Meet Daria. She is a working mom who has managed a few business ventures in her past and is an experienced manager. Daria shares how a good attitude and open communication can help you build your career while growing your family.
Tell us about Mom In Management and the moms that are part of the community.
Moms of all types – from Stay at Home moms to Corporate Divas are part of the Mom in Management community. We even have a couple of dads!
The majority of us are women ages 25 to 55 with kids that are trying to balance a full time career with raising our kids to the best of our abilities. If we can squeeze a little girlfriend time in there, even better!
Being in management, what are some tips you can share with aspiring corporate managers who are also working moms or first-time moms?
- Don’t be afraid to let your team know that your kids come first, but make sure that you follow it with a willingness to work hard on days your kids don’t need you.
- Speak up. If you don’t open your mouth and tell people what’s going on, they will run up the inference ladder and most often it won’t be in your favor.
- Make sure you have great day care someone you have confidence will treat your children the way you want them treated. Don’t go for the least expensive option when it comes to your kids.
- Build a support network with other moms. I guarantee you will want to have one of them take your kid to practice one night when you have to work late and you’ll return the favor when she has a late meeting.
- Identify the rules that you won’t break. Such as always attending the school play, or every Thursday is family night, or Sunday dinners together no matter what. Make sure they are really clear in your mind go so far as to write them down because they will be tested. It also helps to list your priorities for making decisions.
You offer a lot of career advice on Mom in Management. Can you share with us some ways you keep a positive attitude when it feels overwhelming at work and home?
- A friend once told me that sometimes you just need to surrender to life. When I start to get stressed and wound tight, I focus on that word surrender. There are some things I can control, many things I can’t, and accepting the difference really helps me take things in stride.
- When I get blue (as everyone does) I consciously remind myself of my blessings. My kids are healthy and really, after that everything else dims in comparison of importance.
- I allow myself to wallow for a minute or a day depending on the issue.
- Then I say, enough, and put a plan together for what I am going to do about it. That action plan may be to ignore it (interpersonal issues perhaps) or may be steps to change something (for example getting a job, finding a better daycare provider, etc.). For me, my attitude instantly improves once I’ve made a plan.
- I also intentionally try to engage in something that makes me laugh. Maybe it’s drinks with a girlfriend that always has a joke, or going to the local comedy club with my husband, or even picking a comedic movie. Something to break the blue/stressed cycle and get the laughter endorphins working in my favor.
I’ve had a few business ventures over the years. Apparently I’m never content with just one job at a given time. The latest is an engineering consulting firm to bridge the gap between jobs. However, I realized that I really don’t like working by myself and just yesterday accepted a position with a large firm. I will likely let the consulting firm LLC lapse because the type of work is too similar to my new job, but will continue to focus on social media, investments, freelance writing, and real estate as my side work.
Being a busy mom, how do you squeeze “me time” in the schedule?
- Always a tough one. I’ve recently started the Couch to 5K running program and have been impressed with how much running 3 days a week has served my “me” time need. I also have my 4 year old signed up for a gymnastics class with my friend’s son and we chat during the hour they are in class. I have a monthly girls’ night out with women from work and other soccer parents that I make it to about every other month. Blogging has really helped a lot because we have monthly social gatherings and the women are great. But my fail safe has always been escaping into a book. I read voraciously and indulge myself with easy fiction.
- The key is to find a combination of things that help you remember who YOU are not as a mom, or employee, or wife but just you. Then, if you can set some things up that are repeating without you always being the one to initiate – the activities tend to continue and you can join in when it works for your schedule. Also discover what helps recharge your battery. For me it’s time alone, either with a DIY something or reading. It will be different for everyone.
Daria wear many hats, the most important of which is Mom. She works full-time while raising her 3 kids in Colorado. Daria is no longer blogging at Mom in Management.