Lessons from One of Project Sanctuary’s Working Moms
By Guest Blogger Crystal Wilson, Project Sanctuary Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist
Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, a work from home mom, or even a bring-your-kid-to-work-with-you mom (like me), there is always someone criticizing your choices, judging how you are filling your role as mom, or celebrating that you are doing the best you can. In my journey as a mom I have experienced all of the above.
While some people feel the need to judge and criticize what works in others’ lives, I spend my time doing the best I can to be the mom my son deserves, while also filling my other chosen roles. This is not unique to me, and there are so many moms out there who are doing everything they can to make sure their children are taken care of, cared for, provided for, growing, learning, experiencing life, and becoming healthy, happy, productive members of our society.
I am very new to bringing my child to work with me, and let me tell you, it has NOT always been easy. I am beyond lucky to have the opportunity to share my passion in work with my family, and I do not take that lightly. While I am new to this role, I have learned some important lessons.
The first and most important lesson is to value the opportunity to work with an organization that supports parents in any capacity, and even more so an organization that supports their employee’s family needs. The only reason I was able to accept this position is because of how highly Project Sanctuary values their families, both participants and employees (I now fall under both categories!). To have the opportunity to bring my son to work with me AND to have my entire leadership team support my family outside of working hours is new to me, and is one of the top reasons I love my job.
The second lesson is you need to be prepared. This is sometimes hard to manage, especially when I am working with 10 families, 34 youth program participants, AND trying to be a mom on top of it. However, the way I have been able to achieve this is by using a system/routine and being flexible. If I have a system in place and plan ahead, things tend to go more smoothly. However, things don’t always go as planned, so when I am flexible and able to move with the changes, so is the program and so is my son.
The third lesson is that even when your personal life and work life come together, you still need to find balance. This is sometimes hard for me to remember, but it is one of the critical items that has allowed me to succeed in my new “working mom” role. Finding the balance between being a mom and my role within Project Sanctuary is something I do not take lightly. When I am working, I strive to find a little time to myself and a little time to spend with just my son. By taking these moments to recharge and connect with my family, I am able to give my all to the kids and the families we serve.
The fourth lesson is that having my son involved in the work I do and being able to have him witness and participate in these kids’ and families’ healing, has provided the two of us with an experience I would not change for anything. Being able to show my son how passionate I am about my work and serving Project Sanctuary families gives me hope that he will be able to look back on these experiences and realize how important it is to strive for a role that you are called to, that makes you happy, that fills your soul, and that allows you to share that happiness with others.
Working with my son by my side has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I have learned so much about what I am capable of as a mom, working mom, and the value of choosing who you work for wisely! Thank you to Project Sanctuary and all of our supporters for not only making this working mom’s life manageable but also helping silence the critics by empowering parents to make the choice that works best for their family!