Balancing parenting and work - Interview with Basia
May 25, 2023
Many working parents often find themselves torn between professional responsibilities and the desire to spend quality time with their children. ULAM LABS is trying its best to support working parents in navigating the demands of both their personal and professional lives.
Read the interview with Basia, our working mom of two, Zofia and Mikołaj, and a successful Project Manager.
What one word describes combining the role of a mom and a PM?
Planning ;) While you are a parent or PM you need to plan everything. Without a good plan, it will be a big chaos around you.
How do you balance your professional responsibilities with your personal life?
Honestly, I don’t have a receipt for the balance between my professional and personal life. I think that kids enforce that a little. When we’re back at home, they demand attention after a whole day without parents and want it or not, you need to find time for them.
However, good planning and a prioritized to-do list are a must in my life. Every weekend I plan what we will eat and wear the whole week. I prepare everything that we need to take to kindergarten or nursery. All that helps us to avoid coming back home to take forgotten shoes for the kids 😀
The same is for my work. I plan everything I need to do, all meetings, tickets, and problems to solve, so I can be sure I’m ready on time.
I really appreciate the flexibility in time and remote work I have in our company. I don’t have strict working hours, so it’s easier to manage a myriad of responsibilities. Also I have fantastic and understanding people on my team who don't have a problem if I sometimes work in different time slots. I wish other parents find similar conditions of work!
Project Manager at ULAM LABS
What are some of the challenges you face in juggling your role as a Project Manager and being a mom?
Perfectionism. In both roles, I’m learning all the time that sometimes perfection is not the best way. We need to drop some small things to stay on the track. I want to be the best mom and build the best product. But sometimes, I must stop and realize that the best doesn’t mean perfect in all details. Life and product need to work, and be functional, not the read-only version ;)
Did I overcome this perfectionism? Not fully. I'm still struggling with that. My kids and the people around me give me the best power and assurance that everything is fine, and if not, we can always find a solution to make it better.
How does ULAM LABS support the needs of working parents?
I really appreciate the flexibility in time and remote work I have in our company. I don’t have strict working hours, so it’s easier to manage a myriad of responsibilities, including attending to appointments, participating in significant events at my children's kindergarten, and handling various personal matters. Remote work is also very convenient when my children are unwell and require my attention.
Can you share any tips or advice for other working parents trying to find the right balance between their career and family life?
I don't think there is a perfect recipe for this, but a company and teammates with a dose of understanding would make it all easier. At the moment, I’m lucky enough to see my daughter and son growing up and learning new things, and I don't miss any events in kindergarten or nursery.
At the same time, I am completely satisfied with my work. I have fantastic people on my team with whom I love spending time with. But they also don't have a problem if I sometimes work in different time slots. I wish other parents just the same!
Do you remember your first days after maternity leave?
Sure! I was very, very happy to be back in the office again! I am an extrovert, so contact and relations with other people are very important to me. That gives me the power to work.
Obviously, it was also a challenge to organize everything - working hours, dropping off and picking up children etc. I was a bit unsure if I would manage all this stuff and be fully concentrated at work.
Also, the company has changed during my maternity leave. We grew twice! So it was like returning to a totally new place and project, new team, new challenges. Yeah, I was happy, excited and scared at the same time.
What advice would you give to other working parents, based on your own experiences and lessons learned?
Every parent is organized in some way, or they wouldn't survive - find your own way! Be demanding, but also kind and understanding. In fact, you would be surprised how many similar tricks I use both at work and at home 😀
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