Thursday, August 4, 2011

Project Mommaview - mom of 4 - watch out coming through!!!!

Your name:

Tharine Wells

Do youstay at home/work outside of the home/have some interesting combination of both? :

Knee jerk answer is that I stay at home, but I have 3 part time jobs that allow me to stay at home… and also adds up to more than about 30 hours of work a week… so it’s an interesting combination of both I guess.

Your occupation:

Stay at home mom (see above), pre school teacher, Pampered Chef consultant, after school caregiver.

Your occupation in a previous (before kids) life:

Ahhh… before kids (and actually until my oldest was 6) I was an Operations Manager for and Insurance company.

Tell us about it:

I started out as the receptionist for the company (which used to be Transamerica Insurance) straight out of college. I worked my way into Human Resources, Claims, Special Projects and finally Operations Manager. I used to travel about 3 times a month for about 2 years and still traveled a little with them at the end. I had 9 direct reports and anywhere from 20 – 25 people who I was ultimately responsible for in my department. I really liked it a lot and met Tom (hubby of 19 years) while working there. He transferred us to Michigan while he was working there, then I transferred us to Texas. I left 10 years ago when our oldest was in Kinder.

Your education:

College Graduate – degree in English
How many kids do you have?
Tell us about them:

Brady is 16 (junior in High School) – He is a quiet (ish) kid who has no interest in driving (even though he has his license) or getting a job! He is dating a COLLEGE FRESHMAN (really?) and I’m convinced she’ll dump him once she goes off to Texas Tech. He is a great student, plays French horn in the band and is a band section leader. Fairly responsible, oldest child syndrome, etc etc.

Alex is 14 and going into his freshman year. His nickname is Frat Boy in Training! He is typical #2 child. Very outgoing, very distracted by everything, very loving when he wants to be! Good student… could be great if he only applied himself. Is playing Freshman football in the fall along with playing Trombone in the band! We are not musically inclined at all but our kids seem to be.

Carter will be in middle school next year (11 years old, 6th grade). He is funny as anything!! He is really smart and a really good student. No interest in girls yet (thank God!) but loves to cut up with his friends. He is playing football now, but also plays soccer and will play trumpet in band next year.

Delaney is 9 in 4th grade. Only girl. Spoiled rotten cuz she’s the only girl and youngest. She can turn on the charm when needed and can be a total B when she wants to. Not looking forward to puberty with this one! Loves soccer, has a love/hate relationship with track, but is the most competitive person (besides me) that I know! Her name actually means “descendent of the competitor”. Fitting.

Do you wish you: Stayed at home/worked outside of the home/could find some interesting combination of the two?

My combination is interesting enough right now.

Typical school day: Up at 6, shower, lunches, kids start getting up (thank goodness they have become pretty self sufficient at the morning routine! I don’t miss the days of having to make breakfasts, brush teeth and help with clothes!) Two little kids ride bikes to school – I drive (or sometimes Tom when he’s in town) drives the morning high school carpool – if it’s our day, then one of us takes Alex to school. Then I quickly get ready for work. Teach preschool 2 days a week from 8:30 – 1:30. Then home to answer email/voice mails/make phone calls for my Pampered Chef business (if you don’t work your business you will quickly be OUT of business), then elementary kids come home at 3:00… my two elementary kids plus 5 others that I watch after school. Homework, snack, playtime. They start going home at about 4:30 and are all gone by about 5:15 (usually). Then the barrage of driving kids to practices/games/ etc. which lasts until seriously 8:00. Dinner, glass of wine, bed.

Add into the mix PTA meetings (cuz I can’t say no), Pampered Chef Meetings, Pampered Chef shows (they pay the bills), Band Booster Meetings, etc and poke me – I’m done! It would be a ton easier if I just got one full time/part time job that paid enough but I need (and by need I really mean WANT) the flexibility. I am the scheduling QUEEN! Which I need to be with this crazy schedule! We need the money… read above where I said we had 4 kids… so NOT working isn’t an option, but finding something that fit my schedule, gave me summers and school breaks free, and paid enough to be worthwhile is hard to come by. It might be easier to come by if I were actually looking, but crazy is what I do best.

Where did you meet most of your friends?

From my kids friends parents. Thank GOD my kids’ friends have cool parents!!!! The more kids you have the more friends you have… I seem to know most everyone in Flower Mound … just sayin’.

Do you feel that Mom friends are important?

Majorly important! You need them not only to talk to and vent to but to help out when you need a last minute babysitter or a ride to/from practice. Plus they make great drinking buddies!

Are those friends primarily working or stay at home?

Mostly stay at home, but some work friends too!

Now that you have answered those questions – why do you think that is?

Just more free time during the day to chat, commiserate, etc. Sometimes it’s the we-have-more-in –common thing, but I really work about 30 hours a week and feel that since it’s not a “corporate” job I have more in common with the stay-at-home crew. Hmmmm….

What is the most hurtful thing another Mom has said or done to you.

I’ll never forget… when I was working full time and Brady was just starting Kindergarten, I got involved with the start up of our PTA. The PTA District president (I think that was her title) said that most working moms don’t do well on PTA and they certainly don’t make good PTA presidents, but she’s seen many working dads do well as PTA president. REALLY? Pissed me off so bad I got on the PTA board and have been for 10 years now!

Is there something that has been said in the media or by other Moms that makes you crazy?

I’ve been on both sides of the coin. As a working mom, I felt that the stay at homers never understood how hard it was. I guess I “get” both sides. They are both right and they are both wrong.

What is the best part about your situation?

I get to be “home” with my kids while still making some money.

What is the worst part about your situation?

It can be really chaotic!

If you could change one thing (but NOT how much money you have – most of us wish we had more money) what would it be?

I wish it were easier to get a teaching certificate. That has been my life long goal and yet I’m 46 and still nowhere near achieving it!

Can you think of anything else that you would like for us to know about you or this subject?

I didn’t quit working (full time corporate) because child care was too much money, or I hated my job or anything like that. (I actually was making a little more than my hubby at the time). I quit to stay at home with my kids while they are in school because my mom has worked my entire life and I hated it! Growing up it seemed that we were the only family with a working mom and dad. Everyone else had their mom at home (or so it seemed to me!) There were no day cares back then, no afterschool programs, nothing like what we have now. I remember getting a ride home from school and being responsible (in 5th grade) for my 1st and 2nd grade brother and sister. It sucked! And don’t get me started about the summers! We couldn’t do ANYTHING! We went to Catholic school and had some really odd days off. My grandma sometimes watched us when my mom couldn’t get off work, but a few times she had to take us to work with her and we literally sat in the car in the parking lot while she was at work. We could get out and play a little, but we were stuck in her office parking lot for half a day!!! Now you’d go to jail for that, but back then if you HAD to work you had no choice! My parents were just doing what they had to do to make ends meet. My kids aren’t going to be stuck in that situation at all ever ever ever! I’m going to be the mom who has cookies made after school. Granted they aren’t always from scratch but I sometimes have cookies for them… so I try!


Foursons said...

Does Tharine have a blog? If so, I'd love to be reading it! Great interview and I am impressed that she can manage to get anything done with that crazy schedule!

Tina Modotti said...

Oh, and I thought I was busy with 3!