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Grow Gratitude: Reflections on an Overwhelming Award

Published: March 10, 2020

Author: Julie Honor

Editor’s note: General Counsel Julie Honor was recently recognized by the American Lung Association with one of four 2020 “Outstanding Mother” Awards in the Chicago area; this year’s other recipients included Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Assurance Agency President Liz Smith, and Dr. Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, Director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and Global Health.
Awards are usually meant to shine a celebratory spotlight on individuals, but thanks to the American Lung Association, I’ve never felt more aware of my incredible community, nor more humbled. When I can stop pinching myself long enough to think about all of the other amazing women who have received this honor, including past recipients and my co-recipients in Chicago and nationwide, my first reaction is to thank everyone within earshot for the support that even put me in this conversation.
Before I launch into a bunch of thank-yous (and they’re coming!), I’d like to note that finding the kind of work-life balance that somehow led to this award is not easy, to say the least. The lucky nights are the ones when I get 2-5 hours of sleep at a time, and I’m “on” from 6 am until 9 pm most days. Finding the right schedule and making sure I give my full commitment to the present activity, whether it is at work or home, is a constant challenge that I try to be very mindful of. But those challenges are filled with such rewards. 
The moment I get into the office, I’m greeted with smiling faces and exciting challenges to tackle, where I feel my work genuinely impacts our company on a daily basis. And then I walk into daycare, where my toddler runs to jump into my arms and my baby speed-crawls to me with a huge smile. Having constantly worthwhile experiences in work life and home life motivates me to find the right balance no matter how hard it gets.

With that said, and with huge thanks to the American Lung Association, I’d like to express profound gratitude for the people who have made that balance possible:

  • My family, especially my husband, Jonathan, for always being a supportive partner and fantastic father. My kids, Jojo and Jackson, for being my inspiration to give it my all every day.

  • My extended family (especially my mother-in-law and sister-in-law) and our friends for always pitching in to help with the kids. It truly takes a village.
  • 3Q Digital, for two reasons. First, for having such fantastic policies in place – flexibility in where and when we work, unlimited PTO, and great health care benefits – to accommodate working parents. Second, for cultivating a workplace that I love, one that truly makes up for the sacrifice of family time. I love that I get to work with brilliant, fun, and collaborative people all day, every day.
  • Our childcare providers, for giving us confidence and comfort that our kids are happy, nourished, loved, and educated while we’re at work.
  • My parents, for setting a great example of how to balance work and family.

One of the best parts about this award is that it immediately made me think about the moms I know – including some incredible 3Q colleagues – who could have won it too. Sharing empathetic conversations about the challenges of balance has been very valuable along the way, so I’d like to give one last thanks (and a shout-out) to the moms and dads who know that you don’t need a plaque with your name on it to claim small victories for changing a diaper at 5:30 a.m., checking Slack at 6 a.m., and managing to pull off both without spilling a mug of coffee.

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