MOM Series: Doing the Motherly Thing. A Tale of Work-Life Balance0
Our Mom Series has returned for 2019! This entry explores balancing work and education with motherhood as well as the importance of asking for help.
As a mother of two, Britney Morales is always on the move. Her daughter Aubri, 9, and son Oscar, 5, are involved in activities ranging from community events to soccer. After a decade of balancing work, school, and motherhood, she is now thoroughly enjoying her life as a working mom.
“The Last 10 years have been about school and working. Now I’m transitioning so that I have more time to be a mom on my terms,” said Morales. “The jobs I have can be as I want them. I don’t work after 5 or 6 p.m. now and am learning to say no so that I can just be mom.”
Aside from being a mom, Morales has several professional roles. As an internal investigator for the State of Michigan, she handles concerns of child abuse within the foster care network. She also aids individuals with impairments at Kalamazoo Covenant Academy and serves as a part-time professor of social work during the fall at Western Michigan University.
Initially Morales was not sure of what her future would hold after high school.
“In high school I struggled with making positive choices. I was hanging with the wrong people and experiencing peer pressure,” she recalled. “I used to think I would just graduate and go to work. The Kalamazoo Promise changed my outlook and I went to college and have a very different life.”
This shift in outlook allowed Morales to not only find her calling in social work, but also encouraged her to help students that were once like her. She attributes a lot of credit to The Promise for helping her get where she is today and is thankful for her opportunities.
“I am forever indebted to the donors of The Promise. There are no words to explain it because it is so life changing. I regularly text The Promise staff to try and volunteer to give back,” said Morales.
With all of her responsibilities, Morales has come to recognize the importance of proper self-care and a support system.
When asked what helped her in her day-to-day life, Morales responded, “I started working out 4-5 times per week and see a trainer named Carmen James. This is helping with anxiety that came during school. Exercise makes me feel good. I also have a great support system. My husband, mom, and mother-in-law are my cheerleaders.”
Morales acknowledges how difficult her road would be without her support system backing her up.
“Aubri was born when I was a sophomore at Michigan State University and it was really hard. Remember, moms are equipped to do motherly things, go to school, and have a career, but not without help,” Morales continued. “You have to ask for help and create support systems. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Surround yourself with positive people. Don’t feel guilty about taking me-time. You have to take a mental health break in order to be a good mom.”
For Morales, family is the focus, and she works hard to ensure that nothing will interfere with her commitment. That is why she makes a point of keeping the proper balance between work and home life.
“I communicate to my employers that my kids are number one. I will need time off to do what I need for my kids. I’m not ashamed to share that this is how I roll. We have multiple roles. It should not interfere with my work role. I will do a great job, but I will also take care of my kids.”
As time has gone on, Morales has learned to find balance between her roles as a mother and a professional. With a loving support system, she looks forward to the next steps in her family’s journey.