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6 Ways Being a Mom Is Just Like Being A Project Manager

Before I became a stay-at-home mom, I was a project manager for the federal lobbying department at a public health non-profit. I managed a lot of special events, including one where I was among the lead planners on a day where 3,500 volunteer advocates had meetings with every single Member of Congress and the Senate. It was a massive undertaking and the logistical elements were breathtaking. For the 6 weeks leading up to the event, I worked 10 and 12 hour days. I was on daily conference calls before 8 AM where the president of the organization fretted openly about the weather because it was the only thing that the staff couldn’t control. I was juggling the needs of volunteers with the demands of elected officials. I dreamed of color-coded spreadsheets and appointment lists. Every night, I woke with a start at least once and had to scramble through my mind for the threads of all my responsibilities and go over the litany of what needed to be done at work later before I could settle back to sleep. It was a constant, high-pitched level of tension.

That’s how I feel every day as a stay-at-home mom.

This morning I gasped awake at 3 AM thinking, “It’s Wednesday. C has water play at school so swimsuit. And J is coming home with us. Do I have cash to pay the sitter? The baby will be up to nurse soon. Husband is asleep. He has that meeting today. I need to go to Costco for garbage bags. Baby has Little Gym so no time for Costco. I really should sleep while I can. Are we out of coffee? That would be a huge problem.”

I don’t know if that nightly agenda review helps me manage my days. I doubt it, since an adrenaline jolt is probably not good for my overall sleep and sleep is critical to functioning at top speed. But it reminds me that being a mom is not easy. It’s just as hard as any office job that I’ve ever held. And, truthfully, it’s strikingly similar to all the project management jobs I’ve ever had.

Here are 6 ways being a mom is just like being a project manager!

  • 6 ways Being a Mom is Just Like Being A Project Manager 1 of 7
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    Click through to see how being a project manager prepared me to be a stay at home mom!

  • I’m Simultaneously The Most And Least Important Person 2 of 7
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    At work, I was always necessary to getting any major project completed, but getting my supervisors and colleagues to take the time to deliver what I needed from them was nearly impossible. As a mom, my whole family needs me to be on my A game to get through a day, but absolutely no one listens when I tell them what needs to get done.

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • I Multi-Task Like A Mofo 3 of 7
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    Project managers never manage one project; there are always a combination of on-going and occasional projects in play and a good manager allocates time and resources to all of them at once. A mom has as many projects as she has children, spouses, houses, pets, volunteer responsibilities, paid jobs, and items needing repair and she must allocate time and resources to all of them.

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • Budget Is King 4 of 7
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    At work, I had a set budget for projects. If item A came in more expensive, I had to cut back on item B. There wasn't more money so there was no going over budget. Household budget? Same thing. There's no extra income source and I can't spend more than I have.

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • I Crash on Deadlines 5 of 7
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    The nature of working with Congress meant there was always uncertainty right up until go time because they change their schedules and priorities on a daily basis and they almost never do what you think they're going to do. All of which is yet another way Congress is just like little kid.

    Photo credit: photo stock

     

  • No Time To Celebrate 6 of 7
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    Once one project was put to bed at work, I would have just enough time to scribble down final notes before turning my attention to the next project or event. There was no basking in the satisfaction of a job well done. As a mom, I give high-fives over soccer with one hand while driving to karate with the other. 

    Photo credit: photo stock

  • It’s Intensely Satisfying 7 of 7
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    There is nothing as good at stepping back in the middle of an event you planned and seeing all the pieces sliding together perfectly. Nothing except peeking in on your sleeping kids and knowing you ferried them through another fun-filled, productive day. 

    Photo credit: photo stock

Photo credit: Photo stock

Read more from Rebekah at Stay At Home Pundit The Broad SideFollow Rebekah on Facebook and Twitter too!

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