Antonella, health and safety specialist at Laura Canada, has worked at the Canadian retailer for over a decade. Despite a full schedule, this nurturing mother of two finds ample time to spend with her family and play her favourite sports.
Hello, Antonella. You’ve been part of Laura Canada’s human resources (HR) department for over 10 years now. Describe a typical day at the office.
I truly enjoy working in HR. My schedule varies greatly each day. My focus is on health and safety matters, so I spend most of my time helping employees. Therefore, I’m in constant communication with staff members and government officials. It’s very rewarding to be able to engage with employees and help them. It’s especially heartwarming to know when I’ve played a small part in helping someone improve their work life.
How are you able to balance your career with your personal life?
I’m very fortunate to be working at Laura Canada and to have the opportunity to maintain a healthy work-life balance. I’m able to optimize my day at work so that I can leave the office on time to be with my family. Having been with the company for over 10 years now, I’ve reached a level of autonomy that allows me to be able to manage my workload efficiently. This gives me flexibility.
You’re a mom of two boys. How do you manage your family life?
Matthew is 13 years old and Justin is 10 years old. I also have a wonderful husband that helps me so much. Even though we lead busy lives, we always find moments to be together during the week – whether we’re playing games after homework or going for a bike ride before supper. Most importantly, I really try to make time for each child individually, which I call “mommy time.”
How do you spend your time after work and on the weekends?
My schedule is extremely busy, especially with both of my sons participating in sports. I’m also a manager for my son Matthew’s soccer team. I always joke around at work, saying that I leave my “first shift” at Laura to go to my “second shift” with my kids. Although I’m constantly driving my sons from one soccer field to another – my family calls me “Uber mom” – it brings me great pleasure to see them happy as they play their favourite sports.
Our weekends consist of much of the same. Typically, on Saturdays and Sundays, we go from the fields during the day to some quiet time at home in the evenings. Sometimes we’re joined by family and friends. Other times, it’s just the four of us.
What advice would you give to someone trying to juggle work and home life?
My greatest advice to anyone is not to feel guilty about being unable to divide your time equally between work and family. Some weeks will include less family time, while other weeks will include more. Planning is key, but it’s important not to stress about your schedule. Making time for yourself is also important. Some of my hobbies are kickboxing and running. So, I make sure to take the time to enjoy these activities. I don’t have a precise workout schedule, other than going to a kickboxing session once a week during my lunchtime. As for running, I do much of that during my kids’ soccer practices. I run around the parks or fields while they practice. Therefore, my other piece of advice is to find a physical activity that you enjoy. Whether its sports, dancing, or even, walking, choose something that makes you happy.