Sandy Boller-Bilbrey, Director at Scripps Alcohol and Drug Recovery Program, was named one of four 2011 Working Mothers of the Year by Working Mother magazine. What’s unique about Sandy is that after raising seven children, she adopted four more! I couldn’t imagine that! Hopefully, this will provide inspiration to those of you who struggle with working full-time while raising children. Here’s her story (excerpted from Working Mother magazine, November 2011 issue).
After raising seven children of their own, Sandra and her husband, Chris, felt that coming home to an empty house every day was “boring and uninspiring.” So last March, the couple made a life-changing decision to adopt four children. Now their lives are filled with constant chaos – and they love it.
The Bilbreys decided to adopt four sisters – Ana, 15; Karla, 13; Vanessa, 10; and Yessenia, 9 – after seeing them photographed with San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers in a calendar put out by San Diego County Adoptions.
Early on in the 18-month adoption process, Sandra shared her decision to adopt the girls with her supervisors and colleagues and was thrilled with the abundance of support she received. The organization offered up an array of services, including a $2,000 adoption credit, extended leave and an adoption support group.
Importantly, the 25-year employee was given the flexibility she needed with her job as the director of the Scripps alcohol and drug treatment program to juggle her new family commitments. “Everyone I worked with at Scripps was incredibly supportive and excited for us. It felt like Scripps had adopted the girls, too,” recalls Sandra.
In addition to working a full-time job, Sandra’s days are now filled with softball practices, homework and trips to the pediatrician, dentist and orthodontist.
Sandra credits her success as a working mom to her husband and her extended family. “We have gotten really good at handoffs and communicating daily activities to each other,” she says. “Now I have forty extra fingers to help me around the house, and I get extra goodnight kisses every night.”
To read about other inspiring stories of how women balance work and family, read Passport to Priorities: Your Road Map to Balanced Living.
I’m excited to announce the release of my latest book!
Passport to Priorities:
Your Road Map to Balanced Living
Are you a working woman who feels overwhelmed by your responsibilities?
Professional women are working more and more hours resulting in less leisure time. When you add to this the responsibilities of managing a home, raising children, or caring for elderly parents, life can become overwhelming.
Passport to Priorities is for harried working women who want to regain control of their life. The principles presented will help bring more balance, peace and fulfillment into your life.
Learn how to:
- Assess the balance in your life
- Take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually
- Identify and focus on your most important priorities
- Set limits and say “no” to the unimportant
Reformed workaholic, Kathleen Barton, draws on her own experience to help working women live their life according to their purpose, values, and priorities. She shares the journeys of other working women like you who have struggled with balancing work and their personal lives. Through countless interviews, Barton reveals their stories, struggles and successes.
Passport to Priorities provides a clear and simple road map for achieving work-life balance. Barton reveals the three keys to balance that will bring peace, focus and fulfillment. Packed with strategies, tips and tools – including a self-assessment and action plan – this relevant and practical book will help you take action to regain control of your life!
“Passport to Priorities is an engaging read, but the main reason it really stands out is the fact that it’s real. Not only does it deal with specific and practical ways to get a handle on the balance dilemma; it does so in the context of the whole person.”
~ A. Roger Merrill, co-author First Things First, Life Matters and Talent Unleashed
Do you struggle with balancing work and family? If so, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey from the Center for American Progress, 90 percent of American mothers report work-family conflict. At times our work can feel overwhelming and become all-consuming.
So why do you work so hard? If you’re like most Americans, family is one of the biggest reasons. You want to provide a good life for your loved ones. Isn’t it ironic? Working long hours keeps us away from our family … the very people we’re working so hard to provide for. It’s a vicious cycle.
More important than money or a nice lifestyle, your family needs your time. Time is the most important thing you can give your loved ones. So how can we spend more time with family when we’re consumed with work? Here are some tips to help you focus on family.
- Schedule family time on your calendar. Just as you schedule important meetings, block out time on your calendar to spend with family. If you don’t make it a priority and plan for it, the time will get sucked up in other activities.
- Focus fully on your family during family time. Turn off your electronic devices, including your computer, PDA, and cell phone. Enjoy the time with your family without distractions.
- Enjoy eating dinner together a few times a week. Make it a priority to sit down to a family meal all together (and turn off the TV and cell phones). Dinner time is a great time to catch up with family members at the end of a busy day.
- Rearrange your work schedule. Take advantage of flex-time if your company offers it. If you want to see your kids off to school, come in to work a little later than normal. Or if you’d prefer to spend time with your kids after school, start your work day early in the morning, so you can leave work by 3:00 p.m.
- Hire household help. Rather than spend your weekends doing household chores and yard work, hire someone else to do it. That frees you up to spend leisure time with your family.
- Combine business travel with vacation. When possible, bring your spouse and kids along when you travel for work, especially if you’re traveling to a fun destination. They can enjoy time exploring the city while you work, and you can all have fun together once you’re off work.
Try out these tips in order to give your family what they need most – your time. You’ll all benefit from richer family relationships.
To learn more about how to balance work and family, read Passport to Priorities: Your Road Map to Balanced Living.