Moms don’t get the recognition they deserve! As a business run BY local moms FOR local moms, Boston Moms is excited to showcase the hard work local moms are doing — both at home and in their professions.
Boston Moms is proud to feature Mian LaVallee, a senior partner at Wilson Group Real Estate. Mian is a busy mom of three and THE go-to realtor for the Boston area. This week, she’s teaching us how to be organized and prevent burnout by unapologetically taking time for ourselves.
We asked Mian to tell us about herself. Let’s get to know her!
Name: Mian LaVallee
Hometown: I grew up in Fairfax, VA (right outside of Washington, D.C.) but currently live in North Framingham, right on the Sudbury border.
Tell us about your family: I have three kids — Sophia (13), Stella (11), and Lucca (7). They keep my husband Jeff and I VERY BUSY. All three of them were born early, and two out of three were almost 9 pounds at 37 weeks!
What is your favorite local restaurant? Bullfinchs in Sudbury!
What do you like most about where you live? I live within 10 minutes of the essentials — Home Goods, Target, Total Wine, and Olive Garden (kidding!) — but also far enough away that we generally can’t hear anybody and can still see the stars every night!
What do you do for work? I’m the senior partner of a very busy, fast-paced, and ever-growing realty group based in Newton. We have been the #1 team in our office for 10 years, and we keep that title by selling over $100 million in volume and focusing on doing right by our buyers and sellers. We absolutely love what we do (otherwise, how could we justify working all the time?) and it shows. Our referral business drives our success, and we pride ourselves on going the extra mile and being one step ahead.
What does your schedule at home look like? At home I run another business, but unfortunately my employees don’t listen as well! My three kids and their extracurricular activities keep me busy. Honestly, I have to use the same skill set I use in the office at home — time management, clear and concise calendars, empathy, patience, and some big-time negotiation skills. Then, I need to cook.
That’s a lot going on! How do you make it manageable? The way I see it, my job is to make dreams happen, both at home and at work. The only way to make it possible is with a great team.
At work, I have an amazing support system, from my behind-the-scenes administrative staff members to my incredible assistant. They work so hard to keep me sane.
At home, we’ve always had au pairs and it has worked out great (aside from the occasional horror story). Having someone who lives with us is definitely an adjustment, but also such a blessing. They truly become part of our family and come with us to every vacation, dinner outing, and adventure. Our children, and family as a whole, really love them.
What are your time management and organization secrets? My best advice is to WRITE IT DOWN. If it isn’t written in your calendar, it doesn’t exist in your life! I also recommend making lists. I love lists! I make new ones every day. It helps me organize my brain. I like to break my lists down into three categories: must do, want to do, and try to do. Accept that you may not get everything done. Did you get most? That’s still a win! It’s OK to celebrate that!
What is your favorite “shortcut” time saver? I have two best friends: the Crockpot/Instant Pot and Audible. I have listened to more books while in traffic than I have ever physically had time to read. This will sound shocking, but it makes me really enjoy my commute!
Tell us about your addition to the “golden rule.” Do unto others as you would have done to you — but BETTER. At the core, it really just means that when you can, you should do your best to leave people or situations better than you found them. In other words, “Be the person your dog thinks you are.”
Let’s talk about burnout prevention. How do you keep yourself from becoming exhausted? Make commitments to yourself — for yourself — and stick to them. You can’t save the world if you haven’t saved yourself first. Figure out the things you need to do in order to make you happy, healthy, and sane. Put them on the “must do” list! Add things like yoga, a walk with a friend, a one-on-one date with one of your kids, Peloton, or even “Law and Order SVU” to your calendar, and honor that commitment. When someone asks you to do something or to call you during that time, decline. You’re in an appointment — you’re busy pouring back into yourself. It’s probably the most important appointment of your day.
Do you have any encouraging words for other working moms? My advice for working moms is to start from grace. No one ever expected us to run a household AND a business, yet we all seem to do it daily! If it seems hard, it’s because it IS. It’s not only OK to ask for help, it’s REQUIRED. The saying “it takes a village” is an irrefutable truth. Look for and really lean on whoever reaches out their hands. Lean in and really celebrate the small victories of life, and don’t be too hard on yourself. The kids are OK, and there is almost nothing a good bottle of wine and a bag of peanut M&Ms can’t fix.