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  • Writer's pictureStryker

5 tips from single parents on how to balance work and family

Updated: 4 days ago

Meet Ann and Sarah. Not only do these two remarkable women have thriving careers, they’re

also single mothers. Ann is mom to Hadley, Nadia and Penelope. Ann has been part of the Stryker team since 2019 and is an Environmental Health and Safety Manager with a background in nursing. Sarah is mom to Benson. Sarah has nearly two decades of experience at Stryker and is currently a Human Resources Director who used to travel frequently for work before the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the secrets to their success? They provide their best tips on how to have it all.

1. Work as a team and communicate

“My girls and I make decisions, tackle bumps in the road and anything else that comes up as a team. We talk about everything, and I try to keep the communication as transparent as possible. It helps keep the house at peace!” – Ann

2. Give yourself grace and patience

“No one is harder on me than me, so I’ve learned how to give myself a break. Whether it’s saying to a colleague that I will have to call you back so I can make lunch for my son or taking a short breather to recharge, I do it.” - Sarah

“I’ve learned to not be so hard on myself as not everything has to be perfect. When things are not going as planned or becoming chaotic, I take a step back and breathe. I look for the beauty in the chaos (it’s nearly always there) and focus on that.” - Ann

3. Carve out time for yourself

“I make sure to do this so I can refocus and just be me. I do yoga and this really centers me - you need to decide what works for you and commit to doing it.” - Ann

4. Say yes to support

“Whether it’s offered to you or even if you have to ask for it, do so graciously. It can be hard to admit when you need assistance, but what I have found is that people generally enjoy helping, so it can be a win-win situation!” - Sarah

5. Focus on quality time together

“Last year for Christmas, instead of giving Benson traditional gifts, I wrapped up envelopes for him to open each month. Each envelope has an activity for us to do together – from visiting amusement parks to pitching a tent in the garden. It’s the best present I could give us both as spending this special time together is priceless. Benson enjoys it so much that he wants to do it again this year!” - Sarah

Ann and Sarah share their final thoughts on being a working single mother at Stryker:

“I’ve been very fortunate to have a great support system. Apart from my family, I have had and continue to have very supportive managers and Stryker offers an Employee Assistance Program which I like knowing that I can reach out to should the need arise.” – Ann

“I feel grateful for the amazing team I get to be a part of at Stryker. I am surrounded by so many talented people, many of which I consider to be close friends!” – Sarah

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