My last post was focused on the great opportunities that come with being a parent in the student affairs world. Cultural events, long lists of babysitters, and a great environment for kids certainly top the list, but focusing on all this great stuff only shows one side of things for sure.
My latest and greatest struggles with work/family balance in student affairs are recently nagging due to the arrival of some major programs in our office like our Springfest, Commencement and Orientation. I really think that I have this juggling game mastered… until we are hit with the big stuff. I sometimes forget if I'm coming or going in between all of the weird day care arrangements that have to be made. It always seems like we're making arrangements for a student to watch the boy "just for an hour" in between meetings or for me to leave work a little early, bring the boy to the campus center and my husband to get him from me in the middle of an event.
Those who are unfamiliar always say "just bring him with you!" Clearly, those with that advice have never tried to run a major event while also trying to make sure the boy is not wreaking havoc on something or someone. Those with those wise words have never had to deal with a "mommy, I want to go home" erupting just at the time that the most important issue arises that you are precisely there to address.
So in my personal world I am juggling all of these events, my work as a doctoral student and all the assignments at the end of the semester, and the overall roles of being a mom. All that aside, I knew it might be time for a vacation day when the recent "baby briefs" incident happened.
I was in our Student Affairs VP's office for a meeting and was getting ready to leave as the meeting was breaking up. Everyone was in the main lobby chatting and I started to put my jacket on to leave. After my jacket was on I reached into my pocket for my keys and continued to chat with my Assistant VP. Much to my embarrassment, I didn't pull out my keys but instead pulled out a pair of my son's Diego underwear that was supposed to be put in his extra clothes box at daycare. The "baby briefs" flew out of my pocket and onto my VP's shoes.
Luckily, everyone in the group burst out laughing and I made the mental note to try to replicate that scenario as much as possible whenever the work/family balance comes up. Sometimes it's just hard to hold things together but the flying baby briefs just put it all into perspective.
Happy end of the year to everyone… for you parents out there I hope you can keep the baby briefs out of your vice presidential meetings!