Name: Cynthia Crossley
Number of children: 3
Job title: Co-Founder of Habyts, www.habyts.com, a family habit-building app and system that manages kids’ screen time, homework, chores and more.
Duties: At the moment, my primary focus is on doing everything it takes to make Habyts succeed. Because Habyts was born from my personal journey as a parent struggling with my kids’ screen time, I get involved across all functional areas of the business.
Hours: I’m a recovering workaholic! In fact, working on Habyts forced me to re-evaluate my own habits. At one point I was running myself ragged – which was bad for everyone. Now I increasingly carve out times in the day dedicated to certain activities – both personal and professional. Not surprisingly, I take extra care to ensure that the all-consuming beasts of email and social media are specifically scheduled – or else I’m not really getting the most out of whatever I should be focusing on. This has made an enormous difference in my effectiveness and happiness.
Childcare arrangements: I have two teens and a little one. Over the years, we have had all sorts of childcare arrangements and varied work patterns. The only constant about childcare is that it is likely to change at some point! Make time to build a network with other parents at school – even if you can only do it a little over time – it will help with childcare and personal sanity.
What I love about work: I’m lucky to work with a brilliant team of folks who care as passionately as I do about making a difference. Our team has so many creative ideas about how to make Habyts great for our customers. We want to ease the daily struggles of managing screen time, homework, chores, privileges and the many other practicalities of raising kids. I love the fact that what we do so directly impacts families and the broader society. My favourite moments are when I talk with a parent or professional about the practical requirements for a whole system to raise responsible, happy kids in a distracted world – and how Habyts fits into that. I just love it!!!
What I find difficult is: I find it difficult to turn off and to focus on what I’ve accomplished each day (rather than what’s still left to do). This is compounded by the fact my co-founder is my husband! We have to make a huge effort to not just talk about kids and work.
My working life would be easier if… I could do less worrying and more self-care. Worrying only hinders my ability to fully enjoy right now and ignoring self-care doesn’t benefit anyone around me.
Work/mum life balance: Ooh…that’s a toughie. I stop beating myself on the head with the ‘balance stick’ and decided to focus on being in the moment. I know it sounds a bit Zen but I’m currently focused on building 3 habits. First, build and share routines with my family and workmates so that I don’t have to think about the small stuff. Second, say yes whenever I see the chance to do more with my kids, even if it just means 10 minutes of Lego with my young one or 40 minutes watching The Flash with my teens. Third, ‘don’t let yesterday use up too much of today’ and, instead, focus on doing the best I can in each moment.
How having children has changed the work I do: I went from corporate executive to building a very personal business based on my journey as a parent. More than anything else I have done, raising my kids has helped me to grow up and become a better person. I’ve had to figure out what I believe in and decide what kind of parent I want to be. I’ve had to find the parenting balance between traditional and modern, authoritarian and permissive, disciplined and flexible, involved and hands-off. And these are the learnings I am trying to build into Habyts.
Fantasy job / If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be… Right now, I feel like I am doing exactly what I am meant to be doing. (But I still have talk show host and writer on my to do list).
Mojomums helps mums get their mojo back – what advice would you give to mums who feel they have lost theirs? Reach out to people you admire and surround yourself with others who can appreciate – and possibly share – your aspirations. You’ll gain inspiration and build your confidence by being exposed to new ways of thinking. Maybe listen to an educational podcast once a week to get into the right mindset. Then practice doing something new – no matter how small. Write an article for a blog. Learn to code a little each day with codeacademy. Become that person who is willing to just do things. Remember that real change comes from tiny habits built up one-by one.
For more information visit www.habyts.com