Aviation for Women

SEP-OCT 2018

Aviation for Women is the flagship member publication of Women in Aviation International. Articles feature women who have made aviation history, professional development ideas, and current-topic articles.

Issue link: https://afwdigital.epubxp.com/i/1014503

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48 AviationforWomen S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 Wisdom From a Working Mom K R I S T I N A F A L L O N A s working parents, we find ourselves des- perately searching for a magic formula that will help us achieve the elusive work- life balance. The secret to my success in- cluded time management, a lot of patience, a very strong will, and the occasional glass of wine. I guarantee every working mom reading this right now is nodding her head in agreement. My journey as a working mom began when I started Fallon Pilot Shop in my home office. I was an e-commerce merchant selling basic pilot supplies including books and uniforms. I encoun- tered the same challenges and growing pains all new businesses face. But my business manage- ment skills and passion for the aviation industry got me through those obstacles. However, there was one challenge my college degree and previous work experience could not have prepared me for—motherhood. My business was off and running, but I was at a crossroads that many women encounter. I desperately wanted my business to be successful, but I also wanted a fam- ily. I refused to compromise on either. The start of my business coincided with the start of my fam- ily, and my husband's long deployments overseas. I was home alone with a business in its infancy and an infant. Between the two, I suffered many sleepless nights. It was challenging, but I was committed. Another year went by quickly and my inventory grew—now taking up three rooms in our home. Soon after, we welcomed another baby. I was list- ing products, receiving inventory, and shipping out orders between nursing a baby and chasing a toddler. It truly was a balancing act. At times, I was over whelmed with feelings of guilt and stress because I was unsuccessful- ly dividing my time evenly between work and family. I struggled to find a way to be efficient in both worlds. As I searched for the perfect solution, I re- alized it didn't exist. Instead, I managed the things that were within my control, mostly my time. By prioritizing my tasks, I could focus my attention on what needed to be accomplished in the moment. Adjusting my expectations, setting routines, and creating good habits allowed me to be more efficient. When it came to work, I became more disci- plined. I set specific times for tasks like check- i n g em a il a nd re s e a rch i n g n e w pro duc t s , t hings I could work on while t he kids were sleeping. Devoting myself 100 percent to one task for just 30 minutes resulted in a very pro- ductive half hour. To conquer my self-inflicted, mom-shaming guilt, I avoided multitasking when spending time with my children. This originated from the realization that the quality of our time together was worth so much more than the quantity of time I was devoting to them. In our home, Sun- day is family day. Unless there is a special work event or an emergency, I am completely focused on family. One bit of advice passed down by my moth- er was to make time for myself. It sounds ri- diculous to make time for yourself when the problem is dividing your time among others. But there is a lot of value in taking the time to stop and recharge. I started reserving a short break for myself usually after the kids went to bed. I typically spent that time unwinding with a glass of wine, reading a good book, or getting in some exercise. With my new set of time management tech- niques my business was flourishing, my kids were happy and healthy, and my sanity was intact. As my kids approached school age, I decided to take my business to the next level. I finally leased a building and opened a storefront for Fallon Pilot Shop in Melbourne, Florida. The separation of work and home became easier, and it opened a whole new world of opportunity and growth for my business. My kids are also thriving. Sarah, age 5, is smart and curious. She loves school and reads any book she can get her hands on. Caleb, age 4, is silly and creative. He has a big imagination and he is always up for an adventure. And, of course, they both love airplanes. Because of my working mom experience, my business and the people I work with are part of my family, and my family is a part of my busi- ness. There is no quick trick to work-life bal- ance. Instead, you must find what works best for you. Find the balance that gives you pride in a job well done, both at work and at home. ✈ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kristina Fallon, WAI 74558, is president of Fal- lon Aviation Pilot Shop in Melbourne, Florida. There was one challenge my college degree and previous work experience could not have prepared me for— motherhood. I N O U R O W N W O R D S

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