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New Mom Struggles Part 3: Work and Family Life Balance

I did it. Shout out to you, Cousin Ev. I gave Noah water instead of milk and – behold – it worked. It’s like I just invented bread. I feel like a maverick – one who doubted the magic of “weaning” since it had been shrouded in blank stares and furried brows at the in-laws’ reunion. Life is sweet.

 

Is he sleeping through the night, yet? It’s still too early to tell – last night was the first time, but so far so good. It’s been a crazy couple weeks at work so I figured it couldn’t hurt to at least start the trend of getting uninterrupted sleep at night, for once and for all.

 

Between client meetings and contemplating my next step in my career, I have enough to consider. I constantly teeter on the edge of Ad Woman vs. Real Housewife of Atlanta. If you haven’t guessed already, I’m an advertising and marketing professional, through and through. I’m a student in the presence of the “true” Mad Men of today. I could peruse AdAge all day long, yelling at my computer screen while reading up on how yet another brand missed the multicultural mark, or how the great McDonald’s still hasn’t taken my advice I posted in an open letter on LinkedIn – and submitted on their site (I swear I have the remedy to their unfortunate brand situation). They probably think I’m some stalker girl with Big Mac cut-outs stuck above my headboard. It’s truly what I live, think and breathe.

 

I love what I do and, ironically, it often feels like the one part of me I cherish most doesn’t quite fit the mold of what a career woman looks like on Madison Avenue: mommyhood.

 

The unconventional hours that come with an ad career, the client dinners, the late nights with vendors filled with booze and schmoozers – it’s all awesome until you have little ones to tuck in at night. It often leaves me wondering: don’t people do lunch anymore? Is this it for me?

 

Oftentimes, when women make the decision to start families, it’s known to have a direct correlation with the career plateau. The sacrifices we make to do what comes naturally is astonishing. Only the strong survive.

 

It doesn’t help that my husband is also in the throes of his advertising career, climbing the ladder and having a ball. I love that, too. We often talk about the possibilities of moving back to New York City when our son gets a little older and continuing to make our mark on the industry. The idea is too green to mention to family; Atlanta has been nothing but sweet to us.

Since our first house is being built (our closing date was pushed back, yet again), we’ll hold out for a few years and revisit the idea. But in the meantime, I’m still going to keep sending McDonald’s rebranding strategies. I really want to see them win, guys. LOL. For the record: I’m definitely the stalker girl, but I’ve got Quarter Pounder cut-outs on my wall instead. I was never a Big Mac girl.

 

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Crystal Washington

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