This is the first in a series of blog posts about what real people do to find their own balance among & between all aspects of their lives (work, family, friends, health, spirituality, leisure, community service, etc.). Whether that is caring for a sick relative, parenting, applying for graduate school, preparing to run a marathon, searching for love, dealing with a health challenge or disability, literally anything that takes up time and attention during the business day.
We want to inspire companies and leaders to honor and celebrate the “juggle” not just tolerate or accept it.
Nassim is the co-founder of Docademia, a startup that empowers educators and students to tackle the most pressing social justice issues by connecting them with stories captured and told by independent filmmakers around the world. The company is still in its early growth stage and typically requires more than 50 hours of work per week.
Tell us about yourself:
I live in LaGrange, IL with my very supportive husband and two adorable and active boys, ages 3.5 and 5.5. I am also very lucky to have deeply caring parents who have tons of love for us. However, they are recent permanent residents, which means they need help with many tasks in their daily lives due to language barriers (i.e., doctor visits, etc.). And, my husband is a professor who often has late evening classes (some days he gets home around 11 pm!)
What juggle story would you like to share?
In the Fall of 2017, I decided to quit teaching and focus 100% on Docademia. Our boys were 1.5 and 3.5 years old, but our income was suddenly cut in half, so we could no longer afford to have our 3.5-year-old in a full day preschool. I needed help! Both Grandmas were here and Grandpa (which was amazing!) They could help with the 1.5-year-old, but I had to pick up our older son.
Right around this time period, my co-founders decided to take a different path, and I suddenly found myself doing my tasks AND all the tasks that they had been doing in our very young pre-revenue, pre-funding startup. I needed to figure out how to get the most time out of my day, focus on work and spend the least amount of money possible! Thankfully, our younger son was able to stay with his grandma and my husband took our older son to daycare.
My schedule became kind of crazy!
I would wake up no later than 5:00 a.m.
Then, I took a shower, got ready and left the house to do work at the nearby Panera Bread as soon as they opened.
I did work there until eleven a.m.
Then, I went home to pick up my younger son and give grandma a break.
We then picked up my older son at school.
The night before, I would prep food so I could have their lunch ready with me.
I would then give them lunch in the car.
After lunch, we drove around until they fell asleep.
Once I was sure that they were asleep, this is the funniest part (editor’s note: I’m glad she has such a good sense of humor!)
I would go to the parking lot of a local Dunkin Donuts where I could park close enough to get the Wi-Fi signal.
While the boys were taking a nap for an hour and a half, I added on to my 5:30am-11am business day! I opened my laptop and diligently worked there in the car for as long as they were napping.
Then, as soon as they woke up, that was the end of my workday.
It that was a challenging time, but also very interesting. It gave me some time blocks that I simply HAD to focus. I couldn’t procrastinate. I had to focus only on the most important things. I had to rigorously prioritize. That is my juggle story that I would like to share with the Jugl family. I can’t wait to hear other peoples’ stories.
Thank you so much, Nassim for your participation!
The Jugl is Real!!!!
If you or someone you respect has a story to share, we’d love to hear it! Click here to tell your story or make a referral.