by Chelsea Baker,
Sales Manager, Lockwood Brothers Construction
I was asked to put together a few words on what it is like to be a woman in 2022: specifically, a full-time working woman in 2022. I am certain I can speak for most when I say it is hard work. As a single Mom of two, who works full time, there are many days that I myself don’t even know how it all gets done. Between birthday parties and staff meetings, hockey practices and conference calls, permission letters and spreadsheets, it can be overwhelming. Throw in a few months of home schooling on top, and it’s easy to see why so many working parents are barely hanging on these days.
With all that being said, I wouldn’t want it any other way (except for home schooling – that I can live without!) I love my job. I mean, I get to build people their dream homes – what could be more fun than that!? I get to use my talents and my abilities daily – both of which give a huge sense of accomplishment. I get to show my children that hard works pays off, and finding a job you find rewarding every day IS possible. And – I get to meet amazing people along the way!
The three most important things I have learned in my journey of being a working Mom in today’s landscape are:
Find your tribe! These are the best friends you can call when things get overwhelming. Who you can laugh (and cry!) with over a glass of wine, talking about all the crazy things that happened this week. This is the family you can call when the bus gets cancelled (for the 3rd time this week) to come pick up the kids and bring them to school. The ones who will bring you dinner when you had to work late, but still need to get to hockey practice. This is your partner, the one that helps you laugh through your craziness, while reminding you that this journey is fun, even on the days it isn’t. This tribe is, by far, your most important asset.
Scrap the Work/Life Balance Idea. This is a tough one. Realize that nothing will ever feel balanced. When you are killing it at work, you will feel like you are lacking at home. When you feel like you are killing it home, you will feel like you are failing at work. This is okay! It is impossible to be your best everywhere, all the time. Try, instead, to enjoy and recognize the times you ARE being a superstar at the office, and know that, next week, you will be back to being Supermom at home – and when you are shining at home, know it’s only a matter of time before you are back being your best self at work. NOTE: Repeat as long and as often as you are a working woman!
Time for Yourself. A clichéd piece of advice, but oh, so important! We know burn out is affecting us at rates higher than ever before. With the troubling news headlines daily, rising costs, and the new way of life brought on by the pandemic – the regular day to day as we knew it has changed, and it can be exhausting! Most days, there isn’t enough time to get through even the basics, so start small. Plan a 15-minute walk listening to your favourite podcast, go for a spa treatment, or just shut the door and take extra-long in the bath. I have come to love my alone time. So much so, I have even taken several entire vacations solo! This alone time, in whatever version I can get it, gives me time to recharge and reflect. And when I do – I always come out of it feeling like I can take on the world (or at least another night of homework).
A quote I love, “No matter where you are in life, inspire and empower the women around you. Success is never reached alone. And wisdom and wealth are sweeter shared.” Unknown.
Women are incredible! Happy International Women’s Day!