Sarah Perry’s Secret to Balancing Motherhood and Career
“If you’re a working mom, I am sure that — like me — you’ve often wished you could clone yourself,” into two versions of mums: The first would be a traditionally “perfect” mom and the second would be “a high-achieving, successful entrepreneur,” writes Perry, who had to learn to balance her career and parenthood.
She got the opportunity to build her own company when both of her children were aged under three. “Opportunities don’t often come gift wrapped and I realized it was worth ‘grabbing it with both hands’ and working out the details as I went. I had to make some tough decisions regarding what is truly important and what I could stop doing,” she writes.
In the article, she refers to the 80-20 rule or “Pareto principle,” “a well-known business principle stating that 20% of what you do should have 80% of the impact, which she thinks can also be applied to raising a family.
She explains: “I noticed that my children don’t really care if a birthday cake is home-made, but they do care about the icing and the candy on top. So now I buy a cheap cake from the supermarket and spend my time on the icing (which might be bought too).” That rule applies to most things in life, according to Perry.
“Embrace the fact that 80% of the things society says you ‘should do,’ don’t actually make much of a difference.” In the article she gives some examples both for managing her family life as well as her work hours.
While society might say that mothers should spend all their time with their children, Perry says to “spend quality time with your children, and fudge on everything else.”
“Read to your children at bed time. Bathe them when they are little. Enjoy a family movie night. Savor the most important moments in their lives. Don’t feel bad not being able to watch them play in the park.”
She admits that you might “miss some of the everyday moments of growing up,” but says, “the tradeoff is that you’ll have time to focus on other things that also matter to your family: your business.” In order to make that tradeoff she asked for help and “planned and co-ordinated with other moms to arrange play dates and carpooling to give me maximum windows of time focusing on work,” but to still be available for the children when they really needed her.
This also applies to work hours. Society might say that CEOs “should be working around the clock,” but Perry says she “needs her sleep, too. I value my creativity, positivity and energy. Lack of sleep squashes those things.”
“There are a lot of expectations on working moms and creating a ‘new normal’ requires defending,” writes Perry. When a well-meaning board adviser implied that she should be working 60 hours per week if she wanted to be a good CEO, she said: “I’m a good CEO if my business is thriving, my employees are happy and my family knows that I will always make time for them.”
SnapComms is an award-winning internal communications software company based in New Zealand. It grew out of a small development company called 174E with just a single customer, as reported on its website. Sarah Perry and Chris Leonard launched SnapComms in 2007 to help more organizations improve cut through for employee communications. SnapComms now has more than 1.3 million paid enterprise users in more than 50 countries, with offices in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and the United States.
Article Source: Motto/TIME, Sarah Perry, October 27, 2016
Image Source: Twitter – SnapComms