• Winning at Balance

    Date: 2014.06.25 | Category: Family, Me, Norah, OMG YAY!, Travel, Work | Tags:

    It may have taken me a few months, but I finally feel like I have this working mommy-of-two warrior princess thing down (most of the time).

    And I am happy to say that even with (or maybe despite) the demands of motherhood and family life, I love my job. When I’m at work, I do my best. I love a challenge and am always looking for ways to improve our magazine and keep people reading.

    Sometimes the role of Mother and the role of Editor clash though. This year that happened when I had to miss my annual work conference because I’m still breastfeeding Norah. I really really wanted to go. It’s the one chance I have all year to meet up with my counterparts across North America; a place where we all share the same language and the same problems. And this year it was in Charlotte, NC.

    Could I have figured out a way to make it work? Probably. But it wouldn’t have been something I was completely happy about. My milk supply is slowly dwindling as Norah races towards that one year mark and I haven’t been able to produce enough extra to store for the length of time I would be gone.  I knew that going to that conference would be the death nail in breastfeeding – something I’m not quite ready to give up yet. Even the thought of my baby outgrowing nursing in a few months makes me a little weepy.

    So, I made the decision, a little heavy heartedly, to skip the conference this year and prepare for next year instead.

    But, that’s not the end of this story.

    You see, that conference is where they announce the awards for the various publications in my field. Friday night a New Orleans number appeared on my phone. When I answered it was my counterpart  there calling to tell me that we had won a second place award for “Best Family Life Column.”

    Last year was our first time to win an award since I’ve been Editor. And last year we took third place in the same category. It was a jump up in rank and I was so very proud of our columnist, Katie, for that great achievement. Thrilled, I immediately sent Katie a message, then went to sleep and prepared for a busy day of work the next morning.

    When I got home from the morning’s work, I checked the award website to see who had come in first place in the family life category and I discovered something even more exciting – we had also won Second Place in Overall General Excellence in our magazine category. My jaw dropped. That’s a huge award y’all and the biggest recognition the magazine has received since I took its helm a little over six years ago.

    Alone at home, I sat there stunned… I may have cried a little. My husband had the kids at their grandparents and wouldn’t answer the phone, so I proceeded to call and message everyone I know who works with me on the magazine. While I may manage it all, it’s truly a combined effort of some amazing writing talents. What an awesome moment!

    The response at work on Monday was great, too. Lots of congratulations from my coworkers, supervisor and even a warm and excited personal congratulations from the very top. It was a good week.

    I should probably mention that out of the three issues I submitted for the General Excellence Award, two of them were put together while I was at home with a newborn – taking that whole family / work balance thing to a new level.

    I love my job and I love what I do. I am fortunate to work in a place that is not shy about sharing joy and happiness when things are done well, but sometimes things like this give me a great deal of validation, validation to keep me motivated and keep me pushing towards creating something even better, even stronger. And it’s moments like this that make me stop and realize that even when I feel like I’m having trouble keeping the work /family balance, I am doing it and somehow doing it right.