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Managing the Twists and Turns of a Busy Family and Work

Monday, August 19, 2019 11:09 am CDT

As an Application Engineering Specialist at 3M, Bridgette Shannon says every day at work is different. But that doesn’t scare her at all. As a mom of three and an avid gym-goer, Shannon is used to dealing with the twists and turns of life by carefully grouping her priorities, incorporating lots of understanding and tapping into 3M’s flexible working culture.  

Recently, the mom of three shared how she juggles busy mornings and her kids’ sports games and how 3M has supported her in finding her groove with Fairygodboss, an online community aiming to improve the workplace for women. Here’s an excerpt from Bridgette’s interview. 

Why do you think your company is a particularly great place to be a working mom?  

That’s the 3M culture. Flexibility is implemented and accepted by all, and it really does help. I know of cases where companies try to implement flexibility but there is resistance from certain groups – but I’ve never seen that at 3M. It’s such a family environment. 

What’s your go-to stress-relief activity or routine?   

Exercise. I just finished up boxing and swimming classes, so now I want to start a workout schedule where I can swim and do yoga. I try to mix it up and do different things on different days. If I’m too busy to work out, I like to have quiet time and drink a cup of coffee or tea and think. Or I’ll listen to music or call a friend to talk.   

What kinds of boundaries do you follow (if any) to separate work and family time?  

I try to be there for all my kids’ experiences. If my kid has a game, I block my calendar to be there. I really put them first. Even though I’m a working mom, they’re loved, and I want to show that I’ll be there for them.   

What’s your #1 tip for new moms who are navigating the delicate balance of working and mothering?    

Being a working mom is hard but rewarding. It takes a village to make it work. It really does. Don’t try to do it alone. Be open to letting others help you, even with the little things like another parent offering to take your child home after a game. That’s the only way to make it work.   

Read Bridgette’s full interview with Fairygodboss to learn how her role as a mom has made her a better employee and how she separates work and family time.

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