We caught up with working moms across different departments at OutboundEngine to hear their stories and advice about balancing home life with their careers in a fast-paced tech environment.
Some of the biggest takeaways? Time block, meal prep, over-prepare… then go with the flow.
Meet some of the hardworking moms of OutboundEngine.
Q: How is your approach to work different after having kids? (Or is it?)
Misha: I am much more efficient with my time after having kids. I have a set schedule, and I have to think creatively to pack everything that needs to be done in a set number of hours. I do a lot of time blocking. You can do a lot in 30 minutes if you’re focused and need to knock things out.
Krystal: I manage my time to make the hours at work more meaningful — if I’m going to be away from my child, everything I do needs to count. Before Sawyer was born, I could stay at the office as late as 11 o’ clock at night — and now, I’m productive enough that I don’t have to do that anymore!
Edna: Everything I do, I do for him. My career has helped me communicate and show him the example of being positive, determined, and working hard for what you want.
Yvonne: I’m a lot more focused now. I used to “wait for inspiration” on certain creative projects, which often meant I worked late hours. I can’t do that now. I need to pick up kids, help with homework, start dinner, etc. so I get my work done in concentrated chunks. I work late when I need to, but there’s no waiting for inspiration these days. I can work anytime, anywhere, and I will use 15 minutes effectively if that’s all I have.
Marsha: My work is different since I had kids in that I don’t go to happy hours, take trips, or hang out much with my co-workers because I’m picking up kids from gymnastics, piano, swim team, girl scouts, etc…in the evenings and on weekends. I have very little free time.
Q: What’s your biggest challenge in balancing work and motherhood?
Meg: Deciding when work takes precedence over a recital, game, etc. I am very lucky to work for a company that understands the value of family time and allows the needed flexibility.
Yvonne: Priorities. I think it was Shonda Rhimes who said this, but if you’re doing really well in one area, that probably means you’re letting something slide in the other. I try not to miss kids’ activities or performances, and I’m lucky to work at a place that offers flexibility to make that happen. But the biggest challenge for me is being present for your kids at important moments, while also making sure you’re kicking ass at work.
Edna: I love working a lot! A LOT. I bring him in on weekends, and he loves being able to come in and see where mommy works and meet mommy’s friends. Sometimes there are other moms and kids here as well.
Misha: Whatever I’m doing, I know I could be spending my time somewhere else. If I’m working, I should be playing with the kids. If I’m playing with the kids, I should be doing the laundry. If I’m doing the laundry, I should be working out. It never ends.
Q: What are some of the tricks you’ve learned to make life as a working parent easier?
Marsha: The trick I’ve learned is to always be on good terms with your neighbors. You never know when you are going to get stuck in traffic and need to call one of them to run your kid up to school for that school event that starts in 20 min.
Edna: Meal prep on Sundays and organize clothes in advance. Just overall have a strategy to make things flow.
Meg: Put it on the calendar. Work, recitals, games, chores… all of it! Then share that calendar with everyone. As a mixed family, we have a shared calendar, so we all know where to be and when to be there.
Courtney: Baths at night. It saves a lot of time. Do as much as you can the night before to get ready for the following day.
Sharon: Having a support system, both personal and professional is huge. Kids get sick, have field trips, games or recitals… meetings can’t be missed, projects are due, travel may happen. It was critical that I have multiple people, whether family, friends or coworkers, that I could call on to back me up both at work and at home.
Patricia: The best tip I ever got was not to sweat the small stuff. Dishes in the sink, unfolded laundry, dust devils under the bed. Those things don’t matter when your child wants a hug and a story. Those moments are priceless and go by too fast!
Q: Most embarrassing working mom moment?
Courtney: The most embarrassing thing is when my two-year-old put a chicken nugget in my purse, and I didn’t find until I was at work in front of a co-worker. Then, just this week my MDR found a sucker stuck to my dress. So that’s always fun!
Yvonne: After I had my daughter, the organization where I worked didn’t have a mothers’ room. I used a server room because it was the only door with a lock. A couple of times, even though I had locked the door and hung a sign, engineers came into the room while I was pumping. Definitely some embarrassing moments!
Sharon: When my son was 6 or 7, he had to draw pictures of his family for a school project. His picture showed me sitting at my desk working on the computer. That was not a great “mom” moment for me. Ever since I have made a concerted effort to work at work and be home at home. I still take the occasional call or respond to quick texts and emails, but it’s the exception, not the rule.
Ladies, your humor, dedication and drive is inspiring. Thank you for letting us share your experiences here on the blog!
- Courtney Gonzales, Sales, Mom to Isaac (2), Abagail (6), Xavier (15), Celeste (18)
- Edna Miranda, Sales, Mom to Ethan (5)
- Marsha Hendrix, Sales, Mom to Mary (11) and Lisa (14)
- Meg White, People Department, “Psuedo-stepmom” to Pierce (9)
- Misha Rangel, Marketing, Mom to AJ (4) and Lewis (7)
- Krystal Bonillas, Sales, Mom to Sawyer (6 months)
- Patricia Matthews, Sales, Mom to Weston (20),Ben (28), Shelby (25), Brandon (22), Abby (30)
- Sharon Slonaker, People Department, Mom to Sydney (16) and Breven (19)
- Yvonne Dutchover, Marketing, Mom to Liam (6) and Zoe (9)
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