From the Desk of Halie Howells

As a mother, HR business partner, and entrepreneur, I know first-hand how challenging it can be to find a routine that equips you to fulfill personal and professional roles . Whether you swear by  the work-life balance approach or find yourself more in line with my work-life integration philosophy, this community connection series seeks to shed light on women from various walks who are making it all work, each in her  own unique way. I hope that each window into another phenomenal woman’s world will assure you of the supportive network of like-minded individuals and empower you within your own life’s story.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hi, I’m Halie! And I recently discovered that I’m an entrepreneur.  Actually, my friend discovered it about me; and I am so grateful she did!

But first and foremost, I am a full-time mom. This is my favorite job of them all. My two littles, Levi and Malachi, are the most charming children and I truly delight in being with them. I also work outside of the home as a Marriage and Family Therapist with a local company. I recently started doing more therapy incorporating spirituality and faith-based interventions at a private location, as well. This venture has been a big time commitment and certainly a vulnerable extension of my creativity and career goals. Oh, and I dabble in selling makeup. Have you ever met anyone who thrives when going full speed? (Raises hand!) That’s me.  

Walk me through what a typical “work” day looks like for you.

My work day varies.  Three days per week, I work outside of the home. I make these office days, long days. Like 9am-9pm long. I know what you’re thinking, but for me, the challenges of getting ready, finding childcare, and being in the work mindset are easier to handle if my office days are longer, but fewer. This schedule also helps me disconnect from my work and focus on just being home with my boys. On my days at home, I take the boys to run errands, do chores, and play!  I’m not nearly as rushed since there are fewer time commitments, and this allows me to be more present and patient. My kids think things like grocery shopping and dusting are fun. I don’t let them believe any different. This way, even accomplishing tasks adds joy to our lives!

What are your tips for managing a flexible work schedule?

Managing a flexible schedule definitely sounds easy in thought but can be quite difficult in practice. Things are always popping up that seem urgent, so knowing priorities is key. The biggest difficulty for me is that there isn’t really an official start and end time to my work schedule. When I’m working on my personal therapy business, those hours get squeezed in during early mornings or late nights (I tend to use nap times for actually napping, although I know many mothers who can move mountains during those two hours of rest!). I have to know when to just shut everything off and relax. It’s essential for me as an individual to have self-care time, it’s essential for my marriage to have connecting conversations that aren’t full of to-dos, and it’s essential for my kids that I be present in those small yet meaningful moments. So, my suggestion is to make a list and block off time for date nights, workouts, slow mornings with the kids, and relaxation. Then add the work stuff. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find you work harder and more efficiently when you’ve made time for other things.

What have you learned about balancing home and work life in this way?

Growing up, my family always modeled hard work as a value and I continue to model this for my own family, as well. The challenge with managing my own schedule, though, is the lack of affirmation that comes with less accountability. In the past, I have struggled with making time for myself a priority because I felt too much guilt about putting myself first. But I also know that while modeling hard work, modeling self-care for my family is a priority, too.

What one piece of advice would you give others who are hoping to be successful managing a busy home and work life?

If you want to be successful managing a busy home and work life, it’s all about having grit.  Some days, I feel like I’m falling short in all of my roles. But anything worth having is worth fighting for, you just have to know exactly what it is you think is worth the fight.  Decide what are you passionate about and then commit to it. This type of resolve (like raising a little person or running a side hustle after bedtime) takes courage. And that’s what motherhood is all about.

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Find Halie at her new private therapy practice, Wellspring.  Wellspring incorporates spiritual practices and therapeutic interventions so there doesn’t have to be the choice between “pastoral” help and “therapeutic” help. Wellspring is the bridge connecting both incredible fields. Visit the website at: www.wellspringcenterforcounseling.com

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