The Working Mother Warrior

 

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Finding out I was pregnant was definitely a shock. I’d just completed my divorce and was celebrating with a fleeting friend of mine, or so I thought, when I realized my life was about to totally change…again! I was told year prior that it would be very difficult to conceive with my fibroid and that I should give it a try for quite a while before expecting a child. Apparently my body had other plans. I had no idea what my body might go through over the next few months. I was concerned about the responses I would get from family, close friends, and even my partner at the time. Least of all was I worried about my co-workers and supervisor – they were all women and the talk of having a family had often come up in casual conversation. My workplace was the least of my worries…at the time.

After months of careful watch over my health and seeing that the pregnancy was progressing healthily, I informed my boss and coworkers of my pregnancy. I did not want them to be alarmed at my sudden illness or fatigue without knowing what I was going through internally. The initial reaction was excitement but after a while, I guess reality set in. I slowly realized the downside to being a working Mother in our society.

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Several comments were made about my size and inability to do some of my tasks. I was not far along before my doctor advised me to be very careful on my body because of complications. Even after relaying that to management, I was asked to move furniture. When I objected, I was snarled at and met with a comment about how women used to be able to do so much more when they were carrying children decades prior. Very inappropriate and I did NOT move one piece of furniture…I knew better. Even the day before I was to be induced, I was given an evaluation (stress much?).

The day I had my daughter was the most surprising and challenging experience in my life. After being home 6 weeks, it was time to go back to work. I had to repeatedly request private space for nursing and was still often interrupted. There were comments made about my reliability since I now required so many ‘breaks’. Thankfully, that position ended and I started consulting…with a baby on my hip. It was weird and uncomfortable at times but if Mommy didn’t work, there was no money for childcare let alone bills and food.

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I often received looks of confusion like, Why is she here? Can’t you get a sitter? Where is your family support? At the time I ignored it all and attended trainings, seminars, and networking events all with my well behaved little baby. And let’s not even get started on the nursing! I would be so stressed about the comments and looks I’d get in the office or public places that I started to lose my supply! It was AWEFUL! I was fully determined to nurse my child for at least 6 months but the pumping inconsistencies, toxic work environment, and stress of having to leave my child for 9-10 hours a day just left me inept. I was devastated.

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Many people have different ideas about how to raise their children. As a new Mom, I had to make a decision of whether to succumb to the fear of being embarrassed or simply continue to grind with by daughter in tow. Nowadays, I am thankful for my close friends who have generously agreed to watch my little one when I need the support. At the end of the day, however, I pray that I am able to pursue the kind of career that warrants me financial stability AND flexible time to raise my own child on my terms.

The next big idea should come from the vein of Moms being allowed to either work their same positions from home or having a community of employers who look to hire working Moms, welcoming their small children a space in the workplace or at least the personal office assigned to them. I’d like to see that progression…as well as the change in the culture’s view on nursing in public. ITS LEGAL IN ILLINOIS BTW! So leave these mothers alone and let them feed their babies how they want to! #Conquer2016

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What have been your concerns about being a working Mom?

 

~ladiSims

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What are You Worth?

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Walking into my evaluation, I had no idea what to expect. My direct supervisor always seemed to have a hidden agenda. At the last meeting, I was seen as “border-line insubordinate” for my views and responses. I was often criticized for not doing something unethical and was never offered an apology when falsely accused.

I headed into the meeting with my notepad, calendar, water, and pencil. I was 38 ½ weeks pregnant and afraid that I would have to look for another job while on welfare still sore after having my baby – of course they were going to fire me, right? I’d been overlooked for promotions; my work received little praise except in the presence of a few political leaders – which made me assume it was not sincere. Everyone I started with in this company had left or been fired. What was I going to do?

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I walked into my supervisor’s office and sat down waiting for her to respond with her thoughts on my performance over the past year. I wasn’t concerned about my numbers; I’d doubled those with a full quarter left in the program year. It wasn’t my relationship with my clients I was worried about – many sent in raving evaluations. It wasn’t even my attendance; my boss came in at least an hour after I did daily! I had not taken more than 2 days off this entire year.

