Work Life Blending, the Oxford Family Way

The last time we tried aggressively blending work meetings and home, Maggie was two weeks old and I insisted on attending a work-related meeting in New York City. I spent most of the meeting upstairs just staring at her, and worrying about if she could get bedbugs at the W Times Square. It wasn’t great. We kinda decided we wouldn’t try that again anytime soon.

But, hey, it’s been four years! And we’ve grown so much! And it shouldn’t be too hard, right?

So – this week we tried again. My wife and child came with me to the HR Florida conference, which I had agreed to both speak at and write about. HR Florida is smart and reimburses bloggers for their travel expenses, thanks to the the PR and buzz we bring to the event. Those perks are what allowed our family budget to justify three days in the MickeyMouseland. The writing is primarily blogging, tweeting, and general PR, but requires more time than you’d think, because, of course, you need to actually attend the events to tweet and blog about them.

On the plus side, Maggie got to see my mug all over the conference hotel, because HR Florida goes out of their way to make us bloggers feel like rock stars. Or guilt us into writing about how awesome they are. Which we’d write, anyway, happily, because this is, in fact, the best HR conference in the country, aside from HREvolution.





Maggie and and her other mama got to go to Disney on their own, one day, while I was conferencing away, solving all the world’s HR problems.






And Maggie got to meet some of my favorite people in the universe, people who live all over the United States. We even had breakfast this morning with two of my most frequent IM buddies and professional mentors, Mike VanDervort and Victorio Milian. That was pretty amazing. My family got to meet Shauna Moerke’s infamous stuffed animal named Grrrr, and Ben Eubanks taught Maggie a new trick which now she’s insisting we break our old people backs trying:












And logistically, it was all good. But internally, instead of being two places at once as I often am at conferences, (work and the sessions) this week I was in three. Thinking about, spending time with, and focusing on work, the conference, and my family was simply too much. I didn’t give as much attention to any of the three as I would have liked, and frankly, I feel wiped out.

If I had to do it all over again, I probably would have managed my family’s expectations a bit better, and would have cleared proper boundaried time each day for work calls, conference attendence, and family meals.

So – blended? Yes. Maybe too blended? Yes, this time. But for next time, we’ll have a better plan, and we’ll know that the third time is a charm. Who’s ready to take a chance on the Oxford family flyers? You might get your money’s worth. Might.

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