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Juggling parenting and full-time work

During these challenging times, we're focused on protecting what makes us strong as a business. And that is: keeping our people healthy and safe, servicing the needs of our customers, and protecting our business to ensure Coca-Cola Amatil remains a regional beverages powerhouse for today and tomorrow.

During these challenging times, we’re focused on protecting what makes us strong as a business. And that is: keeping our people healthy and safe, servicing the needs of our customers, and protecting our business to ensure Coca-Cola Amatil remains a regional beverages powerhouse for today and tomorrow.

For those who are parenting young children or assuming caring responsibilities, this is a particularly challenging time. As one of our Australian-based People & Culture leaders, our Talent Acquisition Team Leader Patricia shares below how she juggles the life of a full-time Coca-Cola Amatil employee, and a full-time parent!

Tell us about your family

I have been married to my husband Steven for 17 years (just celebrated in April!) and we have two children Will and Grace….no we’re not crazy fans of the show, it just turned out that way!

How do you and your partner share and manage the work/life juggle during COVID19?

It’s a bit of a story but my husband’s parents came from Queensland to stay with us before they went on a cruise. This was at the beginning of March. They didn’t go on the cruise but the lock down happened whilst they were staying with us and so they agreed to stay and help out with the children. My husband is on minimal hours whilst he is looking for a new opportunity so both clouds had a silver lining. Will and Grace have had one-on-one tutoring from Nanna and Dad whilst I have been locked away at my desk working and they have thrived! My in-laws leave this Saturday and I am slightly nervous about how we will cope having had such an easy time compared to many of my friends and colleagues.

What is the best advice another working parent has given you?

Be selfish. That’s a terrible thing to say on the face of it but the guilt of working can sometimes have you run ragged trying to be some kind of uber parent. For my sanity I exercise and that time is for me alone and I know that I am a better mum because of it.

Do you ever feel guilty? If so, how do you manage it?

Yes! All the time! Before the lock-down I felt guilty about not doing enough on the weekends as a family. In lock-down we do loads as a family but now I feel guilty because I am not doing the home schooling like my other friends…again, trying to be some kind of uber parent!! The guilt thing is always there, you just need to tune out. I cannot be everything to everyone. My children are healthy and happy. They are ok!

What advice would you give others?

My children are seven and five and I only learnt about two years ago that they get most from me when I just sit with them and cuddle and talk to them one on one. I have learnt to just stop. Take the time. Rest my mind instead of thinking of the millions of things around the house and in my inbox that need attending to and just be with the children.

What is your approach to health and well being?

Reading an old fashioned book and daily exercise. I am addicted to endorphins and I need them….regularly!

Favourite time of the day is...

Very early in the morning. I still get up at 5.30am to exercise and afterwards, I turn the radio on quietly in the kitchen and have a cup of tea and potter before the rest of the house wakes up. Bliss!

I’m happiest when...

I am taking the time to ‘smell the roses’. There is so much to be grateful for. Sometimes I spend so much time focusing on what we haven’t done or haven’t got, rather than looking at what we do have.

I’m addicted to...

So much! I have a very addictive personality! My morning endorphins and my evening glass of wine. Possibly a couple of coffees in the middle there too!

Working parents are...

Depends which day you ask me! I heard a great saying once, “the grass is greener on the other side but it still needs mowing”.