Be You and Thrive sat down for a one-on-one interview with Krista Parin from Buchanan, Michigan. Krista has an established full-time career of eleven years, is a wife and mother of three. We know you will enjoy the insights that she shares about balancing life, what inspires her to live authentically and how she maneuvers through life’s unexpected hurdles. Her energy and drive is contagious!
Be You and Thrive: How do you balance your various roles of wife, motherhood, career and all of your other activities?
Krista Parin: One of the mentors in my company recently shared with me that there is no such thing as balance—it’s all harmony.
If you think about music, sometimes a certain instrument will be louder than others. You’re never going to find a perfect balance of everything. It just doesn’t exist. But you can create a life that has harmony, where all of the different elements have their own moment to shine. You can have it all, but you can’t have it all at once.”
One thing my husband and I always say, ‘You can’t parent sitting down. When you’re in it, you have to be in it.’ I’m working crazy hours, giving to my kids nights and weekends. I prioritize my husband, Adam, first. If my marriage isn’t healthy, my kids will notice right away. I take care of that first, before the kids and before my job. The foundation is that I have a happy marriage, where we love each other and support each other and that I feel his support, so I can be a great mom and be great at work.
BY&T: It’s an interesting reminder how the focus of your priority (your husband) affects the other facets of your life.
KP: Yes, he is my rock, my foundation. He is the spoke to the wheel. Everyone’s priority is going to be different and once it’s discovered and you commit to it, your life will flow as it should.
BY&T: This forum’s focus is to strengthen our daily practice to live authentically. What inspires you to keep living an authentic life?
KP: I have a strong faith and keep the perspective that I am very blessed. I try to stay mindful that there are people who have it worse. I think where much is given, much is expected and I’ve been given a lot and have a lot that I am expected to give back. I do it joyfully.
BY&T: We will all go through hurdles and setbacks in life. Can you share how you personally maneuver through difficult times?
KP: There are things in your life that will come unexpectedly. Sometimes I find myself wondering when the ball is going to fall. (We both relate and share some laughter). I find if I keep everything on par and lean into the things that are good, good things seem to happen. Whatever I like to do, I lean into it. I like to be with my family, so I lean into that.
BY&T: And so has the ball ever fallen?
KP: My husband’s mom passed away recently at the age of sixty-seven. It was tragic and horrible and sad. I was constantly checking in with him; ‘How are you doing?’ or ‘How can I support you?’ And he would often say, ‘Well Krista, when I’m sad I just let myself be sad and I don’t try to stop feeling that way. It’s part of the mourning process.’ And of course my character is the type that wants to fix it. He embraced the pain of losing his mother and kept it in perspective. He allowed himself to feel and live through it. I’ve learned you have to live it when you’re in it. And there is a silver lining. Once you go through something, you can help other people that go through it. You have a gift and you’re able to help them with your new perspective.
BY&T: You certainly showed your husband genuine love through this difficult process. Do you think loving yourself allows you to love others?
KP: It’s so true that you can’t love other people until you love yourself. You have to be really forgiving of yourself. This is important to me. I think I’m very forgiving with myself and I also respect who I am. I know who I am more than I ever have and that’s a really beautiful thing. It brings ease when you’re able to edit what you want in and out of your life. It’s very easy to make decisions when you know who you are.
BY&T: We each have women in our life that help mold us into the women we are today. Who is your most inspiring role model and why?
KP: Not to sound cliché, but my mother. My mom is totally selfless and is an amazing woman. She worked while we were in school and had a variety of different roles but basically was a stay at home mom. She wasn’t a friend to us and was a strict mother, but now we’re friends because of that.
I recently came to a point in my career where I told her that I was considering being a stay at home mom. I thought in my mind she would say to me, ‘Krista, of course you should.’ She’s not a person that tells another person to do something because it worked for her. Instead, she was almost offended and shared how hard she worked so I could go to college, have a career and work for a great company. ‘I think you should keep it up.’ Though I know my mother really well, I was not expecting that answer. It meant so much to me that she truly wanted me to have the life she didn’t have. She didn’t get to go to college and knows that even though things are harder if I do both, she still wants me to go for it. She knows I can do hard things. It’s kind of like tough love. I feel like I was blessed to have a very solid foundation.
BY&T: Do you have any words of wisdom for the women in the Be You and Thrive community?
KP: I think it’s important to learn from women of different ages. Age to me is not an issue or relevant. Being willing to get together and listen to one another is so important. The things that are going on in the news and in politics, as well as the way we still judge each other as women—we still have a long way to go.
When I had kids and became a working mom, my life was different. There were circumstances when I had to take time off from my job and I needed women to support me through that. I’m so grateful for them. There is a place for women to help other women. Women need other women to help bolster them as they go thru the challenges of their life.
Krista and I continued our dialog on various topics including her thoughts on the importance of projecting confidence, feeling joyful about her future and the significance of doing things you’re passionate about. Look for more insight from her in future posts found in the Insight from Thriving Women section of the Thrive Blog.
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