1. What do you do here at HCSS? How long have you been here, and how long have you been here as a mom?
I’m a User Experience Designer for HCSS Mobile, occasionally contributing to Safety and HeavyJob Web. I’ve been with HCSS for 12 years, and I’m a mom to a 5-year-old and 2-year old girls.
2. What does “Work-Life Balance” mean to you? Does it really exist or is it more of just a buzzword?
Before being a mom, I didn’t really think about work-life balance, i.e., work-life and home-life overlapped all the time. I like being productive, regardless if it’s personal or business, so I never made a clear separation between the two.
After becoming a mom, it was still natural to let the two worlds overlap. However, it has become increasingly more important for me to create a clear separation. I didn’t like being distracted from my conversations with my kids or not pay attention to a new soccer move my oldest learned.
“Work-life balance” to me now means when I’m with my family, they have my full attention, and work-related thoughts take a backseat. It also means scheduling personal time for myself to decompress mentally, which usually includes physical fitness. It took me while to learn, but for me to be present for my family as well as do my work well, it finally sunk in that I need to make time to take care of myself.
3. What diverse skills do you think that parents (both moms and dads!) can bring to the table in the work environment?
Empathy. Communication. Patience. To understand our kids’ perspective, we empathize with them just as we empathize with our customers to solve their business problems. We learn how to communicate with our kids at their level just as we find a sweet spot to communicate with our customers and colleagues. We especially learn how to strengthen our patience as our kids frequently test them, and we find value in using that patience towards handling high-stress or frustrating situations at the workplace.
4. Do you ever seek parenting advice from other parents here at HCSS? If so, what was something helpful you learned?
All the time! I love hearing and sharing parenting stories because I learn so much from the other parents as well as feel solace that I’m not the only one going through the same issues. The most helpful advice I’ve received is the value of sleep. I used to constantly run on empty and power through any task to remain productive. Once I became a mom, I find myself always ensuring my kids get as much rest as possible. They retain more knowledge and absorb more information; they’re less temperamental, more patient, and happier. Yet I continued to deprive myself of it. It hit me that I should be pushing myself to get as much rest as possible for the same reasons I push my kids to get it.
5. What do you consider your biggest success(es) as a working parent?
Being able to show my kids that it’s possible to find a career they love as well as be a parent. It’s definitely a lot of work balancing the two, but I make an effort to show them every day how rewarding it can be.
6. How do you measure success as a working parent?
I feel it’s successful if I can add value through my work at the office (e.g., resolving a business problem, implementing new ideas, collaborating well on a project, etc.), be able to provide a nice meal for my kids, run through their evening routine with fun and laughter, and making the time to be present for all my kids’ activities.
7. Any advice you have for the new or future parents here at HCSS?
When you’re with your kids, stay off your phone. There will be time to catch up on e-mails, news, games, etc. later. It’s a tough habit to break, and admittedly, I am continually being more conscious of this. It helps to have someone keep me accountable for it.
The speed the kids grow up is incredible, and every moment deserves your full attention.