. . . That is, if you’re working for a woman-owned business that understands the challenges of managing a job that impacts lives and a household where lives depend on you. Hats off to our owner and president Lynda Patterson for offering her team members a work environment that is enabling, flexible and supportive.
I started working for AMPED full-time seven months ago. For much of it, I worked the usual 40-hour week. For the past several weeks, however, I have been clocking in at 150-200% due to the fact that the largest scientific meeting of our company’s largest client is a mere 27 days away.
We budgeted for an attendance of 6,185 scientists, researchers, physicians, investigators and patient advocates who focus on multiple sclerosis — 6,455 have since signed up with an expected 15-20 percent more by the conference date. The work behind the scenes is voluminous; the coordination levels immense; the back-and-forth between the organizing leadership, logistics specialists, speakers, vendors and attendees are incessant. Our scientific programs are all set and on schedule. We exceeded abstracts submission from past years by 115%. We are compliant with all ACCME rules and policies, even with changes that went into effect April 2014.
While ensuring that all our service providers from Montreal, the UK, Hannover, the East Coast and Madison, Wisconsin are in sync, I managed to have one son graduate from high school (with highest honors, ahem); prepare two kids for college (college dorm shopping and new student orientations, anyone?); celebrate four of five family members’ birthdays in a big way (thanks to frequent flier miles); send off and welcome back two of our kids to and from France, Sweden and Spain; cheered on our youngest in almost all but two soccer games for the season (they were conference champions); saw through the knee surgery of our oldest son; and personally volunteered as AV tech for our church and emcee at a fund raiser to raise awareness on the Typhoon Haiyan’s recovery efforts that claimed thousands of lives in the Philippines last year.
I credit my faith in helping me endure all these (I’ve been blessed with good health), but I must say the kind of work environment I am lucky to have and the lovely home I get to go home to at the end of each day have allowed me handle it.
Are there days when I’m just completely exhausted? Yes, of course! How do I cope? I catch up on sleep. I watch a favorite TV show while snuggled with my husband in the couch. I cook Filipino dishes. I connect with friends and family through social media. I hang out with my multi-cultural girlfriends. And then there are emails to answer, contracts to review, payments to process, doctor’s appointments to escort kids to. It’s endless.
I’m typing this blog entry while on a plane en route to a final walk-though of our upcoming scientific meeting of 6,000+. Yesterday was our youngest’s birthday. I scheduled this trip so I can be there for the celebration; to let my son know, he is loved. It’s possible. A working mom can have it all.