What is your childcare arrangement and how happy are you with it?
I work while the kids are in school, and sometimes I think I could use just a few more hours of work time, but then again -- see above -- I think I will always "want" more time to work. So being forced to step away from the desk and tend to the kids is healthy for me, I think. The problem comes when the kids are sick or when I haven't planned well for a school vacation or whatever. Then I'm... ummm... less happy.
If you have a spouse or a partner, what does he do? How do you split up your domestic duties? (e.g., who does morning routine, bath time, daycare/school drop off, etc.)
I was on my own for four and a half years, and I'm surprised at how hard I find it to let my husband help! I thought I'd be so grateful to have him here (and I am, really) that I'd welcome any help with open arms. The reality is that it takes a long time to adjust to having a partner. I've only been remarried three months, and so far I'm pretty good about letting him cook/clean when I'm busy (he'll often shoo me away from the table after dinner, telling me to go finish my work while he cleans up). I'm having a harder time letting him help with the kids (they're not "his" kids, after all), but I'm learning. We all are.
What is, for you, the most challenging aspect of being a professional mom? What is your favorite part about it?
Sometimes I feel like EVERYTHING needs more of my attention than it's getting. Don't we all? My favorite part is when my kids get excited about seeing my name in print or tell someone "My mom's a writer."
What compromises have you had to make personally and professionally since becoming a mom? Has having children affected your career path?
I've discussed elsewhere how I was thrown on my prior career path (software engineer) when I elected to stay home with my kids, and then after my divorce I found I couldn't get back into my prior field with that glaring gap on my resume. In my case, this was ultimately the best thing that could've happened to me, because it opened me to the possibility of switching to something I loved vs. something that I thought "should" be a good choice.
Do I sometimes wish I worked a cushy 9-to-5 with benefits? I guess. I do this, in part, because it best allows me to be the kind of mom I want to be -- one who can come to school plays and drive to soccer practice and all of that. I guess it's technically a compromise but I very rarely regret it.