I’d put in 4 years of school for my BA, 3 yrs to obtain my Master’s, almost $70,000 of student loans, 6 years of loyalty to this company, placing my reputation on the line out in the community, yet was earning a salary I could never raise a family with. I wasn’t supported by the very leadership I was working for but because of my upbringing and personal convictions, I remained loyal and humble. I would even help new staff acclimate to our toxic work environment hoping that would influence change. It never did.

My evaluation should have been on my job performance and possibly my attitude in the workplace. What could I do better? I was hoping to get some constructive criticism but instead I received a document and was told to look it over at home, write down any comments or questions, and turn it in tomorrow…the day I was to be induced for labor – as if tomorrow would not be stressful enough.

It was in that moment I reminded myself of my value. I gathered my things and went back into my office. There was only 25 minutes left in the work day and I took that entire time to read through and type up my response to the evaluation.  There was nothing constructive in the evaluation that I could do, just to do “more” with less time. As I carefully typed my response, I reminded myself of my value. I knew my work was very professional and important to the company. I knew that if I had not carried the integrity I did, many of our partners would refuse to work with us and I knew that my clients were pleased.

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Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of our own worth. You are more than your paycheck, more than your assets, your car, and your rebellious children. We are worth more than our education or what others perceive of us. Why? Our value is not determined by other’s opinions, people change their minds everyday! We’re not perfect, always on time, or extremely fit and beautiful. Our worth is determined by us. Value yourself. You can always perform better if you so desire – that’s why our worth is so high – we can change, transform, and renew our thoughts and mindset. I could have chosen to focus on the negative situation and stress myself out causing complications within my body. But I chose to give myself an evaluation and remind myself of my worth. I came up with my own regiment of doing better – set my own goals to be more productive, and treated myself to a nice meal afterward. : )

~ladiSims

ladiSims1

ladiSims is a Workforce Consultant committed to “ Monetizing your Mission: Saving and increasing revenue for job seekers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses through empowering employment readiness, social media marketing, and discounted operations. She has over 6 years of extensive experience in social services, workforce development, small business development, recruiting and case management. She serves a variety of job seekers, including veterans and disabled adults, with finding employment and adjusting to career changes. Many of her clients seek to transition into new careers with financial and educational barriers hindering their success. ladiSims also shares resources, teaches Employment Readiness, and provides solutions for small businesses in her community. Born and raised in Chicago, IL, ladiSims has a passion for helping people progress towards their career, family, and entrepreneurial goals – she is also an advocate for education. Her BA degree is in English with a minor in African America Studies from SIUC where she also studied creative writing, journalism, and education. She also has a Master’s in Urban Planning and Policy (MUPP) with a concentration in Community Development from UIC. Her ‘why’ includes her daughter Charlotte, 2 moms, 2 dads, numerous siblings, faith in Christ, and the youth of ChiCity. Among her peers, she is known for simplifying complex issues, offering conflict resolution, and being able to connect with individuals of various socioeconomic statuses, cultures, skill sets, & educational backgrounds. ladiSims uses her ability to create and maintain strategic partnerships to influence both rural and urban communities. Find ladiSims on Instagram, Twitter, and Periscope for more of her shenanigans!

Senior year, College Apps and Menopause…Oh MY!

Well hello there my Mommywurk friends!  Listen, I know… it’s been a while but after I catch you up with the shenanigans you will grant me mercy.  Well at least I hope…  Grab a coffee, some tea or a glass of wine (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere)!!

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September 23 marked our official change into the Fall season.  But for me & my family the season change represents a total overhaul of our lives.  Peanut 2 is in her senior year of high school and I can’t be anything less than terrified.  Do you have any idea the crap I put my mom thru that year?  Sorry, not sorry, it was life changing hehehe!  She is narrowing her college choices and well for me… Menopause has kicked in high gear (it’s the devil).  HOLD UP, STOP…yes menopause has a high gear.  Oh and Peanut 1 moved out but needs to come back home. Yes, I am being punished.

