks for others to complete, but many working parents find that easier to discuss than to actually implement. In reality, poor delegating leaves kids with dry cereal for lunch and laundry piled up for weeks. Any control freak will tell you that the reason they maintain a tight hold on everything is because past attempts to recruit help have ended in disaster, with reports needing to be redone and apology phone calls needing to be made.

I’ve been experimenting with delegation for a few years now, and I’ve learned a few things about how this and other tricks can make up for my natural weaknesses - without sacrificing the end result of a happy, functional home and work life.
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Am I the only working mom who needs girlfriend time?

Categories: Uncategorized, relationships

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All the lonely people, where do they all come from?As a working mom, it’s important to me to make time and space in my life for quality relationships with my husband and kids. It’s also important to me to make time for friends. Unfortunately, most of my favorite women have a hard time finding time for friendship.

Part of the problem is that the majority of my friends work “real jobs,” which means they aren’t around for coffee or lunch dates during the day. It also means most of their evenings are packed with family fun, dinner, and household chores. That leaves nights after kids are in bed, which is usually spouse time, or weekends, which are often spent at kids’ events or running errands that couldn’t get done during the week. The life of a working mom doesn’t have a lot of room in it for girlfriends.

What are a bunch of working women to do?
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Why we don’t have nice things

Categories: Uncategorized, economy, office life, relationships, the juggle

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Day 21 Occupy Wall Street October 6 2011 Shankbone 16It’s not uncommon to blame children for a couple’s inability to have nice things. My husband and I, however, have no one but ourselves to blame.

A year ago, my husband and I sold just about everything we owned - including our beautiful home and my beloved shoe collection - so that we could move into an RV and travel for a year with our kids. That year of travel has come to an end and we now have room to put stuff again, but we’re not running out to replace all of our stuff. Why? Because we don’t want to go back to real jobs.


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Is it time to quit?

Categories: Uncategorized, the juggle

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crossroadsI’ve been working towards one significant professional goal for several months now:

Get published in print.

(I’m pretty sure that’s not cool to admit out loud, but whatever.)

In order to research that goal, I’ve invested hours and money on research and tools. I’ve pushed through the scary first steps and I’ve “put myself out there.” A lot.

Thus far, all of my bylines are still digital.

The last few days I’ve been struggling with the decision to quit. It’s hard to work with no feedback (which is pretty typical in publishing) and I’m cognizant of all the people who want to be published writers and never are. My family is planning a move and will be setting up a new home soon, which is going to require money I’m not making from researching and pitching. I’m going to have to make some choices about the future of my career. But how?
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