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An Important Reminder as the Holiday Season Takes Over
December 6, 2022
I always love a good #holiday/year end wrap up letter. For those that know me or have read these in the past, you know they’re always a little heartfelt and tend to indicate how Paige PR’s #business has fared over the past 12 months and where things are headed.
This one’s slightly different, but I hope you’ll stick with me and read my letter in its entirety because it’s an important reminder for all of us as the #holiday season takes over.
I know I’ve mentioned before that I quit my #corporate gig when my son was a baby because he was constantly sick. What I never divulged (because it didn’t really matter the reason, right?) was that he suffered nonstop from RSV. My husband and I were constantly in and out of the doctor’s office with him; my parents were always on standby to help; and my in-laws would travel to Houston to help when the rest of us were maxed out. My company at the time was as understanding and supportive as they could possibly be, but it also wasn’t fair to them that I was constantly taking time off. Literally no one was winning at life at that point– I wasn’t succeeding at work, I had a sick newborn for nearly a year – it was miserable.
So I quit. And the rest, as they say, is history.
In 2019 Kristen gave birth to her twin boys at 28 weeks. Scary for mom and kids? Definitely. Kristen’s newborns had to stay in the NICU for nearly two months until they were finally ready to go home. I knew the challenges and stress she and her family endured at that time (we’re colleagues and friends, of course!). There wasn’t too much that I could offer in terms of support, but fortunately, what I could offer was exactly what she needed.
Flexibility and time.
Time to get a grip on a new reality. Space to adjust and adapt to what life looks like after changing so suddenly. I know from talking with her how much that meant to her. And we’ve talked at length about how hard it is for #workingmoms trying to juggle it all.
Fast forward to today, where more parents have a remote or flexible schedule in the aftermath of COVID. I truly think that benefits all of us – mom, dad, kiddos…
Yes, it’s all about balance. But on the flipside, I’m almost always available. I may stop at 4 o’clock, but I’ve easily held calls in the evening or on the weekends if necessary. I like that my kids see me working; I hope to instill a great work ethic in each of them and that my meetings and work products peak their curiosity as to what I do. I also hope my kids are starting to see that while I mold my work to their schedules, work is still a priority for me – and I know it’s a priority for so many that love what they do.
You may wonder where I’m going with this, so I want to wrap up the letter with this:
As I’m drafting this letter for our December email campaign, it has been one week since the HBMA Lantern Awards (Nov. 17th). That morning, I watched a special report that hospitals are overrun with RSV cases in infants and babies. The Flu and COVID are here to stay, and doctors are expecting all of these viruses to be more severe this winter. The evening of the awards, I ran into two colleagues – one whose dad is in the hospital for the near term, and another, that just hired a nanny after her son suffered RSV so much that he can no longer go to school. Their situations remind me of my own and I have tremendous compassion for them.
Both women need flexibility.
Both women need time to prioritize and adjust schedules.
Thankfully, they work in amazing companies that offer just that. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy having to juggle so many priorities.
Following the Lantern awards, I reached out to a client for a routine meeting. As it turned out, she was home with a newborn suffering from RSV and another sick child.
My reminder for this holiday season is this — take care of those around you that matter most. And check in on those that you work with. They may be overwhelmed with all the chaos of the season and could use some support and understanding. If COVID taught us anything, it’s that we’ve all got someone yelling or screaming behind us while we’re on a Zoom call. It will be okay; we’re all human; we’ve all been there.
As we close out 2022, I pray that each of you have a wonderful holiday season filled with family and love. I hope you close out 2022 with a bang and that 2023 is a fantastic year!
Wishing you health, wealth and happiness!