In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked a few Vistaprint moms about how they find a positive work/life balance, and what advice they might have for other moms (and dads!). Here is what they had to say:
Kelli Connors (Manager Planning & Strategy, North America Marketing), Mother of Three, Pictured Below
A few months ago, I rushed my 5-year-old son into a bagel shop to grab a quick breakfast before school. While waiting in line, I typed furiously on my Blackberry, oblivious to my surroundings. My son tugged on my shirt and said, “Doesn’t that smell good?” I had no idea what he was talking about and asked him what he meant. He replied, “Mommy, if you look up from your phone and pay attention, you’ll smell the yummy bagels.” I realized immediately that I was missing an opportunity to share an experience with my son. However minor, it was together time and I should have been enjoying the moment, not typing. Though finding work/life harmony is a never-ending struggle, and I always feel like I’m rushing from business meetings to soccer games, I now make time to stop and smell the bagels whenever I can.
Alex Taylor (Senior Administrative Assistant/Project Coordinator), Mother of One
For me at least, I don’t think there is really such a thing as a work/life “harmony,” because both aspects are always changing and growing! Whenever you think you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll have three work projects coming to a head at the same time someone at home gets chicken pox or cuts a tooth and the washing machine floods the kitchen, then your car breaks down. Once you finally get to work, you realize the cat has somehow left you a little gift in your handbag and the WebEx information to your early morning meeting has Cheerios stuck to it. Once you deal with all that, another challenge comes along, guaranteeing that you’ll never have a dull day again. It’s called life and I wouldn’t have it any other way! That being said, if anyone knows of a plumber that has had chicken pox and wants a cat, do let me know.
Diane Swint (Senior Director North America HR), Mother of Three, Kids Pictured Below
I love my family AND I love my job AND my house is a mess. And for me, that is OK. I have three children (ages 7, 5 and 3), my husband and I work full-time, he goes to school part-time and we have no family closer than a 13-hour car trip away. Some days are less graceful than others, but I adore our chaotic and nutty life. After my son was born, I got used to unfolded laundry, toys scattered across the carpet and, at times, a fairly large stack of unopened mail. I know I can’t have it all, so the house gets the short end of the stick (sorry, Mom). Most nights our kitchen is loud and full of silly stories of our zany days, there are probably a few dirty dishes too, but we usually spend the last hour before bed playing monsters — it is so much more fun than cleaning up.
Trynka Shineman (Chief Customer Officer and President of Vistaprint North America), Mother of Three, Kids Pictured Below
There are days I come in really early. There are days I work really late. But I know I am out of balance when I am coming in early and staying late. When I’m not traveling, I make sure that I have at least one meal a day with my kids (breakfast, or dinner).
Nancy Brown (Associate Director, Quality Assurance), Mother of Two
Being a working mom really isn’t the same as “having it all.” I had two sons and a career, but I didn’t have time. There was no time to sleep, to meet with friends, to read a book and at the beginning, hardly enough time to take a shower! But as my boys have grown older, I’ve found that making deliberate choices is critical. I made time to go to their school functions, I made time to go to their baseball games and I’m glad that I made those choices. Now that they are both in college, I’m finding I have a lot more time, but I’m also happy for the summers when they are both back home.