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The Wixii™ Project: Dana Addis

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Dana Addis

Name: Dana Addis

 Location: Vail, CO

 Professional Industry: Fortune 500 Technology Consulting & Outsourcing Firm

 Company: Cognizant

 Job Title: Executive Recruiter


“I feel blessed to work at home. I spent many years trying to find a situation that worked.  However, I think the struggle to be more “present” even with all this flexibility is a constant one.”


Meet our featured Wixii™, Dana Addis.   She is late thirties and mother to daughter, Stella, 9 and son, Beckett, 2.  She and her husband, Brendan, were married 4 years before they welcomed their daughter into the world.  Her formal education is a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She currently is an Executive Recruiter for Cognizant where she spends her time in management consulting and corporate headhunting.  Her husband, Brendan, is a partner/principal of Utility Revenue Services.

As the shared caregiver and breadwinner, she devotes more than 50 hours per week to her career and would rate her work-life satisfaction level as 5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest).  She describes the policies of her workplace as moderately work-life friendly and recognizes that the connected world we live in makes it difficult to slow things down or decrease pressure.  Dana covers 81-100% of the cooking and shopping for the family, 61-80% of cleaning and laundry and 41-60% of the caregiving, children’s school work and children’s extra-curricular activities outside her working hours.

To maintain her own well-being, Dana tries daily to eat well, as well as exercise, connect with loved ones and find time for some hobbies on a weekly basis.  On a monthly basis, she hopes to catch up on sleep, spend time with friends, as well as find time for pampering, travel and prayer/meditation.  Dana volunteers up to 10 hours a month at her children’s schools.


My current work-life mix is possible (manageable) because of…

I have help!  My husband and a great babysitter who helps me with my kids and my household tasks (shops, laundry, etc). I truly believe it takes a village and I have no family where I live.

In what ways did your work-life mix change after having children?

Prior to children, I obviously had more time for ME! After having children, my husband and I had to figure out the division of labor around the house. As we  both worked outside of the home and traveled for work, we had to pick up the childcare, activities, homework and are equal partners. On other matters, he handles the bills, “household maintenance” activities and I handle the shopping, cooking and social calendar (for the most part).

Growing-up, what was your vision of work and life?

My parents both worked and my dad helped around the house although in those days, my mom did the share of the cooking and cleaning and running us around. My grandmother lived next door and I spent most afternoons after school at her house.

What has surprised you most about juggling work and family?

I feel blessed to work at home. I spent many years trying to find a situation that worked. My husband also works at home. This is a blessing and a challenge as we can split duties with the children. The downside is we spend a lot of time working in the “off hours” and it is a struggle to find time for the two of us. I think the struggle to be more “present” even with all this flexibility is a constant one.

Describe a current “day in your life” from waketime to bedtime:

6:00 am:  Rise, make coffee and lunches and work for a couple of hours until the kids get up so I’m not behind after I take them to school (or my husband does).   Most of my clients are on the east coast so usually I get up around 6am to meet their schedules.

8:00am: Kids to school and then work from home.

Midday: I will try to fit in lunch with a friend, errands or a workout during the day and get out for about an hour.

3:00pm:  I usually pick up my daughter from school and run her home or to an after school activity (soccer, tutoring, gymnastics,etc). If I do not have my babysitter (who is a godsend!!), I will go get my son from preschool around 4pm then come home and work on dinner or run around and pick up my daughter!

6:00pm: Dinner and bedtime routines.

8:00pm: Kids bedtime

9:00pm: Typically, I will have to work again after dinner for an hour or two because of the after school time.

XX:00pm: I fall into bed exhausted :).

On a daily basis, I am energized/motivated/inspired by:

I am energized/motivated/inspired by my children and their delight in the world around them, their innocence and their laughter. I am energized by the beautiful mountains and sunsets around me. I am motivated to be a good role model for my children.

On a daily basis, I am drained/frustrated by:

I am drained by demanding clients and the ever increasing workload. I set a high bar for myself and it is hard when you feel sometimes it’s just not good enough. I get frustrated when I can’t “do it all”- and compare myself with others. I want to have a clean home, good marriage, cook healthy dinners and raise well behaved, confident children who work hard. It’s overwhelming.

What do you wish you could change about your current work-life mix?

I would like to do a better job of developing friendships with other women, more time for my spouse and a better job “letting go” after the work day is done. It is hard to do that sometimes with working at home.

What does “having it all” mean to you?

Happy kids, financial security,  and strong family relationships/support system.

Do you think that you “have it all”?

Not right now. I think there is too much pressure in society to “have it all” and I have definitely bought into that. I was on a plane last week, and in an ad for diamonds, there was the phrase, “Why settle when you can have it all” (accompanied by a 3 CT diamond).  To me, that is the impossible standard that I and many women hold themselves to. In this day of Pinterest, Facebook, etc., it is easy to get caught up in the pursuit of perfection in work and life: making cookies and crafts for school while also holding down a full time job!  I believe I am lucky in my life and have gratitude for it but I am struggling with this expectation, in all honesty.

Share your key(s) to maintaining order (“managing it all”) and any tools you highly recommend:

I have a to-do list for personal and professional tasks that I manage toward every day. I use outlook to calendar things for my husband so things don’t fall through the cracks. I take a few minutes every day to tidy up around the house, put away laundry, take care of things so it doesn’t pile up.

I recommend 100 Days of Real Food as an excellent site for lunch ideas, healthy, sustainable eating. I use it all the time, especially when I’m in a funk.

What advice would you give a pre-child version of yourself?

Pre-kids, I felt like I took a fair bit of risks with my career and life- I traveled for work all the time, moved to 3 different states and went after career opportunities. I feel good about that. I wish I would have traveled a bit more on a personal level, and worked more on personal friendships. That is really hard to do once you have a family.

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