Mom Talk: Life of a working mountain mom in South Lake Tahoe
As a working parent with two young children, I get asked a lot about my decision to work full time.
To give context, I think some people figure that we live in a resort destination so that we can play here, not necessarily work here. I get asked if it was a choice to go back to work after having a baby (it was), if I miss my kids when I’m in the office (of course) and how I manage it all (with a lot of help and coordination).
The good news is that I feel fortunate to love the work that I do. I am especially lucky to have a fulfilling job in a resort town — I don’t take it for granted and understand the struggles that many have when it comes to making it work here. For me, working full time allows me to help contribute to our family, enjoy the recreational opportunities Tahoe has to offer, and I also get time to stretch my mind while interacting with adults.
Similarly, I feel that our boys benefit from having time away from us. They go to preschool part time which allows them to learn, socialize and adjust. We are also lucky to have family in town who help watch them. I love that the boys get to bond with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins when they’re not with us.
But let me be clear, spending time away from them five days a week is not easy. There are many days where I fear I will miss out on the big milestones or just the little nuances. It’s also hard to put them out in the world, where they may learn bad habits and will most certainly contract the latest flu bug. And yet, how lucky are they to grow up in the great outdoors? They get to live a lifestyle that far surpasses what most kids ever hope to experience.
I know the pros far outweigh the cons. And while they play, I hope we instill the right lessons, so that they grow up to value education and have a strong work ethic. And maybe, if we’re lucky, they can come back to Tahoe, to work and raise their families here too.
As I hinted above, I understand that most of us work to live here, not the other way around. That being said, I feel like it’s an exciting time to work and raise a family in Tahoe. There is a resurgence of new families planting their roots here … so much so that the student overflow is prompting the re-opening of the Al Tahoe elementary school (super exciting!).
There are legacy businesses transitioning to younger family members or new owners. There is new leadership, many with young children who plan to grow up here. There is a new wave of families who are working remotely so they can enjoy the lifestyle that Tahoe has to offer.
And most importantly, there is a surge of new investment into this community, which has put the spotlight back on the importance of building full-time, quality jobs. This is great news and brings a new perspective to what it means to work and play here.
I would love to see Tahoe evolve to be a place that cultivates more great jobs, so that our residents can truly enjoy living in such a beautiful place. Is working in Tahoe always easy? No. Would we rather be outside skiing all day? Heck yes! But I am optimistic for the future and I’m glad I get to be a part of the working class striving to see the change unfold.
And most importantly, I’m thrilled our children get to reap the benefits of the progress that we’re making.
Natasha Schue is a mom of two boys, wife and a full-time working, young professional. You can read more about her family adventures on her blog schuelove.com or follow her on Instagram @schuelove. You can send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.