Creating More Capacity - Jill Schiller, Hamilton County Treasurer: Mom to son, Ben and daughter, Reagan
Welcome to the third edition of our monthly series, “Redefining the Art of Being an Executive Mom.” Every month we will tackle one challenge of being an Executive Mom (EM) through the lens of EMs who are in it. Expect tough questions with unapologetically real answers.
This month’s topic is “Creating More Capacity” both at work and at home. The key to creating capacity is to surround ourselves with the right people and then empower them to successfully complete tasks that are a drain on our time, energy and talents. In doing this, we create more space to prioritize where we spend our time in order to rise in life and in our careers. But this is easier said than done because it requires us to hold ourselves accountable. This means setting boundaries and having the discipline to hold to them. Only through consistent behaviors and actions can we teach people how we are going to show up and what they can expect from us. Jill Schiller is a master of this as she juggles a very public and hectic job with her desire to still be a present and active mom and wife as well as take time for herself. As she states, “Creating capacity is crucial to our own mental and physical well-being and that of our families. If we can’t maintain space for ourselves, we’ll burn out.” Enjoy this very real and honest assessment of how Jill creates more capacity, allowing her to stand firmly in her power and continue on the path that is giving her fulfillment.
Let’s go deeper:
Why is creating more capacity important to you? What steps have you taken to do so?
As women, we learn early in adult life that we’ll carry a lot. Creating capacity is crucial to our own mental and physical well-being and that of our families. If we can’t maintain space for ourselves, we’ll burn out. Learning how to do it is so important - we can’t do it all by ourselves. I think that’s the hardest lesson to learn, that you need to find a safety net of friends, family, school and community. And sometimes things will fall by the wayside and that’s ok too.
How do you manage the demands of your job with the demands of your home life?
I’m very lucky to have a super supportive partner. My husband works from home, which helps A LOT in terms of balance. My job offers a bit more flexibility during daytime hours, but in return I frequently have commitments in the evening at community events. It’s a juggling act, but we do it.
What do you do with your time when you are able to create more capacity for yourself?
I try to do things that are relaxing. If I can get in a chapter of a book, grab a coffee or glass of wine with a friend or just finish Wordle, it’s a small win that goes a long way towards restoring sanity!
What is the biggest thing that gets in the way of creating more capacity and what do you do about it?
Both of our families are far away - mine in Philadelphia, Josh’s in Connecticut. It would be so much easier to have that support network closer. That said, we’ve found so many wonderful friends and caregivers who love our kids. You make it work.
You and your husband both have big jobs. How do you work together as a family to keep things on track at home?
There’s a lot of planning. LOTS of shared google docs and calendars. My husband usually doesn’t travel for work, but for the past two months has been on the road almost every week (all week!). It’s been a real struggle but through good communication and (again - theme here) coordination with our friends, we keep it together. One of the most important things I’ve learned is that no one’s going to die if something gets skipped or missed. Sometimes the answer to keeping things running is to stop running. A missed soccer practice, a late arrival to karate - these are ok from time to time.
How do you deal with Executive Mom guilt?
Ugh. See above, where I say it doesn’t matter if you miss a soccer practice? I said that, but it doesn’t always *feel* like it doesn’t matter when it happens. More like I have failed in a hot mess of bad planning, LOL. I try to step back and put it in perspective. It doesn’t always work though.
How do you recover after a bad day?
A bit of time shut up in the bedroom never hurts if you can swing it. Maybe even a 15 minute nap. And then spending some time with the kids NOT focusing on to-dos. Pulling the plug for a bit. Also a good run. And then probably a glass of wine, ha!
What is your biggest Executive Mom hack when you feel like you are juggling too much at once?
Triage! What’s the most important thing, what’s the next thing, and what doesn’t absolutely need to be done? When you get the priorities straight sometimes it falls into place.
For additional Q&A, check out our ForthRight Women blog here. Also, check out Forthright-Women.com to become part of our community. Here you can sign-up for our newsletter and be the first to know about our latest podcast episodes, local events and virtual programs. ForthRight Women was born from ForthRight People, which was founded by Anne Candido and April Martini, two Executive Moms who are in it as well.