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Busy working mother makes it work for husband, daughters

Brittany Rodman, of Harmony, juggles working full time from home and spending quality time with her two daughters Emmalina, 8 months and Audrianna, 2 on Friday morning. Shane Potter/Butler Eagle

Teamwork is the keyword for a local young mother, who juggles a new house, her two young daughters and a marriage each and every day.

Brittany Rodman, 30, of Harmony, faces the daily challenges of being a working mom alongside her dedicated husband, Tim, who helps care for the couple’s two little girls, Audrianna, 2, and Emmalina, 8 months old.

Brittany works from home full-time as a remote print production coordinator and project manager for ValPak, a direct-mail marketing service located in Florida.

“One of my biggest challenges is just finding enough time for everything. We share the household duties equally, but things like laundry and cleaning are always behind,” Brittany said.

She credits Tim for exceeding her expectations regarding partnering, support and sharing tasks as they pursue their busy lives.

“He is what every partner should be like,” Brittany said.

Tim said it wasn’t until his wife decided to return to work that he realized she maintained the smooth operation of the household.

“I realized I needed to pick up the slack after watching her struggling to stay awake while working,” he said. “These are both our children.”

Brittany said it has been a challenge to squeeze in quality time with the girls, but the couple makes it a priority.

“Time as a couple is also important, but is reserved for after the girls go to sleep or the occasional date night,” she said.

Brittany said her decision to return to work was not taken lightly.

The immediate challenge was finding reliable child care, as waiting lists were full and no slots were available.

The couple began the search for a nanny, but found reliability is difficult to come by.

The Rodmans say they were lucky to find the perfect nanny, who cares for the girls at their home three days per week.

“She’s great,” said Brittany. “She’s a certified teacher and teaches the kids so much.”

She said one of the things she struggled to find time for was helping the girls with the skills they would need to reach developmental milestones.

“Our daughters have really benefited from the care our nanny gives,” Brittany said. “We are very fortunate.”

Tim said the couple explored the idea of Brittany being a stay-at-home mom and his income providing for the family.

“What it did was really separate us from one another,” he said. “I had never been more disengaged with my daughters and Brittany was losing ‘hirable’ work experience by staying at home.”

The couple also found themselves facing discrimination because of their decision to continue pursuing their careers after they had the girls.

“You’re judged by people who think moms should stay home,” Brittany said. “They say things about letting someone else raise your kids.”

Today, the scrutiny isn’t specific to just motherhood, she said.

“My husband has also faced challenges in the workplace after having kids,” Brittany said. “There was a sudden fear, for both of us, that we would no longer be able to dedicate everything we have to our work.”

Brittany doubts she would be able to work full-time unless the work was at least partially remote.

She credits her employer for being a family-oriented company that understands the challenges faced by parents of young children.

“I am so thankful to my current employer that does understand my kids come first,” Brittany said. “They know I am a hard worker, and I will always make sure my job is done, even if I have to step away to take care of a sick baby.”

Looking ahead

While the Rodmans think conditions have improved in the last 30 years for the working mom, they still harbor concerns for the future.

“There are more flexible options out there, like remote or hybrid work. This provides the crazy schedule a little bit of breathing room,” Brittany said. “Not everyone has that opportunity. Not all employers embrace the ‘family first’ mindset. We’d all be better off if they did.”

She said even with flexibility, working full time remains a challenge because the 40-hour, five-day workweek was modeled on one parent working full time, and one staying at home to care for the children.

“So, it can feel impossible because it is impossible,” Brittany said.

She advises working moms not to ignore self care as they maneuver the complications of their individual roles.

“My husband makes sure that I get the time for myself that I need,” Brittany said. “We are very equal, and all loads are divided.”

She said the couple work to remain cognizant of one another’s needs.

“We even give each other a sleep-in-day every weekend,” said Brittany.

Tim said his sense of indebtedness and appreciation for Brittany grows stronger every day, as he recognizes the sacrifices she has made to ensure their busy household works.

Brittany Rodman takes time away from working at home to spend some quality time with her two daughters Emmalina, 8 months and Audrianna, 2 on Friday morning. Shane Potter/Butler Eagle

“It fuels me to want to be an equal partner,” Tim said. “Her validation that she believes I hold equal weight makes it 100% worth it and not just a perception in my head.”

Others factor into the success of the Rodmans’ system, including Brittany’s mom, Robin Miller Handlovic.

“My mom takes time once a week to help out and will babysit for date night,” Brittany said. “She is such a huge help.”

She said Tim’s family also helps out with the girls when they can.

The Rodman family, which also includes two cats and a dog, will continue to move forward both as parents and professionals as they figure out the best process for themselves and their daughters.

“We have our nanny. We have each other,” Brittany said. “Our village is small, but it works.”

Brittany Rodman takes time away from working at home to spend some quality time with her two daughters Emmalina, 8 months and Audrianna, 2 on Friday morning. Shane Potter/Butler Eagle
Brittany Rodman takes time away from working at home to spend some quality time with her two daughters Emmalina, 8 months and Audrianna Rodman, 2 on Friday morning. Shane Potter/Butler Eagle

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