Thursday, January 15, 2009

Working Mom of the Week - Misti Ryan

Misti Ryan is happily married and the mother of three sons (no, she's not crazy and yes,she still has her hair). She's currently employed with a large health system as a revenue analyst in northeastern Oklahoma. Her days are full of dealing with corporate vice-presidents, sales reps, and consulting firms, as well as carting kids from one activity to another, all while managing to cook dinner every night. Sleep is overrated. You can find her at

Not the Mom You Think I Am...

Today at work, a software consultant was in our office, schmoozing with my boss. She brought him around to introduce to everyone, and when she got to me, she repeated the same introduction I've heard time and time again.

"This is Misti! She's the baby around here. She takes care of all of us. She's going to come visit us in the nursing home in a few years to pluck our chin hairs and make sure we aren't drooling on ourselves. And she's Super Mom! She has three boys, and she cooks every night! She is just amazing because this entire health system wouldn't run without her, and then she goes home and takes care of her kids and her husband..."

When she starts this intro, I usually quit listening after "baby"...I don't particularly care to be labeled as the youngest person in the office...being the youngest carries the stigma that I'm inexperienced and incapable, when it really should be saying that I am actually in possession of a sharp mind and the ability to complete my tasks in a timely and efficient manner.

And secondly, I don't particularly enjoy being singled out...Its embarrassing!!! And its a lie!!! Lord knows I don't feel like Super Mom. My exceedingly essential (though dejectedly unacknowledged) role in the administration of the health system keeps me there later than I would like some days, and it requires my attention when I am at home as well. It works out fine with my husband's schedule, because he gets off in time to pick the kids up after school every day. And for the most part, he is fairly helpful around the house, doing the dishes and starting some laundry. He's hoping for a SAHD gig someday soon. However, his version of a "clean house" isn't necessarily the same as mine. He can look at a room with stacked piles and think its tidy, whereas I would prefer the stacked piles be dispersed to their correct locations.

When I finally get home from work, its time to make dinner, which I actually enjoy doing, and it gives me something mindless to do after a stressful day. However, once dinner is finished and I take inventory of what needs to be done around the house, I often find myself overwhelmed with the mounting tasks that are looming, and, more often than not, I feel so inundated that some nights I sit on the couch and do nothing, drowning my sorrows in a bowl of Cap'N Crunch and watching Rock of Love Bus, all the while accepting defeat and saying to myself, "If only I were a stay at home mom..."

But then I think to myself, even if I was a SAHM, there's no guarantee any of this stuff around the house would get done. I would probably acquire a whole new set of to-do's, ones that I can't do because I work, like homeroom mom, or Cub Scout leader, or perhaps I would be able to get a PTA set up for Cutie Pie and Pot Pie's school since my past attempts at starting one have failed. And without my job, we wouldn't have access to the fantastic child care center where Pumpkin Pie attends, and I would most definitely end up home-schooling him every day to get him ready for pre-k and Kindergarten. Would I absolutely love to do all of these things? You betcha! But I'd probably still have a messy home. Laundry and dishes and general organization always take a backseat to everything else that I have going on. I do my best to get things done around the house, but I am very aware of the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day. Do I wish my house was more organized? Of course. But I'm more concerned with helping my kids with their homework and spending time with them having fun, as well as quality time with my Sweetie Pie. Sure, most of the time I feel somewhat like an undisciplined failure in the homemaker department, but I'm coping. One of my goals for 2009 is to get more control over my house. I've had some helpful tips from friends, who've made a number of suggestions, including subscribing to, which offers a plan and tips to get us moms on track for having the clean and organized life we desire. If unkempt houses were an addiction, FlyLady is the rehab, with a 31-step program to a cure, as well as daily emails. I'll probably never stick with it completely, but every little change that I make gets me a little closer to Super Mom-dom than I was before, leaving me feeling that much more accomplished at the end of the day, and who could ask for anything more?

Thank you, Misti for being this week's Working Mom of the Week. If you are interested in contributing to my weekly Working Mom of the Week, please contact me. Thanks!

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Joanna said...

Wow. I think this is the first post that I've really read since I started following this blog on a working mom of the week. What an inspiration to me, as a working mother. I've had a hard time finding inspiration, since everywhere around me there are moms who do stay home with their children. The guilt and the sadness has been overwhelming at times, but to read this and see the life of a working mother from a fresh angle is truly something. Thank you for giving me the inspiration to get back on track in my career. It may not be everyday you can help change someone's life, but today you certainly did. Thank you.

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