“We shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves or other moms”

Q & A with Katie Galicia

I am so excited that Katie agreed to do today’s Working Mom Wednesday interview.

Our paths crossed after I reached out via email about a collaboration with Femfessionals and was invited to a meeting to discuss the possible partnership further.

I was a tad disheveled and didn’t want to be late after forgetting the rules of downtown parking {a massive SUV without a single quarter in it for the meter! I finally gave up a valet parked at the hotel across the street. #suburbanmom}. Katie made me feel welcomed and at ease. She is an amazing listener and incredibly kind, both of which make her great at her job and a great mom!

When I learned that she had four boys and was new-ish to the workforce, I had a million questions running through my mind. Luckily, she let me ask a handful of them and shared her answers with you all.

Self-promo time. Tell me what you do.

I started working full time last May as the Membership Coordinator at Central Exchange; it is a non-profit organization that provides a venue and voice for women seeking to reach their full personal and professional potential. I provide support to the Chief Membership Officer along with managing and maintaining over 1,100 memberships. I am usually the first person that a new member hears from and I work closely with them to ensure they are utilizing their membership to the fullest.

Along with membership I oversee Emerging Leaders; it is a yearlong female focused leadership development program; it gives me the opportunity to meet and learn from high profile female executives.

If that wasn’t your gig, what do you think you’d be doing ?

I’ve secretly always wanted to be a police officer. The thrill, the rush, helping people in our community and making it a safer environment not only for my boys, but the community. Yet, I’m also scared of what comes with putting your life on the line. I’ve never shot a gun, let alone held a gun!

What is it like working with a bunch of women?

It’s not what most would think or imagine; I wasn’t even sure what to think when I started. I am a mom of four boys with two brothers, so I am not use to being around women. I love it though. I’ve always wanted sisters and this is as close as I will get! I work with an amazing group of women. We are here to support, help and build up each other in so many ways! I have built what I see will be long term friendships with these women and can’t imagine not being around them.

You took a hiatus from the workforce to raise your children. Why did you decide to go back?

My youngest was 9 years old {oldest 16} and I started to notice I wasn’t needed as much as before, whether it was at school or at home. I guess you could say I raised them too good! They were very independent, which was hard for me to face.

I found things to do {don’t get me wrong, because with four boys there is always something that needs to be done}; however, I was starting to feel that I was missing out on something and needed to do more for myself. I had given so much of my life and time to my boys and the household that I knew my time to venture out was near.

What was the biggest challenge when starting the job search again?

My biggest challenge was where to begin? What had I missed out on and what I was lacking compared to others that had been in the workforce the entire time I was away. I needed to find out what I liked to do, wanted to do and what were my skills. Realizing all of this and what I was up against definitely busted my confidence bubble! And it was scary.

How did you tackle it?

I started looking at job posts, doing some research and seeing what was out there, what caught my eye. From there I decided on easing my way into the workforce by working only part time. Finding what worked for me and still allowed me to be involved with my boys’ lives, because that was still a huge factor for me. I knew that this was a major change not only for me but for my boys, as well.

What was the best part about going back?

Meeting new people outside of my boys’ lives.

What is a typical day like for you now?

I get up around 5/5:30 a.m. to shower, get ready for work, and listen to the news as I prep breakfast for my boys. It’s what I’ve always done and want to continue doing. I sometimes prep dinner in the morning depending on what our evening looks like.

I wake my younger two up around 7 and that’s a job in itself! My older two are great about getting up and ready on their own. I’m at work by 8:30 and right away I check emails and see what is on the calendar for the day, whether it’s programs at our office or I’m needing to attend a meeting, event or program outside of the office. This is a major part of my job, meeting new people and informing them about CX.

Around 3:30 I call home to chat with all four of my boys to see how their day went, if they need any help with homework and assign them their daily chores. My older two sons are a huge help in taking turns to pick up their brothers from school. {If they can’t then I will take my lunch around the time they get out and pick them up from school and either bring them back to work with me until I get off or drop them off at home with my dad or one of their brothers.}

We make it a point to sit and have dinner together as a family no matter what! It can be over take out, dinner on the go or us sitting at the dining room table. It’s the important part of our day that allows us to catch up on each other’s lives and know what is going on. We live busier lives now that I work and they are involved in so much.

Most nights one of my sons has either soccer practice, soccer game or an activity that we need to attend. If help is needed with homework we fit that in as well. Showers are usually on a nightly basis with four boys! This process begins around 8:30 and works its way to bedtime which is somewhere between 9:30 and 10 for my younger two. My older ones have a rule they follow, they can stay up as late as they want as long as they get up and are at school on time.

Once my younger two are in bed, I tend to the house whether it’s sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, starting the dishwasher or finishing the load of laundry I may have started that morning, ironing and anything else that may come up from living in a house with four boys and a dog.

And usually by 11 or midnight I’m ready for bed and start all over again the next day.

You have four sons. What’s the best part of being a boy mom?

There are so many good parts I could go on and on. My boys are all mama’s boys! I’m a tad bit overly obsessed with them. They are easy going, fun, happy, energetic, and loving and there is never a dull, boring moment in our home! Each one is different in their own unique way and I love it, I love being a mom to boys. I don’t have daughters so I don’t know what I’m missing out on, but I do have nieces and I can honestly say I don’t regret not having a daughter. {I have two boys that love shopping and shoes as much as I do so that fills that void!} Even at their ages they will still hug, kiss me good night and cuddle with me without feeling embarrassed.

Speaking of shoes, what is one product you couldn’t live without?

This is probably very silly but I have really thick hair and it is a pain to wash, blow dry and fix on a daily basis. I have had to find ways to ease the time. I even chopped off my long hair {total regret}! I’m a huge fan of Tresemme dry shampoo! If I don’t wake up at 5 a.m. I won’t get a shower in and that time in the shower is my time to re-energize and trust me I’d rather take a long hot shower than to spend that time on blow drying my hair. So I will go days without washing my hair thanks to dry shampoo!

What’s your best piece of advice for other working moms?

Being a working mom doesn’t make you any less of a mom. I have always commended working moms, especially when I was a stay at home mom. I was blessed to have that opportunity and I do miss it, but I also enjoy working too.

I have realized that I’m not super woman and finally coming to terms with it. I have missed field trips, school programs, class parties, being able to care for my sons when they are sick, not able to spend days off of school with them and I felt so guilty because I attended everything and was with them all the time in the past. My boys know that I am working and that it’s to better our lives. They have seen me as a stay at home mom and a working mom. I value the time with my boys so much more now because I’m not as accessible as I was before and thankfully my job is understanding of my family and putting them first.

As moms we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves or other moms. Support each other, it’s not easy. It may look like we have it all together, but trust me we don’t. We are doing the best we can!

I’m on a quest to having it all. Do you think you have it all?

I felt I did at one time, but it was time to expand my “having it all” to something bigger. I feel like I’ll have it all once I know that my boys are happy, healthy, and successful and doing what they love. For me, then I know that I have done my job and I can then focus much more on myself and changing my definition of “having it all.”

What a strong, brave, hardworking woman! I learned so much from Katie about how us moms are constantly reinventing ourselves. {She also confirmed that a mom’s job is never really done!}

Want to be interviewed for #workingmomwednesday? Contact me to find out how.

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