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Group of the Month: Working Moms, Q&A with Michelle Gillen

Michael Broukhim on June 30, 2009

groupofthemonth

It’s been tremendously exciting for us to watch TotSpot Groups blossom into a genuine community. While we try to keep making improvements to the product, the real work is being done by our incredibly passionate users.

We want to celebrate and shine our spotlight on those who’ve really taken it upon themselves to cultivate a community on TotSpot by featuring a Group of the Month along with a Q&A with the Group’s creator.

We’re excited to announce our first Group of the Month (June): Working Moms, created by Michelle Gillen. Working Moms was created on the day we launched TotSpot Groups and since then has become one of our most vibrant Groups thanks in no small part to the passion and energy of Michelle.

Michelle, mother of 5-month-old Maggie and 7-year-old Hailey, is a, self-described, fellow “computer geek.” By day, she’s responsible for keeping the Pennsylvania’s 140 state park offices connected to the internet as the network security administrator for Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for the State of Pennsylvania. She’s a quintessential, working mom. Our interview, is below:

TotSpot: The name of the group, “Working Moms,” is pretty self-explanatory. Beyond that, can you explain to a perspective group member why they should join?

Michelle: Being  a mom in general is a wonderful, amazing, scary, confusing experience!  Toss in working AND being a mom and that really makes a challenging task! Sometimes I feel like I’m running a non-stop marathon!  Many days I deal with a full range of emotions while being away from my kids.  With a new baby, I had other things to contemplate such as how to continue to breast feed and how to find someone I trusted to watch my newborn! I felt so alone at times and overwhelmed.
So that said, this group could be a place that we could discuss all of that and more!  Make new friendships.  Find others who have been where we are and have some sound, hard learned advice on how to get through it.  Or as I’ve just recently experienced, when the task gets daunting, share it and someone will give you the boost you’re needing to help you get going again!

TotSpot: How many kids do you have? How old? Are they on TotSpot?

Michelle: I have two daughters.  Maggie is 5 months old and my step-daughter Hailey is 7 years old.  I have both of them on totspot.  Working on getting Hailey’s page going!

TotSpot: What topics (under of the umbrella of being a “working mom”) are you most interested in discussing?

Michelle: maternity leave, juggling responsibilities, dealing with separation anxiety/guilt/other feelings, breast feeding and pumping/expressing milk, day care options and how to find the right fit for your child.

TotSpot: Are there any topics you wish to avoid?

Michelle: I’m a pretty open person.  I can’t think of any topics we would be avoiding at this point.

TotSpot: Some people suggest there is a natural tension between moms who work and those that don’t, do you agree?

Michelle: Personally I don’t feel any.  But I can see how subconsciously a working mom would be jealous of moms who stay at home.  I think they are so lucky! We are in two different worlds.

TotSpot: What is your number one challenge as a “working mom”?

Michelle: Finding time to get all of the “everyday chores” done.  I want to spend all of my time with my baby when I get home and on the weekends.  But, all of the other things still need done too! That juggling act is such a challenge.

TotSpot: What is your favorite thing about running the group so far?

Michelle: I’d definitely have to say that so far I’ve just really enjoyed talking to all of the women!  It has been so nice finding out what everyone else is experiencing and learning that I’m not alone!

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Jackuline Michel

Yes that’s very useful.

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