Historians have their own observations about life BC and life AC, and I have my own version as a strategic planner in advertising. Ad life BC and AC – that’s before children and after children, in case you’re wondering.
Ahhh…Ad life BC…total freedom at my disposal, working late into the wee hours on a new business pitch or client deadline, going out after work with childless co-workers for drinks, and living it up. Fast-forward to Ad life AC, and most of my time is spent like a mouse running endlessly on a wheel, balancing multiple projects and needs. No small feat for sure, but one that I have taken on and determined to be the best at. I have always been a dedicated, hard-working professional, but after children, I have had to change my style and redefine my goals and path to success. Although children do change you, I am still me, but I am a different version of myself. Being a mom in an environment where the majority are young and restless, has had its challenges. But challenge is my middle name. I say bring it on!
Ad life is notoriously known for its grueling hours, constant meetings, client presentations, tight deadlines, and high demands. Ironically, mom life is known for many of the same things. We’ve got the grueling hours, 24/7 as a matter of fact, the countless meetings in the form of afterschool activities and special presentations like birthday celebrations, holiday performances, and so on. The deadlines are ever present, with school letting out at 2:23 (why not 2:30?), swim practice, piano practice, homework, mealtime, bathtime, etc. And the demands, well the demands come in all shapes and sizes at every hour of the day and night, so no arguing there.
The question is, can you be a hands on mom AND have a great advertising career? I think so. I’ve learned to prioritize and be much more efficient with my time. Technology and the rise of resources is changing the traditional model of 9-5 in the office, plus it helps that the discipline I work in allows for ample solo work. Finally, having a husband that wants to be very hands on too and working for a company that has a supportive culture for families makes it all the much more possible.
Below are some other steps that have helped me balance both worlds:
- Making the most use of my hours both at work and with my kids;
- Respecting the flexibility – being present for all important meetings and events;
- Knowing it take a village. Ask for help and you shall receive;
- Having a flexible attitude and being willing to switch at a moments notice – whether it’s work at home or home at work;
- Self-nurturing in the form of exercising to give me the energy to keep going;
- A big sense of humor and a lot of deep breaths;
- Putting everything into perspective – it will not always be this way. One day the kids will leave home and I will find myself with all the time in the world.
I am fully raising my children and successfully participating in the working world. I hope, along with many other moms doing the same, to redefine a new normal. I believe I am a better mom because I work and I am a better strategic planner because I am a mom…onward and upward!