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“Go easy on yourself”: Advice for achieving the working/parenting balance

Increasingly, workplaces around the world are realising that more needs to be done to accommodate all types of employees – not just those who neatly fit the 9-5, Monday to Friday workweek of the twentieth century.

As a part of Envato’s commitment to providing an inclusive workplace for all people, we’ve focused on ensuring that our workplace is supportive to our employee’s needs and lifestyles. Our full-time remote staff, part-time employees, and employees based at Envato’s Melbourne HQ all enjoy a flexible, results-based workplace. This benefits all of our team, regardless of their commitments outside of work.

A large percentage of Envato’s employees are working parents, and so we know firsthand that finding the work/family balance is a difficult task. To open up the discussion on the challenges surrounding working & parenting, we’re holding a meetup event later this month. Moderated by Envato co-founder (and parent) Cyan Ta’eed, the intention of the event is for participants to hear from experts with real life experience, and also to ask questions and share their own experiences.

Family photos and Dad-of-the-year awards: work/life balance around the Envato HQ.
Family photos and Dad-of-the-year awards: work/life balance around the Envato HQ.

To kick off before the event, we asked our panelists, and some of the team around Envato, to share their best advice on parenting and working.

Brett Elliot, Product Manager at Envato welcomed his first child Oscar earlier this year, he names flexibility as key. “I would truthfully struggle to put into words how much a flexible workplace has helped me be a better parent and husband.”

He also says to give yourself a break sometimes. “Parents put a lot of pressure on themselves. To be the perfect partner, the perfect parent, the perfect employee, etc. My advice would be to take the time to ground yourself. Go easy on yourself. Know you’re doing the best that you can. It’s okay to have a hard day.”

Briany Kalms, Support Team Leader at Envato and mother of two, agrees with Brett.

“Give yourself a break, and don’t try and do exactly what you did before you had kids. Sometimes things just have to slip and that’s okay. It’s all about priorities,” she says. “Just do what works for you and don’t feel like you have to meet anyone else’s expectations about what you do or don’t do.”

Lisa Cutler is one of our panelists at the event. As a certified Life Coach, she works with some of Australia’s largest organisations to assist with the development of their female leaders. She is also a mother of twins. She advises setting up ‘time boundaries’: allocated times for different aspects of your life. “You may have a dedicated ‘time with kids time boundary’ where you read or play with them and don’t do the housework, dinner or emails at the same time,” she explains. “Don’t forget the ‘Me’ time boundary, where you do something just for you to recharge your batteries – hot bath, read a book, gym, walk.”

Lisa also emphasised the importance of not taking things too seriously. “We often worry too much and put too much pressure on ourselves to get it all right, to be perfect or to not let anyone down… but it doesn’t matter if we stuff up. We can’t get it right all the time. Let it go. Laugh at it if you can.”


What to expect when you’re parenting and working is being held at Envato HQ in Melbourne on Wednesday 26th October at 6.00pm.

Prue Gilbert, CEO and Co-founder of Grace Papers
Lisa Cutler, Director of Cutler Coaching and Founder of The Butterfly Program
Xavier Russo, Strategy and Marketing Manager at Envato
Cyan Ta’eed, Co-founder and Executive Director of Envato
We’d love to see you there! Tickets are limited so please register here.

Featured image icons by burtsevserge and GraphicRiver.

Jo Miller

About the Author Jo Miller

Jo Miller is the People Partner at Envato.