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New York
Wednesday, June 29, 2022

After realizing the negative impact of working hard on my son, I reduced the hours from 70 to 20 and became more focused.

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Bridgette Borst ombres with her family.

At the beginning of the pandemic, my husband and I were working full time and had a two-year-old son. He was working as the vice president of communications and strategic partnerships at an IT company that was very busy at the height of the pandemic. We were trying to get companies up and running in the US and help them enable their employees to work from home by remotely accessing company data.

I was particularly involved. Working 60-70 hours a week, I tried to educate internal and external audiences on office policies, return-to-work plans, and other changes. In addition to work, he also had a part-time job as a public relations consultant. He had been doing consulting work on and off for several years, but in 2018 he became more regular. I accepted this role while fulfilling other roles as a mother and, during the pandemic, as my daughter’s preschool teacher as well.

My parents moved in with us in the first two months of the pandemic. They helped us manage our lives and did most of the housework since my husband and I worked 40+ hours a week in the tech industry.

However, six months into the pandemic, I had reached my breaking point. The icing on the cake for me was the fact that my daughter was imitating me in a way that I didn’t like. She had some of her stuffed animals around her and was pretending to talk on the phone.

At one point she said, “Oh, excuse the background noise. I have a little boy here with me.” She repeated what she had heard me say so many times on Zoom calls. this time, it’s going to be a little longer. Mom is in a meeting.

I was shocked and thought it wasn’t fair to her. We always did our best to have a good time each day, but when I looked closely at my priorities, it was always my top priority. I had to do something.

I have decided to make consulting my main source of income and am working around 20 hours a week as of September 2020 when I left my full time job. When I was still working full time, my employer was very accommodating and offered me a more flexible job.

But my position as Head of Communications brought with it a lot of responsibility. As a former television reporter, he knew what it was like to work after hours in a demanding job. I worked in communications for 15 years, but this was a whole new level of job stress.

I now specialize in media strategy, thought leadership and communications planning for companies in the blockchain, AR, cleantech and emerging technology sectors. I’m very selective about who I work with because I know what it’s like to be burned out, overworked and having to do too many things at once. I never want to go back to that point.

My daughter is now four years old. At some point I’ll probably go back to working more than 20 hours a week, but for now I’ve decided not to. Having always worked for a company, this is the first time I have decided to bet on myself, I completely adapt to my daughter’s schedule and I have discovered that now I can combine my work and private life much better.

I normally work from 4 am to 6:30 am, five to six days a week. Also, I work Monday, Wednesday and Friday when she is in preschool. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I work from 18:00 to 20:00.

When I first came out of the corporate world, I was relieved of a huge burden. During my full-time job, we had a set routine. The night before I had to choose and prepare activities for the next work day to keep my son busy. I made this to get through the next day. But that did not mean that everything was fine or that it worked really well.

When I started working part-time, I felt so much joy and gratitude for the opportunity to spend more time with my family. I started making healthier choices and prioritizing my physical, mental, and emotional health. I also got more involved in the community.

We held a Valentine’s Day greeting card exchange and Independence Day parade on the 4th of July with our neighborhood kids. The children decorated their bikes, buggies and scooters. I started to get more interested in relationships with my neighbors because I had a little more time for that.

Career reorientation showed me that there is more to life than just working

For me today there is much more than my work. My health and my relationship with my husband and daughter are the most important things in the world to me. The professional reorientation completely changed my career. I found it easier to say “no” to projects that didn’t align with my values ​​or didn’t feel right to me. I have learned how precious time really is. Changing careers has forced me to accept the right challenges, be creative and take more risks.

It was very difficult, but my story is not unique. There are many mothers, fathers and caregivers who have even greater obstacles to overcome. My advice: If family, friends, or neighbors offer to help with childcare, cooking, laundry, or shoveling the driveway, take the help. We can all use an extra set of hands sometimes. Also, try to move your body for at least 20 minutes five times a week. Movement is important. rest is important Good food is important. It cannot be taken out of the full when the cup is empty.

This text was translated from English by Marlene Schulze. You can find the original here.

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