Moms Mean Business - Shelly-Ann O’Connor
Shelly-Ann O’Connor and her boys, from left, Joshua, Jordan-Isaac and Kyle<strong id="strong-9">. </strong>She’s the Flow Foundation Operations &amp; Projects Coordinator.

How do you ensure that you mean business, and grow your career, while also embracing the challenges and joys that come with raising well-adjusted children?

I never intended to be a “mom” but then my sister died and just like that, I became a single mother with three young children – Kyle, then six years; Joshua, four, and Jordan one.

There are several things that I learnt quickly when I became a parent – my priorities must change, I can’t do it alone and the power of prayer. That in a nutshell is how I ensure that I mean business, grow my career and embrace the challenges and joys that come with raising well-adjusted children.

It takes a village…so I learnt to ask for help. My siblings and aunt are mediators for both the boys and me. It also helps that my company – Flow Jamaica – nurtures a flexible work culture that supports families.

Through the years, my friends and co-workers have been my advisors. My managers have also been extremely understanding and supportive, providing time off when needed and allowing for a flexible work schedule. Sometimes help is the feedback from the boys and it isn’t always easy to hear. The biggest shock was realising that I had become my mother, the karma she had predicted is now very real!

The early years, from left, Jordan-Isaac, Joshua, Shelly-Ann and Kyle<strong id="strong-10">.</strong>

With all the conflict, “time out” is key – family get-togethers, summer trips, birthday and achievement celebrations. Sometimes “time out” is just giving support to their personal goals – job hunting or even exam prep. Then there is me – taking the time to focus on me, so masters – done. Next – project management certification.

Over 17 years later? Mostly, I am learning that you have to let your children “be”. Their purpose is not to fulfill my vision for their lives. They have to chart their own course, so they will make mistakes and bad choices and, just like I did, they will learn and they will grow. East to accept? Absolutely not! Love them anyway? Always.

Lesson learnt: Motherhood requires commitment, resilience and unconditional love, all of which allow you to hone the skills necessary for an effective work-life balance.

Also read:

Moms Mean Business - Jessica Lawrence-Johnson

Moms Mean Business - Shelee Wilkie Channer

Moms Mean Business - Jacqueline Donaldson

Moms Mean Business - Doris Ng

Moms Mean Business - Sasha-Kay Burke-Harris

Moms Mean Business - Kaydean Webley

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