Moms Make it Work: Becca from Minnesota

Our next post is from Becca (beccacali on Instagram), who is Erin's sister-in-law. Erin knew Becca would be perfect for this post and I loved hearing from a fellow healthcare mama with a part time schedule! Also our first mom with three kids---she makes it look so easy, doesn't she? ;)


Hello! You are reading this post because you are a mom, or interested in moms, or randomly ended up here by accident. Welcome. My sister-in-law, Erin (It's All Happening!) told me about Julia's idea for this blog series. I was excited and a bit apprehensive to do a guest post. After all, why would anyone care what my experience has been? But then I sat back and thought about all the blogs I have searched out in my short tenure as a mom and realized the answer is many! We're all looking for guidance, advice, support, and someone to make us feel like we're not quite as alone as we thought. I used to blog, but don't anymore - you can follow me at beccacali on instagram though!

What is your background story? What was your career/schooling before you became a mom? And now where are you?

My name is Becca. I grew up in a southern suburb of Minneapolis in a wonderfully loving and crazy family of 7. I am the oldest of five kids, and play my part well, if I do say so myself. I went to St. Olaf College and graduated with a nursing degree. I am 33 years old and married to Joe, a guy who keeps me sane, makes me laugh, loves me despite imperfections, and gave me three beautiful children – Grace, Sam (3 years old), and Elizabeth (8 months).

Before Mass

I am a labor and delivery nurse, and can't imagine doing anything else. Ever. My first nursing job was in labor and delivery at a high-risk, high-volume women's hospital in San Diego. We did close to 8,000 births a year. It was a baby assembly line! I loved everything about that first job. It took very little time to realize this is exactly the plan God had for me. I felt a deep calling to not only be working with laboring women, but also the group of nurses who worked there. To this day I am so very grateful for the opportunity to have worked beside each of them. I learned so much and formed amazing friendships.

Joe and I now live back in Minnesota, in a northern suburb of Minneapolis. I work at a low-risk hospital that encourages a holistic approach to medicine. It's very different from the high risk care I was used to, but it's proved to be challenging enough in different ways. Plus, I adore my colleagues. I am working with a group of women (and a couple dudes) who are in the same phase of life. It's wonderful to be able to relate to my co-workers not only about the job we do but about life as well. We are a great team, and I am proud to be a part of it. I work part-time 12 hour nights, which may sound horrible, but is perfect for me. I am NOT a morning person, so being awake all night and getting to sleep all day suits me just fine.



What are the best parts of your situation? What are the biggest challenges?

Nurses schedules are fantastic. I think that's one of the best parts of our situation. I do have set shifts, but working some weekends means I have weekdays off. Right now, I'm working just under part time, so I work three 12 hour shifts every two weeks. Pretty dreamy. I have a couple long stretches off, which is nice for the kids (and me), then I work three in a row. By the time my stretch off is done I'm usually ready to go to work and do something a little different. Joe (also an RN) works at a different hospital as a clinical liaison for an acute rehab unit. He has a more traditional schedule (M-F), but still has a decent amount of flexibility.

I think the biggest challenge with my work schedule is my weekend shifts. Since Joe works M-F, we will often try to see family or plan activities over the weekends. I invariably end up having to work on a weekend we are trying to do fun things. Not a huge deal, but it's an annoyance. The plus side is that I always work with the same crew on the weekends and I LOVE my crew.


Is this how you expected it to be pre-kids?

I always pictured kind of a mad house of kids. You know the movie “Return To Me” with Minnie Driver? Well, Bonnie Hunt's character has a bunch of kids and they're all wild and nuts and her husband is a goof and exasperating but loves her so much. Yeah, that's pretty much what I expected to have. Dreams have become a reality, and I love so many things about our chaotic, crazy household. The other day, I had a couple friends over for a play date (another perk to working part time), and one of my friends mentioned several times how “laid back and calm” I was. Loud toys, screaming kids (with glee), running up and down stairs....all pretty much part of my day. What's five more kids?!

Sam and Grace

Grace and Sam eating cupcakes

Pre-kids I thought a lot about what our family would look like. I could always picture having a few kids. Growing up with four siblings gave me a love of bigger families. I love the richness of a house full of noise and life. Sure, it comes along with extra responsibility and expenses and sleepless nights...but it's also guaranteed to make you happy in a way you never knew existed. I think especially since our road to parenthood was not easy, I've come to appreciate what we have. When I finally got pregnant (with the help of clomid) with Grace and Sam, we found out we were expecting triplets! At 24 weeks, Baby C (Ian) was diagnosed with absent end diastolic flow. There was risk of losing him during the pregnancy, but we opted to wait for delivery since there were two other babies who would be put at great risk with a preterm delivery. We were devastated to learn at 29.5 weeks that Ian's heart had stopped beating. Grace and Sam both had indicators that it was time to be delivered, so that day our children were born. Grace and Sam spent two and three months in the NICU. This time in our lives brought Joe and I even closer together. I also felt God's presence in our lives in an incredible way. Although I don't wish this experience on anyone, the knowledge that so many people are praying for you makes you feel a love and connection that is kind of unexplainable. And oh does God work in mysterious ways. Because as the kids approached their 2nd birthday, Joe and I started talking about MAYBE having another baby. A month later, I found out I was pregnant! Elizabeth was born this past May, and our wild household feels very complete. :)

Williams Family


Is this your ideal situation? If not, what is?

