I am a proud mom of five smart, beautiful, funny, crazy girls. I am a wife to an amazing husband who is my partner in this journey. And I am a full-time consultant managing projects and solving problems for my client. People always ask me “how do you do it all?” My response is almost always the same…. it’s my crazy. Everyone has their own crazy whether you are a full-time working mom with five kids, a single parent making a living, or an empty nester nearing retirement. We all adjust to our crazy…we have to.
I am very fortunate that working at SEI, I am part of a firm that values their people and knows that we are their biggest asset. I am also at a client that appreciates what I bring to the table – a positive attitude and, as a mother of five, the ability to bring some calm to their chaos. The structure and organization that I can bring to a client is not unlike those required to manage a household with five children. I have found that many of the PM skills that I utilize at my client translate well to my home life – and vice versa! The regular after dinner routine at home (pack snacks and lunches, put on pajamas, check homework, etc.) is not unlike the planning that I might do for a meeting at my client. And, the patience required to negotiate with a preschooler will prepare you for any type of negotiations you might encounter in the workplace!
After school pick up-duty most days consists of the family piling into the minivan and talking about our days. I like to focus on what was good and what we need to work on. And I love that my girls also ask how my day was -what did I do that was good? I describe what I do and how it translates to their day. I explain that I run meetings where we work together to solve problems. Sometimes, we draw on the whiteboard. I take notes. I explain that this is a lot like them going to class, teaming up with their classmates to complete their work and taking notes for us to review at night together. And, when they point out that I don’t need to study, I explain to them that in fact, I do. I need to learn about the systems that I am working on so that I can be prepared to help the team. I find that having the opportunity to share how hard I work and how passionate I am makes me a better mom.
Neither my home nor my work lives exist in a vacuum. Balancing them requires support from both sides. A recent life event helped me realize even more how very fortunate I am to be supported by not just my SEI family, but my client family as well. I was on a conference call at my client only to see my cell phone light up with the number from the school nurse’s office. School had just ended, so it was an odd time for a call. I learned that my second oldest had fallen off the slide and was complaining that her arm hurt. My manager at my client overheard the conversation, turned around and said “So you are going, right???” It wasn’t even a question, I knew that my client appreciated my work and had it covered. Several hours and an ambulance ride later, we found out that her arm was fractured and required surgery. The support I received from my family, friends and SEI coworkers allowed me to take a step back and be Mom, not worrying about anything else until I was ready.
Raising five girls and working a full-time job can be a challenge. I am privileged to work for a company that allows me to do work that I love, gives me the opportunity to grow professionally and still provides me a great work/life balance. I also appreciate the chance to show my girls that they can be successful if they work hard enough and dream big enough- whether that’s fractions, handwriting, basketball or project management.
Here’s to strong women – may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them!