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The Twisted Tango: How My Family Achieves Work-Life Balance

J&J mom Kisha, the next author in our Parents @ Work series, shares how her family tries to achieve work life balance. It’s a “twisted tango” that works for them!
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I’ve always admired moms of all kinds: the mom who works outside the home, the mom of means, the stay at home mom, the I-don’t-have-all-the-resources mom – because we all have one thing in common: unconditional love for our children. It shines like a beacon; like the kind you see in lighthouses along distant shores. I’m like so many other moms: I work, travel, balance, and depend on my husband to work, travel, and balance, too – right alongside our three kids.

It’s tough because two full-time working parents have this intricate dance of schedules, carpools, flights, at-home work and conference calls all taking place in the whisper of your personal life. As the Midsouth District Manager for the Infectious Disease business at Janssen, my flight and road travel tops 65% weekly.

With a schedule like this, a strong support system is necessary. My husband and partner of 15 years and I have perfected the art of lunch, check-ups, and gentle kisses to scraped knees for our two sons Michael Jr, 8 and Tyler Lee, 5, while also being there for our college age daughter, Sydney.

I must admit, it took a long time for me to grow comfortable with trusting in my spouse to lead scouting activities and father-daughter dances. At times, we both had to make some tough choices on being a “distant supporter” versus sending apologies from afar. We figured out what works by trial and error. So how do we maintain this sophisticated art of partnership to make a two parent household successful? It’s not easy, but we follow three basic work life balance rules.

  1. Sticking to our plans. Once my husband and I plan and agree on our roles and responsibilities, we make every effort to stick to them – even if this means declining work functions or foregoing personal time. Our family is our priority, and we’ve agreed to always treat it this way.
  2. Being flexible. We have always found a way to support one another, and to be flexible whenever possible. Sometimes, neither of us is able to attend our children’s activities and events. We involve the children in how to handle these situations. We usually all agree that Grandma and Grandpa make ideal substitutes! For us, watching the videos of the activities as a family together after the event is over can be as great a time to connect as if we were there in person.
  3. Making time for our stress relief. From work, school, and hustle, we used to overlook the importance of getting this done. However, the need for making time for ourselves seemed to surface to the top. For me, it’s exercise and running marathons. For my husband, it’s twilight golf. During this time, our children remain content with endless sports and school activities, and we return as better, refreshed parents.
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But the success of our partnership takes more than just the two of us. It takes a commitment from both our employers. I am so proud to call J&J my employer, not just because of its long standing rankings as a great place for moms to work, but for how it treats its mothers and fathers every day. Work-life balance is always considered and a critical part of Our Credo. My husband’s employer of 17 years has been an equally strong supporter of work life balance, allowing my husband flex time when he needs it.

Our careers, marriage, and lifestyle would not be possible if not for my husband’s commitment and support, my guilt free method of not sweating the small stuff and the two way split on resources and consideration of our proud employers. This twisted tango works for the Davis family

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I have a lot to be proud of; an employer that lives and breathes its Credo. A spouse that can balance his schedule and my laundry list of “to do” items when I travel. His employer who allows for his flex time, and his support of my career unconditionally. I’m a proud mama – the kind that I’ve always admired.

Kisha is a District Manager for Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen Therapeutics Infectious Disease Division. Kisha and her husband, Michael live in Nashville, TN with their three children. In her free time, Kisha enjoys scrap booking, reading and running marathons.

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