Guest post by Lyn Hoyt
Laura Schroeder, my new Project Social partner, is fascinated by work-life balance and was curious about how I manage it all. I wonder sometimes myself. Is work balance all about “bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan?”
I have 3 kids, a husband/business partner, I participate in social media, volunteer for my kids school, volunteer for my local SHRM chapter and design awards for corporate recognition as well as manage, market and assist in operations for my small ecommerce / manufacturing business. It’s a lot on my plate.
In fact writing this out in black and white kinda freaks me. I’m no super woman. We were late for art camp this AM.
My work-life balance is heavily reliant on time management and support from my husband. We are well matched with complimentary competencies, the numbers/MBA guy and the creative/marketing gal. Goal oriented, VERY flexible, love what we do, terribly independent. I’m trained as a graphic designer but Human Resources responsibilities fall on me as well as understanding the industry we sell in. My husband and I share everything, from home to warehouse.
It is all about running a business and raising a family.
If I had to sum it all up in one word it’d be FLEXIBILITY. You have to be ready to change course suddenly and laser focus on the task at hand. When I return a call or set a meeting, I work to make that time valuable to the people I engage. When hanging with my kids I want that time valuable as well. Compartmentalizing tasks, whether it is employee reviews, changing stock on a website, designing donor recognition awards, writing a blog post or doing laundry, I try to carve the time and give my best.
I have a home office, a staff of awesome craft-minded employees and some contracted web help. And I organize my time to chauffeur kids or be at our warehouse if necessary. Summer changes this dynamic remarkably with kids’ camps, and wifi at the pool, which sounds ideal but does not always work out as well as it sounds.
Take last Friday. I had some recognition event deadline that had to be attended to. It was the first week of the summer and we had yet to make it to the pool because “mommy is working.” Proof approvals had to be in by 1PM so the warehouse would have time to build and ship but I knew I could manage everything else pool-side if I needed to. Everyone was excited. I mixed some margarita, packed some snacks and we were off. Only to arrive and find the pool closed for 24 hours because some kid took a dump in the pool. Talk about a party pooper!
Maybe being real is the other component of work/life balance? It is sometimes beautifully ideal, other times terribly awkward when wanting to be available for my family. Technology makes it possible to keep long professional office hours for my nationally based customers and it’s sometimes hard to unplug. But, when I do it is a conscious effort. When I make mistakes I own them and learn from them. When we miss attending a friend’s birthday party because of a deadline I try to make that up.
I am NO housekeeper. And I hate to file. In fact, to many on the outside, things might seem chaotic. But, I am charged by the variety, my kid’s constant curiosity, my husband’s sense of adventure and our ever-dynamic work situation, my HR community and the customers I serve. And when I loose balance I pick up and try again, cooking bacon while standing on one leg.
Thanks Laura for allowing me to share my story. I look forward to more of your Project Social inspiration and your terrific writing.