Andrea Doven Analyzes the "Staycation" for Working Moms
"Staycations" are becoming common as families try to save money, but for working mothers they can turn into a week of hard work if the family is still around. Andrea Doven, an expert in the field of employment and human resources, offers tips for a fantastic staycation for working moms.
Andrea Doven has earned the title "Execu-Mom" for her 20 years of work as a mother and an executive in a high-powered industry. For many years, Andrea was the leading force in human resources for companies connected to the film industry, so she understands the high levels of pressure that surround a competitive, fast-paced working environment. Andrea's blog, located at, offers many insights and tips into how to successfully land the perfect job and how to work hard at being the best possible employee in any industry. However, her first priority for working moms is that they balance life and work successfully. In that regard, she advocates the "staycation," a time when fathers take the children away while mothers stay at home for some rejuvenation time.
Doven says, "As most of you know a working mother has two full time jobs. When the workday ends, your next job begins. I wouldn’t trade my 11 years raising my son and working a full time job with anything. I have loved working hard at work and at home, no complaints! Day-to-day managing and coordinating every aspect of a household is in itself a full time job when done right! Needless to say, your time is not entirely your own, and for the most part you are servicing others."
When her husband had to work on the East Coast for 10 days, the Dovens decided to have their son join his dad for some recreation. Because the break occurred at Christmas, Andrea struggled with the potential guilt of being separated from her family, but in the end the couple decided to give the situation a try.
"I decided to stay home and they were gone for 10 days. It sounds callous to say 'send your family away' and probably sounds crazy over the holidays. I was very worried about being lonely and sad in my empty nest, but it was the best decision," says Andrea. "I ended up doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to, at every given moment of those 10 days."
Ms. Doven relates how she reveled in the "me time" she experienced during that week and a half. She did not use her alarm clock and woke up when her body told her to, thereby giving her physical self a chance to reset. She decided on the spur of the moment who to call, who to hang out with, who to talk to and whose company to enjoy, giving her individual personality time to express itself without the constraints of family needs and preferences. She also said that she was able to be extremely productive by completing some projects that she cannot do when her family is at home. "I cleared out my son’s closet. I can’t easily do that when he’s around – he gets pretty attached to his stuff. I went through his games, toys, equipment, nick-knacks, and donated a lot of it that he never even missed when he returned," says Ms. Doven. She also handled backlogged emails, reducing her own stress level, put her house in order and even found time to stroll around Pacific Palisades, her favorite town, shopping and dining. Exercise, visits to museums, phone chats, emails and catching up with old friends were all possible during this staycation.
"Since this was such a successful action for me, I wanted to share it with any of you in similar shoes as mine," says Andrea in her blog. "So to all you busy working moms out there, look at your calendar and figure out when your family can go away and leave you at home to rejuvenate!"
Andrea's advice to mothers who work is not new. Experts have been saying for years that mothers who work outside the home often pull "double duty": functioning as the mainstay for the family's private life as well as taking on their leadership roles in the industry in which they work. This phenomenon is also beginning to affect men who function as the parental provider for their children due to divorce. Ultimately, according to Andrea, something has to give and often that is free time and "me time" for parents.
"It is important to remember that decompression time and personal space is not just a luxury. It is a necessity if you want to stay sane and continue to be productive. There seems to be a point past which productivity simply drops off no matter how hard you work if you do not take time for yourself to relax. Even a few hours of relaxation can make a tremendous difference in your productivity for the rest of the week," says Doven. A staycation may prove to be the perfect antidote for weeks and months of grinding work, allowing mothers to reset and refresh for the future.
Andrea Doven offers advice on this and many other topics to working mothers and those seeking jobs in a competitive market with her blog postings. She also has her own You Tube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFPpmwgZezI . For more examples and ideas from this dynamic mother and professional, see https://vimeo.com/125608940 and https://www.pinterest.com/andreadoven/ . For more information, see http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1249545
About Andrea Doven:
Andrea Doven, daughter of actor Robert Morse and dancer Carole D'andrea, is a native of New York City and the 20-year director of human resources and logistics at Odin Films. She is known as the "woman who makes the trains run," and for the past 10 years has used her talents as the VP of Human Resources at an international tech company. She has an extraordinary record of establishing effective personnel management systems at all levels and is consistently consulted by professionals in a variety of industries and organizations for help in hiring and placing qualified employees.
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