I know some people don’t like the whole “working mom: how does she do it?” topic, because they’re upset that men are never asked how they balance work and life, but, honestly, I do think it’s different for women. I carried a child and then I spent over a year with a tiny human or ridiculous pump attached to me for one-third of the time. Pretty sure my husband never gave a presentation with a milk stain on his dress.
When I went back to work twelve weeks after birthing a child, I was terrified. I was exhausted, nervous…every emotion in the book. My brain was complete mush. I didn’t even know how I was going to get out of the door so early in the morning, let alone survive a work day.
Yet, here we are.
In a way, social media is a great field for parents because a lot of it can be done remotely. I’ve caught up on work while my daughter napped in the backseat of my car; I’ve drafted emails at 3 a.m. when I was up for the millionth time.
The downside is that I never feel that I can turn work completely off (which, of course, I’m sure is true for those in other industries as well). No one wants to spend the holidays responding to Facebook messages, but someone has to do it. Now that my daughter is a toddler, she can see that I’m addicted to my phone – eek! She asks for “her phone” because she sees that I am on mine. It’s hard to explain to a toddler that Mommy is working.
Also, generally speaking, managing social media is not a strictly 9-5 job. There are events on nights and weekends that I have to attend, which sometimes leaves us scrambling for child care. I never want to spend more time away from my daughter than necessary … unless it’s for something fun like getting my nails done (real talk here). Plus, when I was nursing, the prospect of pumping at events was so daunting. Where will I go for privacy? Is there a way to refrigerate my milk without lugging a cooler?
My daughter is only 22 months old, and, while she has sent snaps to people with text and emojis (seriously!), she is not teaching me anything about social media…BUT one day — in the probably not-so-distant future — she will! And that is so cool to me.
So…is being a social media manager an easier or harder job than others when balancing work with parenting? I’m not sure, since this is all I’ve ever known. But, just like everyone else, we’re making it work.