The biggest challenge for many, if not most, mothers, is the pesky fact of only so many hours in a day. When you add a full-time job on top of the full-time job of parenting, those hours seem to easily disappear.
For Kelly Shewbert, owner of Heaven Scent Cafe and Baked Goods, daycare was not an option when her three daughters were little. A single mom, she didn't like the idea of them being raised by someone else. So for her, her business was a "gift from the Lord."
"It was a blessing to be able to work out of my home and support my girls," she says.
Before she formally set up shop at her 28104 S.E. Wally Road location in Boring, Shewbert baked in her personal kitchen for 22 years.
"That's how I raised my girls," she says.
For years, while her daughters were growing up, Shewbert took her goods to the Gresham Farmers Market.
"I'd set up my table with all of my baked goods and they'd build a fort under the table," she explains. "They kind of were raised at the market and with me baking out of my home."
Her high school-aged daughter, Jessica, helps at the bakery still, and Shewbert's maternal qualities extend now to her regular customers. Some days people will come in and ask "Can I get a hot chocolate and a prayer?"
"We love on people."
For this Mother's Day, on Sunday, May 14, Shewbert looks forward to time with all of her daughters.
"My favorite thing is for them to take me out to breakfast and maybe a pedicure, and maybe somewhere sunny if it's raining here," she explains. "I love just being with them because they're at the ages now where they're so busy that they're not around much."
Having a ball
Sandy Transit Director Andi Howell is no stranger to a hectic schedule. When she's not working on schedules for Sandy Area Metro (SAM), she's busy planning with her family.
"(The hard part) is trying to get them where they need to be after school," she admits. "I have made career choices that have allowed me to balance my work and home lives."
Howell has worked for the city of Sandy for four years, and before that she worked for the state government.
Even though it is demanding at times, her job with transit has always accommodated her family life.
"I will say that one of the benefits of working here is that I've always been able to balance, because the work and life and kids become one," Howell explains. "It's nice to have a career that allows you to make room for your kids."
Howell notes that her husband is a great partner in keeping their daily lives running smoothly.
"I'm lucky enough that my husband is an elementary teacher, so his schedule and their schedules match," she says.
With her position, she likes being involved as part of the community, and fortunately so do her son and two daughters.
"My kids love that I work for SAM," Howell adds. "It helps that I work in the community we live in, and my kids do want to go to some of the things (I'm involved with)."
The tradeoff is that Howell will spend Mother's Day with her family at her son's baseball tournament.
Her ideal Mother's Day after the commotion of the work week would be to sleep in, but she also loves time with her family, and admits that "Being at baseball is pretty fun."
Busy is happy
When people ask how Welches School Principal Kendra Payne balances managing an entire school of children all day and being a mom of two boys, she replies: "That's always the question."
Payne has been principal for five years, and has worked in the district as an educator since 2002. In that time, she and her husband have learned a lot about collaboration and scheduling.
"We do a lot of scheduling ahead of time," she explains. "A lot of communicating.
"My husband does a lot to help," she adds, and she also on occasion asks for help from staff, working with her fellow educators and parents as a team to allow them all to strike a balance.
"There are a lot of challenges to being a working mother," Payne admits.
Both of her sons play baseball, basketball and soccer, and they all love to camp, hike and ski together.
Her typical Mother's Day is its own game of striking a balance.
"I usually like to spend some time with my mom who lives in Portland and some time with my boys," she explains. "I think (my ideal Mother's Day) would be spending time at home. Maybe breakfast in bed, time to read the paper leisurely and to get out in the garden. Just kind of a nice, slow, regular day at home."
This year though, she looks forward to possibly hosting a family event at her house.
"I think all mothers just try to seek balance in their life — between work and the house," Payne adds. "I don't know if we've found it for us, but we have a happy, busy life."