This morning as I was putting my daughter down for a nap I decided to treat myself. She fell asleep as I was rocking her, something she rarely does anymore even though she is only six months old. When this perfect tiny being fell asleep in my arms I chose to hold her. I could have put her down in her crib and ran upstairs to start my day, as I had planned to, reading emails and catching up on tasks I did not finish yesterday, but instead, I chose my child. Listening to her heartbeat, feeling her chest move with each breath, staring at her little ear in awe of how much it has changed in the past six months. I did nothing else, thought of nothing else; for those few precious minutes, it was just us.
Everyone tells me “they grow up so fast, spend as much time with them as you can,” but it’s not about having more time, it’s about being fully present and aware. It’s about having a corporate culture that creates a safe space and allows you this tiny bit of extra time to choose what is best for you and your family. One could have all the time in the world, but if your mind and soul are buried in emails or prepping for meeting instead of being awake and focused on your family, then none of that time matters.
I am insanely lucky that I have a flexible work situation, that allows me to take an extra 30 minutes to hold my baby and contemplate the channels of her ear. I also understand the importance of giving myself permission to press pause and get present with what is important to me. The culture that your company creates regarding work/life issues is so vital to the health and happiness of the employees. Providing not only the tools and benefits that foster human happiness in the workplace but also encouraging and supporting employees to use them, creates trust and harmony that often increases productivity and triggers positivity all throughout the workplace.
What would your manager say if you were 30 minutes late to work because you decided to take what is such a miniscule amount of time to spend with your child? I know what mine would say. It’s time to make changes within our corporate culture that can help diminish the stress we all feel about our personal work/life balance.
This post was written by Balance’s Account Director, Heather Kocubinski.