Motherhood & Work-Life Balance: Navigating In-Person Work in a Post-Pandemic World
The pandemic forced us all to rethink what work-life balance means by way of stay-at-home orders, remote schooling and work-from-home schedules. This “new normal” required our work and personal lives to become more intertwined than ever before.
While the beginning of the road was especially rocky for people who had to balance school, work and “life as usual” in one setting, many of us eventually appreciated the flexibility of being more present at home. There was a sense of relief not worrying about commuting to work and school during the week. Once in-person school resumed, the level of stress remained minimal when driving back home vs. the journey of commuting to an office for work. The good thing that came from this way of working was that it helped improve work-life balance for many people, including mothers like me.
Fast forward to three years later, our office, like many others, has moved to a hybrid work schedule providing staff with great flexibility. In 2022, FCG implemented a flex schedule in which employees are expected to work in-office two days a week and remote for the remaining days. This shift likely took some adjusting for everyone who had become accustomed to the convenience of a full-time remote schedule. However, for parents, that meant identifying new arrangements for their children, especially when schedules didn’t align with drop-off and pickup times. Not only that, parents had to readjust to commuting and manage the quality time lost with their families going to and from work.
Historically, mothers have been typically known to carry the larger parenting loads within their homes, while also pulling double duty in the office to “prove” their worth. I can personally attest to nearly burning myself out in the early part of my career, while being a new mother, because I felt like I needed to do more to excel since I became a mom just as my corporate career started to take off. At this point of my career and motherhood journey, I’ve become unapologetic about owning my roles in the workplace and at home, and ensuring that they work well together. It’s all about understanding when you need to prioritize professional over personal and vice versa.
A few practices that I’ve implemented throughout my career that has helped me maintain this balance include:
– Being transparent with my team and family about moments when I need to be all-in on either side
– Maintaining a clear roadmap of priorities at work and home to determine where I need to be and when
– Leaning on my village both professionally and personally and continuing to show up for both
– Realizing that work and home should no longer be considered as two different worlds, because I’m only one person and both are an integral part of who I am
One thing I’ve always loved about Flowers Communications Group is the focus on family and encouragement to maintain a healthy balance between work and life. So, even with a transition to in-person work for a few days, we still maintain the flexibility to adjust our schedules as needed to accommodate personal needs and priorities through our “flex schedule” practice.
It’s extremely important for mothers – and parents in general – to align themselves with companies that support this way of life. After these last few years, many people are actively seeking opportunities that allow for complete or partial remote work, and that doesn’t seem like it’s going to shift any time soon. It is evident that with this new reality, companies need to adjust and get creative when identifying perks to offer current and prospective employees. Flexibility is more of a priority now than ever before, and it’s here to stay!
Nicole Flowers is a Vice President of Media Relations Services.