Balancing Work, Life, and Family (Part 2)

(Part 1 of my work-life balance story is here, and part 3 is here.)

As I evaluate how I use my time and my resources, I determine priorities based on roles that only I can fill. For example, if I have a client meeting in the evening and my daughter needs me to be at a mother/daughter event at the same time,  I can always send a staff member to the client meeting. But I’m the only person who can be my daughter’s mom, so being with her takes priority.  

I was a single mother for several years while raising my two sons. I realized that it was going to be important for me to have special time with them, so meals together were a priority. My mother always made home-cooked meals for our family, and I wanted to offer my sons the same tradition. Thankfully, I had a full-time nanny who assisted with picking them up from school, which made life a little easier for us all.  

I later remarried and had my daughter while I continued to work full-time. Our nanny remained with us, and having a husband to help carry the load was a blessing. Finding enough time to nourish my marriage, participate in my children’s activities, and care for my baby was not easy, but balancing it all became my mission.  Family dinners together were a must. We all sat together and enjoyed home-cooked meals—the slow cooker became my best friend.

At the dinner table, we talked about our days and used our time together to instill values and what my children refer to as “Mama’s life lessons.” I worked for World Vision for 7 years while my children were younger, and I am grateful to have had the privilege of working from home. I had the heavy responsibility of raising $1 million each year from my donors. That wasn’t easy, but I managed to meet and exceed my yearly goals while attending my children’s school events and still being a good wife, daughter, sister, and friend. It was more important for me to be a good wife and mother than a top producer at work. Yet I believe that, because I chose wisely, I was also able to experience success in my career.

Once I became an entrepreneur, I had the freedom to set my own schedule and work at my own pace. I worked long hours, but I always made time to be there for my children—and family dinners remained a top priority. I woke up an hour early each day to allow myself 30 minutes of quiet time for prayer and meditation. I also squeezed in a 30-minute workout so I could maintain a sense of wellness. I found that making my children’s school lunches the night before was a good way to get a jump start on the day. I embraced time management skills that helped me make the best use of my time.

As a business owner, it was up to me to deliver excellent customer service without compromising my family values in the process.  As the years passed, I built a strong team of staff members who embraced our culture of excellence and who helped carry the workload. This allowed me the flexibility to prioritize my faith and family.  I have always encouraged my staff members to put family first, and I want to lead by example.

I believe in the saying “From she to whom much has been given, much will be required.” In my business, I strive to put people above profit. I want my staff to feel valued and supported, rather than pushed to limits that strain their personal well-being.

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash