A Hairdresser Balances Work and Family

[I’d like to start this off by saying:  This is yesterday’s blog post, which is just so hilarious to me considering what this is about.  Balancing work, family, and just life in general, is so challenging!  Yesterday morning was just like any other peaceful morning, and I was working away on this post, until the phone started ringing at 7 am.  Then it rang again.  Then, someone pulled up the driveway, sending our four dogs into a barking frenzy.  Before I could get out the door for work, I spilled coffee all over my white capri pants, and had to change at the last second.  Needless to say, I barely made it to work on time, and definitely did not remember to run some important errands before work.  I hope you all know that I’m not writing this post as an expert on how to balance everything, because clearly, I am not!  I left this post mostly finished, but unedited, thinking I might be able to finish it on my phone at work, but I was way too swamped with clients to even look at it.  So here it is, on a Saturday!]

Being a Mom is the most rewarding job I have ever had.

Being a hairstylist is the second-most rewarding job I’ve ever had.

But, let’s be real. It’s not easy to be a career woman, and a Mom. I’ve done one without the other, and I’ve done them both together…I was definitely cut out to be a working Mom.

I know there are varying opinions on this subject, and it is not my goal to offend anyone who chooses differently than I do. I have so much admiration for women who choose to be a full-time Mom, and I am fully aware of how much work it is to take care of children, a husband, and a home. I did not work outside the home for about a year once, and found that I do a much better job of all of it if I do work outside the home. Even Madre will tell you that I function better when I have too much on my plate, and I always have.

One more thing to point out is that I married very well.  Coach is a God-send when it comes to husbands…he doesn’t mind helping out around the house, taking the girls to after-school appointments (since they have the same schedule), or even starting or reheating dinner.  He says that being with his kids is NOT babysitting, but parenting.  He is correct, but you know, a lot of husbands don’t feel that way.  I do know how blessed I am to have Coach, and I know that some folks don’t have what I have when it comes to help from a spouse.  First of all, I am sorry if that’s the case.  Secondly, no you can’t have mine.  Although, if you needed something, I’ll bet he’d be there for you.  It’s just the kind of guy he is!

I’d like to share some things I have done to make it easier to be a working Mom. I love my hairstylist career, my home-based business, and raising a family, so I’ve managed to find a flow that works (most of the time) for me and my lovies.  If you have children, you know all too well that their ages, their needs, and what stage of life they are in causes every well-planned routine to change, so what works for me may not work for you at all.  I just like sharing the things that make my life easier!



 Make-Ahead Meals.   I’ve shared this before, with recipes and everything, here! This is a huge time-saver for me, and I am a much happier Mom when I can leave work at 7 pm knowing that the only thing standing between the family and supper is a few minutes in the microwave, and maybe a few minutes of prep. I normally cook on Mondays, since that’s a day off for me. Coach isn’t much on cooking, but he knows his way around the kitchen and can re-heat like a champ!

Tweaking My Schedule.   Of course, being self-employed does give me the advantage of making my own schedule. About a year and half ago, I realized that I was spending too much dead time at the salon. This is especially frustrating when you are raising a family, and you have a running list of things to do in your head, constantly. Since we moved, sneaking home at lunch was no longer an option, so I actually cut a day out of my workweek, and extended my hours on the days I do work. I’m now pretty much booked solid in the salon on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (with the occasional Saturday thrown in, especially during wedding season), and have Mondays and Wednesdays to take care of my home, shop for groceries, prepare meals, wash clothes, and work on my home-based business. Plus, I still have a weekend, or at least a Sunday, to rest and play.


Put My Kids To Work. My girls are 10 and 12, but they have been doing their own laundry and helping out around the house since they were around walking-age. I am a firm believer in involving your kids in housework, and teaching them that what they mess up doesn’t just magically clean itself. They also clean their own bathroom (which is sort of our ‘public’ bathroom), help with washing the dishes, and even help me dust and vacuum on occasion. They take care of their own room, change their own bed lines, and love helping Coach in the yard. They understand that four of us live here, and it takes four of us to keep our home running smoothly.

Accept Help. This one is so tough for me. I’ve always had a hard time asking for help, because I don’t want to burden anyone with my load. Fortunately, Madre and Jimmie don’t wait for me to ask. Madre offers her help almost on a daily basis, and Jimmie is famous for forcing us (yeah, right!) on a once-a-month date night. Coach’s fabulous parents live only 15 minutes away, and have always been ready to lend a helping hand, as well. Even when we lived 30 minutes away, they would happily drive over to watch a sick grandchild for the day so Coach and I could still work. Let your family help you out with your kids…it enriches your life, the family’s life, and the kids’! If you don’t have family close by, my heart goes out to you. I can’t imagine not having the support system that is our family.  Even our family members who live far away, make themselves present in my girls’ lives, and remain close with them.  Daddy-O and JiJi make the long drive from the Florida panhandle at least twice a year, sometimes more, to see the girls, and my fabulous Aunties Anne and Susanne are their traveling buddies!

 Have fun!  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If you love your work, you’ll never work a day in your life. I love going to the salon on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and visiting with all of my sweet clients. I love making capes, bracelets and Feel Better Bags on Mondays and Wednesdays. I enjoy going shopping for beauty supplies and/or crafting supplies with Madre on the weekends. I love stealing moments to swim with my kids, or at least watch them swim, and judging their jumping-in contests. None of the things I do feel like work to me, because I have a good time, wherever I am.  My life doesn’t always run smoothly, but I can share the crazy moments in life with friends and family, and have a good laugh.  Case in point: I started the coffee the other morning, but I forgot to put the pot under the dripper.  I just left it beside the sink, like a dumba**.  That was a fun muss to clean up!  Anywho, having fun in life is the best way I know to make it run smoothly.  Laughing off the crazy moments, smiling through the day at work, enjoying life…that’s how I always want to do things!

Whether you work one job or four, one kid or four,  we’re all just doing the best we can. My way isn’t better than your way isn’t better than anyone else’s way, but if we can help each other out and make it easier for our fellow working parents, shouldn’t we?  I want this to be a place where anyone – Moms, Dads, Aunts or Uncles – can share what works for them when it comes to squeaking by in this old world. I’m certainly not an expert on …well, anything..but, I don’t mind sounding off and sharing things that make my life easier, in hopes that I can help someone else along the way. {disclaimer: I also don’t mind sounding off about the hair I do, the stuff I make, or the old farmhouse I’m remodeling. Just follow the blog via email, it’s pretty entertaining.}

Stop by with a comment, and tell me what works for you. I’m always open to suggestions, especially when it comes to making life easier, and my family happier! Happy Weekend!

X,O,X,O, Martie