We recently sat down with La Tonya Walker, TAD PGS’s Director of Recruiting for Alexandria and California, to get some golden nugget insights into how this high-performer balances her family and career.
“For some people looking into my life, it may seem that I handle it effortlessly, but I’m the first to admit that life can be overwhelming at times. To handle life’s roller coaster I have systems in place that help me turn the negatives into positives and to live life purposely every day.”
I take one step at a time, one goal at a time, one priority at a time, one second at a time, I start every day thinking of what my most important goal is that I need to accomplish that day.
I learned that by setting those intentions every day, I stay on track and can be an engaged mother and a motivated employee.
But I don’t get it right every day. It is a constant retooling of the way I handle myself after I get off work to make sure my children get my attention.
“I have been working for TAD PGS for about eight years, although not continuously. I’m committed to continuing to be a successful Mother and employee daily. I hope my dedication to my career will inspire my children to pursue their dreams and achieve the goals they will eventually set for themselves.
Trying to maintain a healthy balance of keeping up with the demands of my career and with the demands of my family life is tough. My weekends are also busy with my children’s track and field schedules. As a former track and field runner myself, my children followed in my footsteps. Both my ten-year-old son and my 13-year-old daughter are USA track and field, junior Olympic medalists.
Number 1: Stay organized
Everything that has to do with my children and work is on my calendar.
“I have to stay organized. I have calendars for everything. I stick to a very tight schedule. I have to think how I schedule my meetings or do certain things. Organization is the key for not dropping the ball. I constantly make checklists and to-do lists. I think I perfected my organizational skills after having children. Plus, I have to keep my children organized!”
Number 2: Be a role model
“We model the behavior for our children – that is a good thing as working mothers, especially for our daughters”.
I am proud of my daughter, and I believe the work ethic that I have shown her has led my daughter to know that she wants to go to an Ivy League college and also to know what she wants out of life.
“My daughter gets the opportunity to hear me doing my job because I take calls when she and my son are around me. I believe this type of modeling is good because of the level of work ethic my children will walk away with. My daughter is already showing that she can do the same thing.”
Number 3: A good support system
I realize the importance of having a good support system. When I’m not able to take off from work for something like one of my children’s doctor’s appointments, I have a team of family and friends that are supportive of our needs. More specifically I have the type of mother that goes above and beyond and is on a plane from Louisiana to Los Angles at least every sixty days.
“I also try my best to be home at a decent hour so I can take them to track, but that doesn’t always work. I think we work hard so we can give our children a better life than we had,”
Number 4: Finding time for yourself
“Free time is not something I have a lot of, but luckily I require a very little sleep. Even though my body is used to a crazy schedule, I have to find time for myself.”
When I’m at track meets with my children (which last from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.), the comradery with the other parents helps relieve the stress of the week. We laugh, and joke and laughter is truly good for the soul.
“I also sneak away every week and find myself a church, or watch something inspirational on television at least once a week. Plus, I do exercise, and I do yoga,”
Number 5: Don’t beat yourself up
It is easy to be hard on yourself, but I believe you have to cut yourself some slack. Kids are resilient, and they understand that moms have to work.
“Do not beat yourself up. Children don’t come with a handbook. Trust your instincts and cut yourself a break. When my children were younger, I beat myself up believing I was coming up short being a mother. But then I realized that we, as parents, should be proud that we are working every day doing something we love. And then we come home and have wonderful children and get to spend time with them. It’s a blessing.”
Number 6: Time-management Tips
I believe in making things as easy as possible for myself, recognizing that everything is a payoff.
“For example, I utilize a lot of delivery services, and I am learning to embrace grocery and laundry delivery services. I take advantage of a lot of things that don’t require me to do them physically,” she said. “That gives me more time in my day. I would rather spend a little extra money and have that time with my children instead. It is worth it.”
About La Tonya Walker
La Tonya Walker is the Director of Recruiting, managing TAD PGS’s Alexandria and California operations. When in a sole contributor role she always placed in the Top 5 in the nation, a Superstars winner every year.