by Self Made Mom's  Sara Fisher
All work and no time to socialize makes this working mom a Scrooge.
When things were slow at my job last year at this time, I filled my days with blogging, texting, lunch dates and trips to the gym. But for the last six months I’ve been busier than ever at work and as a result, I’ve seen my social life decline. I have been paying less attention to linking and instant messaging and more on meetings and conference calling. I’ve had to cancel more than a few lunch plans, and those last-minute shopping sprees are far and few between. Being busy at work is good for our business but bad for my friendships.
Which leads me to wonder – how does a working mom have the time to socialize, let alone network anymore? I feel squeezed every moment of my work week. If I’m not at work, I’m playing with my son. If I’m not playing, I’m running errands. This leaves little time for friends. And with the holidays upon me, I’m wondering how I can fulfill my social commitments of the offline and online kind.
The pressure to stay on top of your game at and outside work is immense. Say no to the company holiday party and you’re seen as a downer. Say yes and you have to do the holy-crap-I need-to-find-a-sitter-in-December shuffle just like everyone else. Haven’t joined Facebook yet? You might be the only one in the room. Aren’t on Twitter? Well, how then do you possibly keep up with your friends? All of these tools aim to ease the day-to-day maintenance of your social life, but I think they just add to the clutter. I mean, how can I possibly find a moment to update my online profiles when I don’t even have the time to call my best friend back?
I typically don’t have this issue during the end of the year. December is traditionally a slow month at work so it’s easy to fit in social commitments and while away the day surfing the internet. Oddly, though, this December, I’m finding myself faced with three looming deadlines and a business trip all before the middle of the month. What fun is the holiday season if you don’t even have time to run out to get your nails done a cherry red?
With a toddler at home and a husband working from dawn to dusk, I’ll be lucky to make it out of the house in something other than jeans in the next month. I’m going to keep holiday season 2007 simple. I will try to be selective about my engagements and when possible, I’m offering to host parties at my house so I don’t have to scramble at the last moment to find a sitter for my son. If I’m asked to get holiday cocktails after work, I’ll try to convince my peers that lunch dates are just as fun (even if the cocktail makes it harder to formulate that excel spreadsheet). Finally, I’m going to voluntarily opt out of all fancy New Year’s parties. That $100 I’ll save on a trendy “going out” top will be better spent on the multiple Starbucks I’ll need after staying up too late watching the ball drop on TV.
I didn’t say I’d be a total Scrooge.