LINDEN, NJ - Being a working mom is hard. Being a working mom to six kids is harder. And being a working mom to six kids during a global pandemic seems impossible. But this is Dallas Austin’s life.
Austin, a native of Linden, is a Seasonal Learning Trainer at Amazon’s Edison Fulfillment Center and a mom to six kids (ages 20, 17, 16, 8, 6, and 2). At 4:30 a.m., the alarm clock rings and it’s time to make her youngest – who she calls “Lolo” – breakfast. That’s followed by diaper changes, getting dressed and the occasional temper tantrum while simultaneously getting herself ready for work. Her mom comes to pick up her 2-year old to take him to daycare, and her oldest three take over when she leaves for work.
Austin is a critical part in making sure thousands of customers across New Jersey receive their packages. In her role, she supports more than 120 team members, referred to as Amazon ambassadors, who are charged with training new employees on safety and their job assignment within the fulfillment center.
“I’m proud to be working right now,” says Austin. “I know others, especially high-risk individuals, are counting on us to deliver items they need so they don’t have to leave their homes.”
Austin says she takes all the precautions necessary to stay safe at work like washing her hands, wearing a mask, and keeping her distance from others. After picking up her youngest around 5:30pm, she’s back at home. Then her evening is filled with homeschooling, playtime, and housework while continuing to do everything she can to keep her kids safe and healthy.
Many people may be wondering how Austin does this day in and day out and still has a positive attitude, but she says keeping a positive attitude is key.
“I’m reminded with every hug, smile, and laugh just how precious time is and I don’t want my time to be consumed by stress,” says Austin. “We laugh a lot and that always helps.”
Maintaining normalcy as much as possible for kids is another one of her tips.
So far during the pandemic, she’s celebrated two of her kid’s birthdays complete with a special dinner and cake of their choice since they couldn’t go out for dinner. Sometimes that means trying something new, such as baking cake pops for the first time because they couldn’t buy them at their usual place and that’s her daughter’s favorite.
But what helps the most is the tremendous support she gets from her family. Her older children help take care of their younger siblings, and she has great support from her parents too. It certainly takes a village, especially during trying times.
Dallas is one of the many moms working at Amazon’s Edison Fulfillment Center and one of many working moms in Linden.
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