With Sandy top of mind this week, I wondered how working moms affected by the storm were dealing with the responsibilities of work and family when potentially faced with no electricity—and no day care! Do you do a double feature of your bub’s favorite show and try to sneak in an hour of work? Wait until bedtime before starting that new project? Or, just forgo it all together and chalk up your missed deadline to Mother Nature?
New York-based freelance fashion stylist and mom of two Georgia Alexandra Davis had this to say: “I have the little ones busy with craft-making right now so I can get online for a bit, but of course this means they are making the living room look like Sandy paid it a visit! Since my kids are 3 and 1, clean up means I’ll be up late tonight trying to get things back in order. If crafts aren’t enough of a distraction, I’ll wait until they are off to sleep which means I get to work from about midnight to about 4 or 5 am— or when I can no longer keep my eyes open.”
For Karen Zuckerman, a New York-based massage therapist and mom of 3-year-old Mirabelle, being stuck at home meant relying on her network of working mamas nearby: “No preschool, no transportation and no clients. But my good friend who's an artist at home with a 4-year-old lives two doors down and we've been taking turns taking the kids. The other day she got to work on her art and today I get to update my website. Then both families get together for dinner.”
But what about those families who had to evacuate? Forced to leave her home outside New York City, magazine editor and new mom Jennifer Ernst Beaudry says, “I'm currently emailing sources from the hotel room we evacuated ourselves to while my 3-month-old twins, Martin and Nate, take a nap. They were supposed to start day care on Thursday, but the day-care center has power but no water. I guess we’ll see how one balances work and two infants!” The next day, Beaudry got to put the title “working mom” into action: She took her twins to the office and, while her co-workers took turns holding the boys, she was able to tackle her deadlines.
Mamas helping mamas even extended to refrigeration. Bedford, N.Y.-based Jennifer Saine-Griff, a lawyer and mother of two boys shared this story: “I just got a request from a friend for freezer space to store breast milk! Love it! I'll clear out ice cream for that!”
How do you handle being a working mom when Mother Nature, the flu or just plain old life gets in the way?