My Story… My name is Erin F. Bouthiette; I am 32 years old, married to my husband Scott for 8 years and we have a wonderful son Samuel who is 3 yrs. young. I am currently the Chief Operating Officer of an IT Consulting Firm called Relational IT. I have been in the staffing industry since I graduated from college –an industry that I just sort of just fell into. While attending St. Michael’s, I majored in Music & Psychology and had a true passion for understanding and helping others through the medium of music. When I realized (very quickly) that this industry was not conducive to the real world “making-a-living” standards, I decided to take a chance at recruiting & sales –something I was actually really good at! Over the past ten years I have learned a lot about myself, and have luckily had some great mentors along the way to help me grow. The fast paced, deal making machine career was in full force –and then I got pregnant.
I remember worrying about my role and duties in the bustling city of Boston literally up until the day that I went into labor. When I returned to work after 3 mos., I realized that things were not the same. I was treated differently –as if I couldn’t handle the regular workload, had to pump in a gross bathroom, and constantly felt guilty about leaving my son at daycare. A co-worker of mine actually said to me “the worst thing you ever did for your career was have a baby”. Is that a joke?!
Everything changed for me when I received an email from an old friend and he asked me to help start Relational IT and offered the flexibility to have a family & career but most important to me – a growth opportunity. My personality didn’t just change because now I have a new baby and family. I still want and desire to grow in my career and to be a top performer. We are currently about 2.5 years into our new company and doing great! Finally, I was able to find an organization and culture that supported what I thought was a reasonable attitude toward working mothers, respectful of the flexibility that working professional parents need but also offering me the challenge and stimulation that I needed as a professional to continue to thrive and grow in my career.
My longest & best friend in the world, Becky Couture (also married w/two young boys) and I decided to start the Blissfulmamas Project because we have both grown to understand that sometimes we will find balance, sometimes things will be chaotic and out of whack, sometimes we all long for change, and are pushed to take a leap of faith to make the changes necessary to find our happy place. Our goal for blissfulmamas is to create a network and community of working mothers who can inspire each other, share what works/what doesn’t and create a positive outcome pushing towards the changes we all need in realizing the culture we must live to feel balanced in career, family and me.
My career challenges…I have dealt with discrimination as a woman, not being taken seriously and once pregnant and then a mother facing judgment from others in my career –am I giving enough time and effort? But the most rewarding thing about being a working mother has been using my brain! Business can be tricky & it is fun to figure out how to deal with different situations & people. I have also had a wonderful support system and grew up in a household where both parents worked. I often look to my parents for advice in business and family life. The essential key has been the fact that my husband has always supported me and my need for new ventures & challenges!
How things have changed…My current organization supports working mothers by not asking questions about where I am, how much time I put in & in turn –I work my ass off! My boss also pushes me to work on projects like blissfulmamas & also volunteering opportunities. I am currently the Co-Chair of the Women’s Initiative of the North Shore Technology Council where I lead topic discussions & host events for women in technology. Yes, I am a secret geek!
Essential career must have… My smartphone & calendar.
Family Dynamic… My husband Scott and I have been married for 8 years. We fell in love in the hills of VT and he is my mountain man. We try to be good parents, although we are often stressed (both working parents trying to balance). We have one son Samuel who is very high energy and the love of our lives! He is a 3 year old rough & tumble boy plus also the sweetest little thing in the world. We call him our little sour patch kid. Sweet, then sour!
To keep organized… I currently use spreadsheets to organize lists, budgets & we use a notebook for bills (how old-school!) but it works for now. I feel like we could be using more technology to help here!! I use a lot of technology at work, but not as much to stay organized in home life. This could definitely use an upgrade!
Fun, fun, fun… We love to do anything outdoors. Scott and I love hiking, snowboarding, swimming –anything adventurous we are into. Since having Sam we haven’t had as much time to do action sports, but eventually we will get back into them (in a mild way). Right now we are all loving the beach and try to get there at least 1-2 times a week. We often go at night after work just to break up the week and take a dip on hot days. Sam loves the waves and just runs up and down the beach 100x after the water and giggles.
Can’t leave home without… Sunscreen (we are all Irish!) We also love Aden & Anais blankets -Sam’s ultimate must have!
Me Time… I try to work out on the regular. It really keeps my head in a good place. I need to make more time for girl time with friends and date nights with the hubs. I also love playing music, but often don’t find time to dedicate to this. I had been good about taking piano lessons before having my son, but that has drifted. I have a personal goal to get back into it. I have been a musician for 18 years and love music. It really is a part of my soul.
Everyday go to…Mascara.
To find balance… Find the culture that you desire. Also, you can’t do it all! My husband is a big key to my success as a professional, mother and taking time for just myself. In fact, he is putting Samuel to bed as I write this, because Sam is in the (you go to bed when I go to bed phase) even though I have a TON of work to do! I work 4 days in the office and/or travel to Boston. I work from home on Fridays and spend the day juggling Sam, emails, calls, the park and not being so distracted by work that I ignore my child all day long. Some days are better than others. It helps when I have an activity planned for the morning.
To NOT find balance… I can often feel overwhelmed and anxious that I am not giving enough to each area of my life. I am an overachiever –Capricorn to the max!
Words of wisdom… Take it day by day. I really like and thrive in making lists to feel more in control and it also helps me to prioritize what I need to do. I try to remember the important things in life. My family, our health and happiness always.