Yes. Plain and simple. Joe and I are both doing something we love. We are very fulfilled by our jobs. I get to do something I love AND spend lots of time with my kids, which is what I wanted to do. It was never a question that I would work part time. I knew the flexibility of a nurses schedule would allow me to work part time while my kids were young, and then work more once they are in school. I feel very fortunate that working part time works for our family right now. It would definitely be nicer to have a bit more in the bank account, but I think we're making things work, and the time I get to spend with the kids is great. 


Do you see yourself making a career change (whatever that means) in the next 5-10 years, or is this current set up staying put for the long haul?

Nope. I am in this. Forever. Haha! I love what I do!! It doesn't matter if I'm crabby or in a bad mood, when I hit the unit, I'm instantly cheered up. It makes me happy to be there. The only career change I would entertain would be to go back into management. But I don't see that happening in the next 5-10 years. I'd love to get the kids through school, then maybe make a change. 


Tips on how you make this work for you?

Communication. Communication. Communication. Joe and I talk about EVERYTHING. And I mean everything. Stupid little things, big important things. What we had for lunch. What we're thinking of doing at the gym tomorrow. Talking about the little things makes talking about the bigs things SO much easier, because you've already established a rhythm. That and good stiff drink every now and then. ;)



How do you handle mommy guilt that comes with each role?

I'm pretty laid back, so I don't think I've ever really felt a ton of guilt in either role. I love going to work, and don't feel bad dropping the kids off at daycare (two doors down! In home! They love it!) while I sleep, or working on the weekends when they get to hang out with Joe all to themselves. I mostly feel guilty about the little things – being impatient, running the kids around town for things I want to get done, cleaning instead of playing with them. I've been trying to remember that a 5 minute investment of my time into doing something like playing dress up or reading a book goes oh so very far in their eyes. The return on that investment is huge. 



Advice for new moms struggling with returning to work outside of the home? Or struggling to decide if staying home is the right choice?

Just do it. Go back to work, if that has been your plan. You don't know how difficult or easy it will be until you actually do it. Sure, I was sad to leave my kids, and especially our last baby, just knowing it was the last time I'd be off work with a newborn. But then I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had missed my job and my co-workers. Plus, even if you end up trying it and it doesn't work out for you, your kids have seen you try. And you have an experience to teach them something. I think it's really important for our kids to see us try things and fail. Or try and succeed! Talking to them about how hard a task is, then explaining what you did to overcome it. I think one of the ways moms can be really down on themselves these days is when they're trying to be perfect and then fail to meet their own expectation of perfect. You don't need the latest gadget, the most expensive stroller, or the best decorated nursery. You need two arms to squeeze those kids tight, and the words “I love you” to roll off your tongue a hundred times a day. I can't tell you what brand of clothes I had when I was a kid, but I sure as hell can tell you that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my mom loves me.

Being a mom is a tough gig. No one said it would be easy and painless. But the beauty of motherhood is that you are not alone. You are part of a network of women who have done this job in so many different ways, and with so many different resources. No one way is right, and what you do is rarely wrong or harmful. Find what works for you. Communicate with your partner. Find time for yourself. Take a bath during nap time instead of cleaning the kitchen. You will thank yourself for it. Your kids will thank you. Pat yourself on the back. And go kiss your babies. 



  1. Love the advice about communicating even with the small stuff. My hubby and I get into a rut of thinking our day to day is pretty boring, but it's what fills ours days, so sometimes we find ourselves without much to talk about. We've had to put in a conscious effort to keep talking, because a lot of time even the "boring" stuff helps us feel closer! Congrats on finding such a great work-life balance!

  2. Becca does make it look easy! A perfect example of a laid-back mom who knows what's important :) Great post, SIL :)

  3. This was awesome Becca! I don't know you, but I've heard some things about your journey through Erin and I know you've had some tough stretches. You would have never known this reading this post and that is amazing! It's so refreshing to see someone that loves their job so much and I love, love, love the quote about wanting more in the bank account, but loving the time you're spending with the kids. Also, the point about not worrying about the latest gadget or the clothes, etc. just remembering to love your kids! Such a great post, you are an inspiration!!

  4. So lovely. Your enthusiasm and positivitiy is refreshing. :)

  5. Great post. I am also a nurse that works part-time (2 -12 hr shifts/wk) am love it. I think it is a great balance. The only thing I do not like is working weekend days and the commute! It is so great to know that if we wanted to go full time again it is not a problem. Being a nurse to me is just as much part of me as being a mom. There is no way I could just not work! Love that you love it too!

  6. Amazing perspective from another hard working mama! Great post!

  7. Ugh, was just re-reading this again and realized I put in a picture twice - so that was my fault, not Becca's :)

  8. I loved this so much, Becca. Your attitude of well yeah, it's crazy and tiring and expensive but oh so full of joy is awesome and one I fully agree with and find myself conveying to people often.

    I knew the twins had been born early but I didn't know there was a third in there, wow. What a journey for you guys. You have a beautiful little family there!

    Great post!!

  9. Beautiful! You are so blessed to have found a job you love so much. And one that works so well with having a family! I sort of know your story b/c I follow Erin's blog and its great to see how well your children are all doing! Thanks for sharing :)

  10. I totally agree that it would be nice to have more money in the bank, but that doesn't make up for the time with family. Love that you have a good balance of working and family.

  11. I love your positive attitude, Becca! You amaze me.


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