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The Importance of Being a Juggler

Christina Bilinski

Christina Bilinski is the Tampa Office Administrator.

I was raised by two hard-working, caring parents. They were both full-time professionals, but somehow managed to come home at the end of the day to be Mom and Dad. I always considered parenting their second full-time job. Growing up in this environment taught my brother and me numerous valuable life lessons. And perhaps more important, my parents instilled in us both the value of a solid work ethic and the importance of caring for family. I have always focused my efforts on managing a balance in my life between the two.

I interviewed for the Tampa Office Administrator position at Quarles & Brady in 2010, I was working as a Director of Human Resources for a New York Publishing Company. I had spent the past year laying off more than 150 employees in five different states. I was intrigued by the opportunity to grow a new Tampa Q&B office. My initial research of the firm told me that the firm was strongly focused on culture, family-friendly policies and diversity initiatives. I was thrilled when I was offered the job.

When I accepted the position at Quarles & Brady, my husband and I and our two sons seemed to be on the right track. The oldest son was starting high school and the other in middle school. Both boys are intelligent and active, and were heavily involved in numerous activities. Life seemed great as these were meant to be the "good years" and I was excited about the next chapter in our lives. But things change...

Shortly after I started at Quarles & Brady, my 18-year marriage took a sudden turn for the worse and I was forced to endure a very difficult and unpleasant divorce. As a result, I now have 100% custody of, and responsibility for, my two sons. Attempting to fill the role of both Mom and Dad is very demanding, especially when your primary job is a full-time professional. But parenting truly is a labor of love. I often remember my parents' lesson that work is important and the commitment to succeed supports the family. So in addition to maintaining a firm commitment to work, I find time to attend to my sons' needs; doctors' appointments; school functions; athletics; sickness; or just the day-to-day challenges of being a parent. I find a way to balance the demands of work and the needs of my family. As every parent knows, we become really good at juggling!

During these challenging times, I am continually comforted by the flexibility and unwavering support offered to me by my Quarles & Brady family. It's not easy some days to find the right balance between my job and being 'Supermom', but Quarles & Brady makes it manageable for me. I'm not sure whether being a single mom has given me the skills to manage a law office or vice-versa, but both have proven to be two of the most rewarding jobs I may ever have. I am grateful and proud to work for a firm that understands the importance of the 'Family and Work-Life Balance'.

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