So I started thinking, as a mom you normally give up practically your entire life to nurture your little loved ones.  Then middle & high school happens and you begin to recognize that you have been so wrapped up in parenting that you forgot to live.  Hmmm, well what in the world have I been doing??  I mean, do you ever stop and ask yourself this question?  Really ask yourself, What am I doing?  Just think on that for a minute.

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Image source: Image source: http://www.recaption.com/chemistry-cat/1564/

I found myself doing everything in my power over the last 22 years to be the BEST mom that I could be.  If that meant driving 30 minutes across town to take my kids to schools that would provide them the opportunities I didn’t have or paying rent for my son’s apartment in college because we didn’t get aid and didn’t save for college, I made it happen.  But now, I realize that I forgot about little ole me.  So right as the season has changed and my peanuts are preparing to live their lives I wonder what will I do to fill this void?  I didn’t prepare for this moment.  I was sitting back watching my Peanuts blossom into these fine young adults as I was slowly losing the core of who I was.

As happy as we are to see the summer heat leave, we will miss those sunny days but must fill them up with something else.  So my advice to all the Mommywurkers, don’t forget about YOU.  The kids are going to be fine.  We always make sure they are fine.  But who is making sure that YOU are ok?  Read a book, join a challenge, Eat clean, start a business, change jobs, join a club.  Whatever you do, don’t forget about who you were before kids because you will meet up with her again someday.  And she will stare you in the face and say… Oh, you again!  “Eyes rolling, lips curled”.

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Between these hot flashes, college application fees and my brain fog, I am having a hard time finding 5 minutes to pee so I better run.

Until next time…Stop, drop and Prepare for the Seasons to Change.

DeeMommy

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Dee is a single mom of two who has thoroughly enjoyed parenting her son who is now 21 and daughter who is 16. She calls them Peanut 1 & 2. Dee enjoys her job as a Sales & Business Coach which allows her to work at home as well as travel.

O.P.M.

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Moms are awesome! We can take care of just about anything. From the bassinet to the boardroom, we become superheroes. Every now and then however, a little help can go a long way…helping us work smarter instead of harder. This is not prohibited from entrepreneurship.

Our society is molding more female entrepreneurs than ever before and we are taking over whole industries! Whether in direct sales, network marketing, consulting, remote services, or human services, women are dominating business in a major way, and it couldn’t come at a better time.

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During my employ for the past 6 years in Workforce Development, my clients found themselves unemployed for a variety of reasons. Many people assume that if you need public assistance or unemployment, you do not want to work or that you’re just interested in a hand out. I literally had to sit my clients down and explain to them that it was important for them to take advantage of the assistance available to them in order to feed their families, stretch their paychecks, or start a new life. I encouraged them to use the services that way they were initially designed, as a temporary fix.

There are a variety of systems set in place created to help the common man, and entrepreneurs are no different. When looking to start a business, many will simply go broke and bankrupt trying to get things going. Instead, go along with experts who know your field better than you do. An entrepreneur may have a passion, product, purpose or patent but not have a red cent to back it up. If this is you, you are not alone.

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For many entrepreneurs, funding can be very tough to obtain. Learning to juggle your marketing, production, demand, and customer service can be tough…but definitely possible! One area that I am passionate about providing support for is helping you fund your business. No I am not talking about a payday loan or get rich quick scheme – but something that many of us shy away from because we feel we can do everything ourselves… other people’s money (O.P.M.)!

Although some startups tap into a team of financial gurus who can raise funds with ease, many of us still struggle and need some guidance. Get guidance from a number of specialists in the field instead of just one bank or lender at a time. There are shortcuts to finding the right source of funding – especially if you are already disciplined in your operational costs and corporate spending.

