first name: Jaime
current city: Collierville, TN
living situation: We live in a suburb of Memphis, in a small neighborhood with many families. Our household consists of my husband, two sons, ages three and 16 months, and two Yorkies. And all our names start with J’s (even the dogs).
occupation: Registered Nurse
how do you structure your time and space? The beauty of my job is that I get to choose my schedule. It has taken about a year to figure out a schedule that gives us a good balance. I work three days a week, two shifts of 12 hours and one shift of eight hours. We have one weekend day together as a family, and three weekday evenings. One weekday evening is deemed mine to go out with friends or attend small group at my church. My husband also has an evening of his own. We don’t always use our “solo evenings,” but they are there if we want them.
Our daily schedule is a hodgepodge. With two kids on different nap schedules, someone is always asleep, which leaves little time for errands away from the house. I try to give the boys one-on-one time when one of them is asleep. And I involve my three year old with chores, i.e. laundry, unloading the dishwasher, and picking up. We recently hired someone to clean the house twice a month, as I prefer to spend more time with the boys. Also, I pick up toys one time a day, at night after the boys go to bed. Before, I found myself constantly picking up toys! So if you come to our house, expect toys on the floor. It maintains my sanity and allows for more play time with the kids!
We also use e-mealz.com for our meal planning. Meal planning was a big issue for us and this has made it much easier. Now we know exactly what is for dinner, and either of us can cook the meal, since the recipes are easy and already planned!
Our childcare situation is a great one. Two days a week, both boys attend Mother’s Day Out from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. These are days I do not work, so I run errands and do some things for me. The boys love it. We chose the days I work in order to keep the boys out of daycare. On Fridays, I work an evening shift, and my husband comes home early so I may leave for work. I also work Sundays when he is home. Then Mondays, our next door neighbor watches the boys until my husband gets home.
using the metaphor of seasons to describe the phases of women’s lives,
-what are the particular challenges and highlights of your current season? I am truly seeking a life of balance between being a working mom and a stay-at-home mom. All the while, I fight the urge to be super mom. Because I work weekends, I feel like I actually have two work weeks in one — my four days of staying home, and my three days of work. I try not to cram too much into the four days I am home in favor of fun activities for the kids and me. Some weeks I succeed in balancing, some weeks I don’t. The three days I work seem to run by in a blur and I miss the kids terribly. But work also serves as a break from that part of my life. That may sound horrible, but I enjoy my job and I look forward to working. (No, did she really say that? Yes, she did). I also enjoy the adult interaction (well, mostly adult — the occasional immature patient ruins that image) and the absence of phrases such as, “Please stop hitting your brother,” and “We do not pee on other people.” Although to be honest, I have said the last one to a patient!
-what season(s) preceded this one? My preceding season was a mix (summer to winter). It started with a dream job filled with five star resorts and celebrities and ended with a period of grief and clarity. I lost my father, got married, and finally figured out I was called to be a nurse, which necessitated my return to school. This season revolved around soul-searching and self-discovery, and it ended in the surprise that we were expecting our first child! This news urged us to restructure our couple-centered and career-centered life into an existence that would nurture a little one.
-what season(s) might your future hold? Once the kids are both in school, I will shift my work schedule to coincide with school, which will allow for even more family time. I also look forward to returning to golf on a regular basis, and even playing as a family. I see a future with four golf bags in the car, and the family headed to a golf destination for vacations. I am also considering returning to school to become a Nurse Practitioner. So I see spring coming in the future, a season of the blooming of seeds that have been planted in our current season.
favorite family activities: Going to the zoo (the zoo pass offers a tenfold return on the money invested), the park and the water park in the summer. We also recently joined a gym that has family activities and swimming. We have ventured to the driving range a few times with the boys and are hoping that becomes a favorite activity as they get older.
favorite solo activities: Yoga, blogging about work and home , and exercise. I would love to get back into knitting and painting unfinished wood (like rocking horses and stools).
sources of inspiration: People who are honest, real, and not afraid to admit their faults; Moms who blog; My dad.
best MakeShift moment: Showering does not happen before the kids get up, so I have a cabinet in the bathroom designated for them. In it are toys, a roll of garbage bags (that has been re-rolled MANY times) and an hourglass filled with colored water. All of these things entertain the J Brothers. Also, my older son loves his telephone, so he sets up his office in our jacuzzi tub and conducts business while I get ready for the day. I guess you could call it “Take Your Mommy to Work!”
And from my babysitting days, I once watched six children under the age of five. They were all fighting over toys, so I finally took all the toys with wheels (about ten), tied them into a “train” and pulled the train all over the house with a parade of children following. They were entertained for an hour and peace was kept until their parents returned.
find jaime on the web at www.nursegolfdiva.blogspot.com.
[i couldn’t help myself. jaime was my college roommate, and the last two pictures are evidence of the best random dormatory pairing in the history of higher education.]