The Balancing Act: Parenthood, Work, and Life

Working Mother

The struggle of managing work, life and family is a tale as old as time. It’s not easy for most people and it requires a certain level of balance that is hard to maintain every day – not to mention, a lot of things have to go right. For instance, you’ve got to have good working relationships with those around you and your leaders have to have your best interest in mind. In a similar sense, the people around you have to be able to empathize with the load you carry, and then have to allow you to be flexible however you need. All that being said, it’s important to find the right company for you who can share in your experiences and be open to seeing your life through your perspective, and vice versa.

Account Manager at Insight Global, Alexa Roberds is a mother of three children under the age of five, a wife and an incredibly successful employee. The dawn of her career was also a pivotal moment of motherhood and growing her family.  At that time, she was the only working mother in her office, which made it difficult for others to relate when she had to leave early for daycare pickup or had to prioritize her family over work.

“I never wanted to be the person who got flexibility because I was a mom,” said Alexa. “It was really hard, especially for my husband who had to pick up the slack because at that time I wasn’t necessarily figuring out how to do it all yet and no one could give me guidance because they hadn’t done it yet either.”

After time, though, as others in the office began families of their own, there was a perspective shift around work-life balance, as everyone started to realize their lives required flexibility and patience as well. With this shift, Alexa had a newfound confidence in her ability to strike the balance and be successful with work and life.

Managing work and family requires you to recognize opportunity cost. In other words, to acknowledge what’s important, what’s not a priority, and to never let work overstep the boundary of life and family. You may be wondering how you know what to prioritize in a world where so many different people need you. To Alexa, it’s about building trust with people in your work environments so that they know when you’re available and when you’re truly not. To understand your priorities at any given time, it’s helpful to think about who won’t be taken care of if you’re not there, whether that be your children, your family or your peers at work.

Jessica Calzaretta, President at Insight Global, talks frequently about how to define your 100% and how to pivot with the ebbs and flows of work, life and motherhood. “It will evolve just as the needs, pressures and priorities of your life evolve. It is learning to put yourself, namely your mental and physical health, first by adopting a workout routine or staying in on Friday to feel refreshed for your weekend. Or choosing to put others first in the times they need you most – a struggling friend, family member or your sick child – while accepting that some of your work will just need to wait.”

Alexa is passionate that you should find what sparks your inner fire. If you can find what motivates you, which may be a multitude of things, you can let those passions drive you through your day without feeling overwhelmed and overused. Part of allowing that to be your driving force, though, does require great leaders to help you get there. It’s important to find a place where your leadership is empowering you to not feel like you have to put work first – it’s not always the main priority when you’re balancing your 9-to-5 job and your job as mom. By having leaders empower you, you will realize that it’s all about how you give in some areas and take in others – that’s all there is to it.

At the end of the day, there are some parts of the equation that are totally out of your control, so just recognize what you can control and focus on that. While you may have obligations to others all day long, remember that you can’t please everyone and you can’t pour from an empty cup. Do what you can, when you can and trust others to be there when you need it by doing the same for them. Most importantly, give yourself grace in everything that you’re taking on each and every day and know that most people can and do relate to the necessity of a work-life balance.

 To listen to the full interview, check out the podcast here.