If you are looking to expand or start your business and still struggle with financially backing your mission, take a look at our exclusive system. This system was created with the busy entrepreneur in mind. Only those seeking substantial growth need apply – this is not for the fly-by-night hustler.

~ladiSims

Feel free to tweet & share!

ladiSims1

ladiSims is a Workforce Consultant committed to “ Monetizing your Mission: Saving and increasing revenue for job seekers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses through empowering employment readiness, social media marketing, and discounted operations. She has over 6 years of extensive experience in social services, workforce development, small business development, recruiting and case management. She serves a variety of job seekers, including veterans and disabled adults, with finding employment and adjusting to career changes. Many of her clients seek to transition into new careers with financial and educational barriers hindering their success. ladiSims also shares resources, teaches Employment Readiness, and provides solutions for small businesses in her community. Born and raised in Chicago, IL, ladiSims has a passion for helping people progress towards their career, family, and entrepreneurial goals – she is also an advocate for education. Her BA degree is in English with a minor in African America Studies from SIUC where she also studied creative writing, journalism, and education. She also has a Master’s in Urban Planning and Policy (MUPP) with a concentration in Community Development from UIC. Her ‘why’ includes her daughter Charlotte, 2 moms, 2 dads, numerous siblings, faith in Christ, and the youth of ChiCity. Among her peers, she is known for simplifying complex issues, offering conflict resolution, and being able to connect with individuals of various socioeconomic statuses, cultures, skill sets, & educational backgrounds. ladiSims uses her ability to create and maintain strategic partnerships to influence both rural and urban communities. Find ladiSims on Instagram, Twitter, and Periscope for more of her shenanigans!

Letting Go and Pressing Foreword…Passion First!~

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Many times in our lives we experience heartbreaking circumstances that cause us to reevaluate our choices in life. During my time as a case manager in Workforce Development, I often sat across from someone who would question their previous actions in their career and education. I almost always gently explained that we never know what is going to happen in our lives and that they should have comfort in knowing that they made the best choice possible at the time. We just won’t know that a certain stock will crash, or a business would close, nor do we expect to be laid off from a job we’ve sacrificed years of hard work for. Nothing is certain anymore. We used to be able to rely on experience and loyalty in the workplace in order to maintain employment. We used to be able to rely on college education and degrees in order to assure success and promotion – that is just not the case anymore. We have to make the decision to make better choices for what is going on RIGHT NOW!

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No one has to be tied down to a position title anymore. Many of us are surprised when we feel so hopeless after losing our jobs. We often lose our way a bit. As a culture, we rely on our occupations to guide us through our careers, give us pride, pay our bills, and warrant us the opportunity to pursue more out of life. But what happens when our jobs are snatched from us? Are we doomed to rely on public assistance and/or wait for retirement? Do we have to accept our circumstance and failure? Sometimes we lose our way when we lose our jobs but we don’t have to.

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It is often during difficult circumstances when we can think deeply about where we actually want our lives to go. I would often sit with a client and listen to their ideas about their future. My duty was to provide the resources to start clients toward accomplishing their goals. I would make clients aware of the path necessary to achieve their desired goals – including information on industry, wages, location and growth. Some clients expressed wanting to own their own business, go back to school, or change industry completely. Either way, it was a chance for exploration and re-evaluation. A devastating lay off could also be the chance to follow one’s passion instead of the paycheck. Have you become what you wanted to be? What is your passion? How can you turn it into a paycheck?

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Why you should work in your passion?  Time works against us in a regular 9-to-5, but in your passion you lose track of time. You believe in your work. You know you do your work well, so everyone else’s opinion doesn’t sway you as easily. You constantly want to evolve. No one sets your hours or limits you. You can speak candidly about what you do – in a crowd, at a networking event, during an interview, at a job fair, etc.  Have you thought of consulting? Do you have a skill or trade that many people need but do not want to do themselves?

