Frank: Reporter finds balance in working part-timeIt’s 7 p.m. and I’m so exhausted I can barely move. I know I need to get up. There are toys to put away, dishes to finish, lunches to pack and one more child to bathe and put to bed.
By: Tracy Frank, INFORUM
It’s 7 p.m. and I’m so exhausted I can barely move.
I know I need to get up.
There are toys to put away, dishes to finish, lunches to pack and one more child to bathe and put to bed.
But it’s so quiet, so still, it’s hard to muster the energy to push myself up off my bed. Then a screech echoes over the baby monitor and I shoot to my feet.
I wait a minute and when my baby quiets on his own, I breathe a sigh of relief (literally, I think I was holding my breath) and go downstairs to finish straightening up and remind my 7-year-old daughter to start getting ready for bed.
As a part-time Forum reporter and full-time mom, I balance the two worlds to find the benefits of each.
But this has been a stay-at-home day and I haven’t stopped moving since my baby woke me 12 hours earlier.
He crawls like he’s programmed to operate in fast-forward and he climbs anything within reach. I am constantly chasing him around the house and diving to save him from a fall.
During his naps, I try to clean and do laundry, and if I’m lucky, shower.
When my daughter comes home from school, I am often simultaneously trying to help her with her homework, entertain the baby and cook dinner.
Raising children is an arduous job, but when my 1-year-old leans his head on my shoulder and sighs, “oh,” or upon seeing me, breaks into a grin so wide I can see his new top teeth poking through, I am filled with a happiness that transcends exhaustion.
When I see my daughter rocking her pet chickens in her arms or grabbing the stool her brother is trying to climb before it can fall and hit him in the head, my heart overflows with love and gratitude for how blessed I am.
As much as I love being home with my kids, I also know I would be missing a part of myself if I did it full time.
I have to write like some people have to sing. Even though I write for a career, it’s also what I do in my spare time for fun.
I have known I wanted to be a reporter since 10th or 11th grade. When I was in elementary school, my cousin (who works for the Grand Forks Herald) and I used to play newspaper.
But when I work full-time I’m miserable and often distracted by thoughts of what I’m missing out on with my kids.
Luckily, I don’t have to decide between working and staying home. I feel truly blessed that Forum Communications lets me work part time and in doing so, create balance between my personal and professional lives.
Yes, I still have to occasionally bring work home and I am still called or emailed with home concerns from time to time while at work. I think it’s impossible to keep both halves of myself separate, but I also think I have found a way to walk the tightrope wire between work and home.
I am no long torn, but am completely fulfilled and content in my ability to be there for my kids most of the time and still maintain my career as a journalist.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526