Name: Alexa Devine Harnig
Location: Charleston, SC
Company: Empire Sports Management
Professional Industry: Events Management
Job Title: Vice President – Director of Events
WIXII-ISM™ FROM ALEXA:
“Sure, I feel overwhelmed at times working from home, but I then remind myself how fortunate I am to have a great job, stay at home, and still share in all the precious moments with my children. I do truly feel like I have the best of both worlds.”
Meet our featured Wixii™, Alexa Devine Harnig. She is in her late 30s and mother to two young daughters (ages 3 and 15 months). She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in Sports Administration from Baylor University. She is currently Vice President – Director of Events at Empire Sports Management, a company that specializes in the management of unique celebrity and corporate golf events as well as representing athletes and entertainers. She is also serving as the MOMs Club President for her community this year. She and her husband love coaching girls’ basketball and working out together and are involved in their church community.
ALEXA’S CAREER PATH:
Prior to meeting my husband, I would have described myself as a work-a-holic. I absolutely love what I do in the event management business. Every day is a new adventure. After moving to South Carolina at age 27, I was doing contract work for my current boss for four months. I loved the work so much that I stayed. I have worked with my current company for 12 years now as an event coordinator/manager. After meeting my husband later in life (we got married when I was 35), we decided to start a family. I had my first child at 36 and my second child at 38. My boss is a family man and, since I had put in 10 years with the company prior to my first child, he offered to let me work from home. He has been wonderful and understanding and basically lets me do my thing. As long as the work/projects are getting done, he is happy and so far things have worked out very well. I am truly blessed!
ALEXA’S MINDSET AND WORK-LIFE MIX:
I am very optimistic. I was especially excited to hear about the work-life mix and hearing how other “moms” do it. Sure, I feel overwhelmed at times working from home, but I then remind myself how fortunate I am to have a great job, stay at home and still share in all the precious moments with my children. I do truly feel like I have the best of both worlds.
Every day is a new adventure. I feel like my current work-life-mix is always in flux since I am in the event business. At times, my work is very time sensitive and intense. Other times, when we have no events scheduled, it is much less stressful and time consuming. If I had to provide a current snapshot, I would say my day is about 17 hours long. I often spend late nights catching up on email and event business and prepping for the next day so as not to lose valuable time with the babies. I know this is not good for my sleep schedule, but it is only a season. Having two toddlers, the caretaking is full-time most days, although I have invested in a day-time nanny while I work from home so that has allowed me to get more done during the day and still be around the kids. We have invested in a cleaning service that comes every 2 weeks which was an absolute blessing as that allows me to just manage the household chores and saves the deep cleaning, floor scrubbing and bathroom cleaning for someone else.
Family: how do you build meaningful relationships with the people who matter most in your life?
It is very easy for me to get overwhelmed with the “to-dos “ in life, as I know most moms endure. Staying connected with like-minded mothers has been key for helping me realize that the inbox will always be full, there will always be another bed to make, another dish to clean but my husband and children deserve for me to live in the moment. My uncle passed away this year from cancer. He lived his life in the moment. He was an amazingly spiritual man as well as an unbelievably successful entrepreneur, and he had this uncanny ability to stay in the moment and enjoy it. He made everyone he interacted with feel like they were the most important people in the world. I have always tried to emulate him and after his passing, it has really helped me remember to stay and enjoy the moment and this helps me build meaningful relationships with the people who matter most.
House: how do you maintain order/status quo and/or how do you “manage it all” just a bit better?
Thankful for informative resources like Women in the Mix, and I realized that it is okay to seek help. Managing a household is a full-time job and add to that the jobs of wife and full-time employee, and you need more than 24 hours in a day to do it all. One of the best decisions I ever made was to hire in-home care. My nanny is an incredible gift from God and, while working from home, she allows me to have the best of both worlds. The second best decision was to invest in someone to clean the home every two weeks. Let’s just say I love every other Thursday. ☺ These two decisions allow me to have more freedom and flexibility to create a better work-life mix and enjoy my experience.
Self: how do you strengthen your own identity and not lose yourself in the mix?
This is a great question–early on, I did struggle with losing my identity and feeling every day that I was like a sea turtle in the ocean just trying to keep my head above water. However, as I began to take control, invest in help, and change my mindset, I have become a stronger person and am constantly aware that every day is a game of balance, some days I fall off the beam but other days I’m able to navigate all the way to the end with a decent dismount. I remember reading Embracing the Seasons of Our Work-Life Mix – this idea of “seasons of life” has also pulled me through many exhausting days remembering that this is a season to be enjoyed because one day, I will miss it.
What advice would you give an earlier version of yourself?
Alexa – your work is enjoyable and has afforded and will afford you some amazing opportunities but it pales in comparison to the joy of raising your two daughters and your husband. Enjoy the work but, remember, better things are coming and well worth the wait. God will bless you with the most amazing man you have ever met who will cherish, support and love you and serve as a wonderful example for your baby girls!!
Is there anything you would like to share about work-life mix?
I’m so thankful for a community like this one. The stories are truly inspiring. As women, we are blessed to have the opportunity to be mothers and the load is sometimes very heavy and overwhelming. It is nice to share stories and learn from others how to maximize the work-life mix and to realize we are all in this together doing the most important job of all.