Photography and interview by Angela Karen
“We recently took a trip to Greece with some really good friends. Every day was a good day, but on our final day there, we all took a sunset cruise on the Aegean Sea. It was so great because I was in the midst of two wonderful blessings—the camaraderie of lifelong friends and the gift of being able to see and experience something beautiful in a way that I had never done before.”
–Angela Jarrett, on one of the best days of her life, pictured here with husband Jay and their children.
Many have mentioned this family as being so hardworking, balanced, and family-oriented. All the while, they are able to carve out time for themselves, their family, work, date nights, and even donating time to local charities. I’m hoping a few secrets to success on life logistics can be unveiled as we all (from time to time) can learn from each other by receiving a few nuggets on prioritizing our time and also remembering what’s most important.
For this column, I wanted to find a family that seemed to handle it all gracefully, enlightening anyone: working men and women, working moms and dads, stay-at-home moms, stay-at-home dads, single moms, single dads, and families as a whole. I’m excited to have had the opportunity to interview this lovely family and share their strategies.
Name: Jay and Angela Jarrett
Hometown: Pelham, AL
What makes a successful day for you both?
A successful day for us is making sure we are doing our best in all aspects of our lives. This means fully committing at home and at work. It means being our best selves as Christians and parents, as well as partners.
What sort of scheduling or time management mistakes have you made and how can they be avoided?
Angela and I are very busy. The biggest scheduling or time management mistakes made have been around our son Julian’s weekly activities. Julian is involved in church, recreational, and community activities. So there are times when things get crossed trying to make sure he is where he needs to be, at the time he needs to be there.
We avoid scheduling and time management mistakes by talking about our day before we leave for work or start our day. We make sure we know who is doing what. We also have times that we talk throughout the day just to make sure things have not changed.
What is your favorite agenda, organizer, and/or planning app?
Microsoft Outlook Calendar
Any time management skills you follow?
In terms of time management skills, we try to make sure we get everything on our calendars. Scheduling varies based on professional commitments, after school activities, and the activities that arise out of our involvement within the community. It is very important that we communicate often and remain flexible!
How do you prioritize work/life balance?
We prioritize work/life balance by always remembering what’s most important…God and family.
What’s something that your friends or coworkers would be surprised to learn about you?
Our friends or coworkers would be surprised to learn that we love Tortugas Pizza (located in Hoover).
What keeps you most productive?
What keeps me most productive is wanting the best for our family.
What’s the single best advice you’ve ever received?
Jay: The single best advice I ever received is to seek God first and all things shall be added.
Angela: Find a way to be yourself wherever you find yourself.
What’s one little thing your family has done to attain goals effectively?
We communicate what our goals are as a family and we work together to attain them.
Also, we each try to be very supportive of the personal goals we each have.
How do you make it possible to carve out time for yourselves, family, friends, date nights, and charities you are involved in?
Well, since we have an 8-year-old, it is important to have a babysitter or two on stand-by. This allows us to schedule date nights, spend time with friends, and to take time to give back to the community. In our opinion, this help makes the marriage healthier and vibrant.
What do you both do to recharge yourselves with such a busy life?
We make it a priority to spend time with our extended families, go on family vacations, and take weekend getaways for just the two of us.
What’s your favorite book?
The Kite Runner. It says so much about the resiliency of the human spirit.
What’s the mantra you live by?
“Happy wife, happy life!”
Any last effective life strategies you guys have figured out together that you don’t mind sharing?
Mainly, our strategy is simple: effectively and consistently communicate. We try to ensure that we each know and support things that are important to our children as well as each other.