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Many people question their decisions in life with regret – I’ve personally decided not to do such a wasteful thing! We go through things in life that make us question out previous motives and intelligence but we cannot dwell on the past, it will not help us to be hopeful for the future. I take it upon myself to seek out why I made decisions and how that should effect my future decisions in life…and then I consciously decide to move on.

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~ladiSims

Hey, Hey, Hey Goodbye!

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Have you ever had one of those days or weeks that you couldn’t wait to be over, to say goodbye to?  This week has been just that for me.  I don’t feel like I accomplished much this week…at home or at work.  It was just blah, as far as I am concerned.

So, I am glad to say…

Hey, Hey, Heeeeyyyy…goooooodbyyyyyye!!!

I plan to have a better weekend.  I hope you enjoy yours, too!

Until next time-

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I  do,  forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV)

God’s best-

Alexis

That Sucks…

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Kid Flash says the darndest things!

Hubby is taking the boys swimming tomorrow afternoon.  Kid Flash asked me, “Mommy, are you coming?”  I quickly replied, “No, I have to work.”  His response, “That sucks!  You need a job where you get summers off.” 

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As I started to contemplate his brilliant thought I realized that I enjoy my current job and the flexibility it offers.  While I don’t  get summers off, I do get:

● to work from home

● to travel (just enough to avoid cabin fever) periodically

● to create my own schedule

● to help physicians make important career decisions

● to meet and work with great people

● to earn a great salary

So, in my opinion, my job does NOT suck just because I don’t get summers off.  There are tradeoffs in life.  And I would much rather work during the summer if that means I get to experience a job I enjoy.  We have to learn how to make the best of every situation or change it.  But, complaining is not an option.

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If your job sucks, what are you going to do about it?  Or how can you make the best of your job situation until you find something better?

Until next time-

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8 NIV)

God’s best-

Alexis

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Career Crossroads & Kids

As I working mom, I know most of you have been at a career cross roads. This is the position I find myself in most recently. There are two different opportunities that have presented themselves. I feel lucky to be able to have options. However, each opportunity has pros and cons that make them unique and does not necessarily give me a clear understanding of the front runner.

Pre-kids the job I was interested in the most and that would advance my career the most was the job I always took. Money played a large roll as well. Now that I am a mom there are so many other caveats to nash about in my head.

  • Will I have flexibility?
  • Is there travel?
  • What are the benefits?
  • How is the pay structured?
  • What do the evening and weekends look like?

I am finding that the travel and flexibility are two things I really feel strongly about as I explore my next move.

What do you think about when you are making career changes? What helped you make the decision? Thank you in advance for your advice.

Peace, Love & Crossroads,

Kristen

D.R.E.A.M. Big!

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Harriette Thompson, a 92 year old resident of Charlotte, NC, made history yesterday as she ran and finished the Suja Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in San Diego.  When I heard her story on the news last night all I could think was, “Wow!”  I pray I just make it to 92, let alone be able to run a marathon.  I can’t even run a marathon now and I’m only [cough]. 

I was also inspired because she is a living witness that you’re never too old, or too anything for that matter, to accomplish a goal or see a dream come true.

Have you been looking for a new career, a better job, a higher-paying job, a more flexible job, or just a job period?   D.R.E.A.M. big!

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Discover your gifts, talents and passion.
Research your options.
Explore the available opportunities.
Apply yourself.
Make it happen!

Remember, it’s never too late for a new beginning!

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Until next time-

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, (Ephesians 3:20 NIV)

God’s best-

Alexis

What Does Freedom Look Like?

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As we honor those on this Memorial Day who gave their lives for our freedom, I would like to give a shout out to all of our military moms.  Thank you for your service!

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               Image credit: mom.me

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          Image credit: http://www.allyou.com

I am also reminded of the many working moms who seek freedom in their careers.  Holly Reisem Hanna shares “99 Work at Home Career Ideas for Women” on her blog TheWorkatHomeWoman.com. 

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Happy Memorial Day!

Until next time-

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 NIV)

God’s best-

Alexis