Welcome back to My Full Life!
If you’re a new reader, My Full Life is a new series featuring working moms such as myself. My goal for this series is to ultimately gather together a tribe of women that my readers can go to for advice and feel they are not alone.
Today’s interview is with my dear friend Lauren, who I’ve been friends with since childhood. She’s an amazing mom, marketer for one of the largest cloud software companies in the world and has one of the most admirable positive attitudes I’ve ever seen. It’s no surprise we get along so well!
Tell me a little about yourself- what you do and what your family looks like.
I am Senior Marketing Manager at VMware. My husband Kyle and I have a little girl named Finley and a fur baby named Chief.
How did you get in your current role?
I am an advocate of transition roles every 2-3 years. You don’t necessarily have change companies but I found it one of most effective ways to grow.
What accomplishment are you most proud of professionally? What about as a parent?
This essentially a joint answer. I am most proud of my definition of success. I am not someone who has fully put my fate only evaluating success in threw the professional lens. For me, my definition is 50% professionally/50% personal. This includes being a mom, wife, sibling, friend, volunteer and contributing member of society.
Tell me a bit about what your work days look like. What do your routines look like?
Our routine is pretty consistent. Kyle takes the 5:00 am workout time, I wake up by 6:15 to get things ready, he is home by 6:45 which is just about the time Finley is waking up. We tag team it for about 30 minutes and then I leave at 7:20 for my 7:30 am boot camp while Kyle drops Finley at school and heads to work.
I am home by 8:30 and I start my work day till 5:00. I have pick-up duty of Finley at the end of day. Our evenings our toss-up sometimes depending on errands run, make a meal vs. going out to dinner, etc. But we are almost always home by 7:30 to get Finley down to bed.
What do your weekends look like?
They vary significantly. We are out of town usually once a month at least which to me is most relaxing time. Our other weeks are filled with a lot of friend time!
What has been your biggest struggle as a working mom? How have you overcome it?
Guilt, guilt and more guilt. I remind myself 1. it could always be worse (so many people are much harder circumstances) 2. I remind myself that so many women do this day in and day out. 3. I am setting a wonderful example for my daughter and 4. Surprisingly she gets it, she has never known anything different than this.
If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself as you were preparing to return to work?
It is okay to feel all the emotions you do but as with most things it will pass and you will be stronger because of it.
Work will take as much as you are willing to give. I mean that in context of working yourself ragged, evenings, weekend and putting self-inflicted pressure on yourself. Work will NEVER tell you to take it easy or take a break. You have to be the one to manage your boundaries. Now, don’t get me wrong I have worked in the evening on major projects but don’t make it habit. In fact, I try only to do a couple times a quarter.
Tell me your thoughts on balance. Do you think it truly exists? How do you make time for your family, career, relationships and yourself?
This ties in directly with my definition of success. One thing I did (that co-worker told me she does) is she disconnected her email from her phone. At first I was shocked (how could you, how will you survive, aren’t people looking for you?). But I decided to try it (after debating for weeks) and guess what NOBODY NOTICED. I don’t think anyone even knows and guess what I didn’t miss it and I don’t think anybody else did really (I mean really what can’t wait till morning unless you are saving lives?)