Baylor employees blog about motherhood: blend, don’t balance

Junior Paula Bauer scrolls through Waco Moms Blog. MJ Routh | Multimedia Journalist

By Lizzie Thomas | Staff Writer

Waco Moms Blog is a blog and social media presence that unifies moms in Waco, allowing them to be authentic with each other and share knowledge and solidarity. It’s a part of City Mom’s Blog, a network that facilities setting up the site.

Dr. Christina Crenshaw is a lecturer English and said she thinks that though work-life balance is impossible and misleading, blending work and life is feasible and natural.

“Balance is a myth because it implies that the scales are equally measured and rarely in life does that ever happen in marriage, in motherhood, in life. Life is just not that balanced,” Crenshaw said. “I think that I take a more integrated approach to that. I don’t know that it’s measured in hours, it’s just rhythms of life. Making sure that you’re integrating your personal life I think that helps.”

Crenshaw explained there are some weeks that she’s grading papers and working more like 50 hours per week and she doesn’t get to spend as much time at home. However, there are weeks that she only works 30 hours, which provides more time with her kids.

Another way she balances working and being a mother is by not trying to do everything. Sometimes that means not volunteering for things like advising honors theses.

“I can’t allow my students to drop off the list [of priorities], but there are things that I can … How many balls can I really juggle?” Crenshaw said.

Crenshaw said she realizes the balls other moms choose to juggle or drop are probably different from her own. This is one of the reasons Waco Moms Blog exists — to show different perspectives on issues that come up in motherhood. Crenshaw said she chooses her non-negotiables first and whatever can’t happen after that just doesn’t happen. For example, she doesn’t commit to anything that interferes with either her or her husband picking up their sons from school, but having a house cleaner is not an issue.

Laura Lalani is an academic advisor at Baylor. She has shared personal stories that have resonated with other moms across the country. Lalani said Waco Moms Blog has a variety of voices from moms of different backgrounds and unites working and stay-at-home moms. Lalani herself has stayed home, worked part-time and now works full time.

“I think [Waco Mom’s Blog] unifies [different types of mothers],” Lalani said. “There are those who work full-time, there are several working part-time, there are moms that are staying home or doing different things. One of my favorite phrases is ‘Every mom is a working mom.’ The days are long, no matter what you’re doing. I think Waco Mom’s Blog brings everyone together and shows the different perspectives of being a mom.”

With different backgrounds comes a variety of perspectives. Lalani said writers for Waco Moms Blog do not all share the same point of view and humility is key.

“It’s important to be really authentic that there are no answers,” Lalani said. “What I’ve been learning about with my thoughts and reflections is that I’ve learned the most from moms who are ahead of me and actually, the longer I parent, the less I feel like I know. It’s quite the opposite — you think you know a lot and you learn a little more, and then you realize, ‘Oh, there really are like a million different ways to do this and to do it well.’”

To students who have ambition and want to go far in life but don’t want to exclude the possibility of a family Lalani recommended maximizing their flexibility and not closing doors.

“I wish someone had counseled me in college to pursue education, because I think having options in life is the best way to go. I think in life we don’t know what our path is going to be,” Lalani said.

Lalani’s path included going to graduate school at Lamar University when she was pregnant with her second child. She said that’s not the path she would have ideally chosen, but she’s thankful for where she is today.

“I would say be intentional about giving yourself the most education and the most options,” Lalani said. “Keep all the doors open that you can, because you don’t know how your career is going to evolve, and you don’t know how you’re going to react to being a mom.”