Magic Does Exist :: Work-Life Balance
As we enter into the new school year, I am acutely aware of my ability to support my kids in a way that I was not able to previously as a working mom. As a full-time businesswoman, I’ve always had to juggle home life and work life, and up until about two years ago, I dreaded the constant battle between priorities. The struggle caused stress and mom-guilt galore. I didn’t realize how much control I had in doing something about my career when it came to prioritizing my family.
I have two kiddos, ages ten and seven, and they have attended two different schools for several years now. Their summer schedules did not grace my husband and me with the luxury of having both kids in the same place at the same time, either. Combine those logistical realities with the infamous summertime sneezes and illnesses and extracurriculars, and it’s fair to say that life has been chaotic at its best.
But for the past two years, the chaos has been more than manageable, and I’ve learned that I can be both a working, driven leader, and a supportive, present mom.
The turning point for me came when I was Louisiana’s head of operations for a national, well-known furniture company. Working for a for-profit retailer as the executive go-to person of a 7-day a week, 16-hours a day operation, I was never on “off” mode. I was not able to be there for my dad when he fell ill during Covid, I missed my daughter’s Pre-K graduation, was constantly too exhausted to be present for my spouse, and I grew distant from my family. I was desperate for change, but I knew I could not simply walkout. I cried on my way to work in the mornings, shed tears on the way home after grueling 12-14 hour days, and my mind was imprisoned to my job when I wasn’t in the office. Miserable doesn’t begin to describe how I felt, and I became someone that I didn’t recognize. Yes, I needed a paycheck, as we are a dual-income family. Yes, I had a wonderful, supportive husband that picked up my slack when I couldn’t be there with the kids. But I never identified myself as a worker first, then a mom. I’m a mom first. Then everything else.
After many chats with my spouse and family about my desire for a change, I did my homework and sought purposeful employment. And I realized that magic DOES exist. I did not seek the highest paying, most powerful position to feed my ego, I instead sought out an employer who was mission-driven to improve lives. Surely these companies would understand that my life mattered too. I found a handful of employers with excellent employee reviews when I looked on reputable recruiting sites like Indeed.com and LinkedIn.com. Ultimately, I found that Woman’s Hospital was the organization that I wanted to plant my employment roots in, and I waited for a position opening that fit my skillsets. It’s been love at first sight ever since.
Why “love at first sight” you ask?
Several reasons that are on top of the list for me as a working mom:
- The organization’s mission is to improve the lives of women and children. I was born at Woman’s Hospital 40 years ago and had my daughter there 7 years ago. I’ve been on the other side of receiving the services that Woman’s offers. But it doesn’t stop there. Woman’s is filled with working moms, and who better to understand what your needs are than other working moms?
- The average tenure is ten years. That says something! It means I will be valued, appreciated, and invested in – all of which I can now say are true.
- There has not been a single event in my child’s life that I haven’t been able to attend. I was able to chaperone my daughter’s field trip, attend her doctor’s appointments, be the hero mommy when she was hit in the head with a rock at school and needed to come home, and be there for her school plays and award ceremonies. Even some work events include my family, which cannot be said for every workplace.
Almost two years later, I have not regretted my career change a single time. While newer to the healthcare field, my mommy-heart is so full knowing that I made a life-decision that put my children and family first.
Hopefully someone out there can be encouraged by this. If you’ve reached your breaking point and have that mommy-guilt, consider taking a leap of faith.
Do your homework in researching what organization could be the best fit for you and your lifestyle and family needs. You won’t regret it!