Finding the Work Life Balance
On May 13, my life changed forever. My beautiful daughter, Addison Elizabeth, was born. I admit that I had no idea going into motherhood just how much my life would change or how much my heart would fill with love for her. Now as my maternity leave winds down, I am exceedingly grateful for the life I have, especially the ability to seek (and hopefully achieve) a work / life balance.
Throughout my maternity leave, I have tried to stay up-to-date on the happenings of my clients. (Some of whom didn’t even realize I was on maternity leave, I later found out.) But I also took time to take care of my newborn baby as well as myself. I realized that I would never have these first weeks back and while filling up my iCloud account with hundreds of photos of my baby, I sought to savor every moment.
As much as I love my daughter and being with her, I also love my career, especially working with my clients and co-workers at FFW. Staying involved, even part-time during my maternity leave, enabled me to maintain that part of my life which I also treasure. And I am extremely lucky to work for partners who are mothers themselves and support me as well as the other mothers in our firm. They allow us to work remotely as needed, provide us the tools to succeed and trust us as professionals to get the job done – however and wherever we best can do it. Not all workplaces are as supportive of working mothers or as understanding of the need for flexible schedules, and for that, I am truly grateful.
Now, as I prepare to go back to work full-time, I know it will be difficult in the beginning to not be home for every feeding or every giggle. And I pray that I don’t miss any of Addie’s “firsts.” But I also believe that becoming a mother has made me a better woman and a better professional. I have learned that you can achieve a balance – it’s hard and you have to work at it – but you can do it. For example, not every email has to be responded to in 2.2 seconds. Urgent matters should be responded to of course, but I have the knowledge and experience to know what is urgent and what isn’t – even in our 24/7, always connected world. And I also have come to learn how to disconnect – even if just for a few hours. That means, turning off (or at least putting on vibrate) the iPhone and focusing on my family first.
I think being able to achieve this balance allows me to have a better focus on my work when I am at work, and similarly a more attentive focus on my daughter and husband when I am at home. I know that my days are going to get crazier and it won’t go like clockwork, but my goal is to teach my daughter that you can pursue your dreams – for me, having both a family and a career that I love.