Rachel Pappy is an attorney, a wife and a mom of three who lives in Oklahoma City. She’s a partner at Polston Tax. She and Founder Rod Polston have grown the company to the largest tax resolution firm in the state and one of the largest in the country. While working with Rod to grow the firm to five offices across two states, Rachel also had four pregnancies, one miscarriage and subsequently juggled three children in diapers at the same time.
4:50 a.m. First alarm on my phone goes off, warning I only have 10 more minutes of sleep left.
4:55 a.m. Second alarm on my phone goes off, warning I only have five more minutes of sleep left.
5:00 a.m. Third alarm on my phone goes off. That’s it. Time to get up. I get up, brush my teeth, wash my face, put my contacts in and then spend some time reading my Bible.
5:30 a.m. Depending on what is going on that day, I will either do one of three things:
Get ready, grab a banana and a protein shake and immediately head to Norman for work.
Get ready, go to my home office and log in to my computer.
Run on the treadmill at home or go to the gym for an early morning bootcamp and then shower and get ready for the day.
6:50-7:30 a.m. If I’m home, this is the time I wake up the kids. My oldest is Naomi, 7 years old. Blake is 5 and Jada is 4. The kids come to the kitchen and I turn on some children’s praise and worship songs (their favorite is Cedarmont Kids). Since breakfast is fairly easy, I let all three ask for different things. My mother-in-law and father-in-law are retired and they live with us. My father-in-law will also come down to the kitchen to help. On the mornings I am home with them, it’s important to me that I give them a positive start to their day to prepare their hearts and minds for school.
7:30 a.m. It’s time to make sure everyone washes up and changes clothes. I double check each backpack, pray with them and then they head off to school with their grandfather who drives them to school every day.
8 a.m. I have a number of speaking engagements each month where I am the keynote speaker, presenter or appearing on TV to talk about taxes. Sometimes these speaking engagements are in Wichita or Tulsa, and most recently I had a request from Dallas. When I am traveling far, usually a manager from our firm will pick me up from home around 8 a.m. and we will go to the speaking engagement together so I can work in the car on the drive.
If I’m not traveling, I’m at the office to greet our team as they start to arrive at the office between 8 and 10 a.m. The day starts to pick up with phone calls, emails and meetings. My schedule is different every day.
Some time ago, Rod and I agreed that we would spend time in prayer individually in our offices before starting our day, for things such as: Thanking God for entrusting our firm with the responsibilities He has given us and thanking Him for all the staff that are part of it, repenting for any ungodly act or word that has occurred in any of our offices, asking God to bless all our employees with wisdom and excellence in all that they do and dedicating the offices and all that takes place to the Lord.
Having the opportunity to pray for the office and the blessing of everyone in it is truly a gift. Likewise, as a company we see our employees and clients as individuals, we have been entrusted to care for. One struggle that I understand well is balancing the role of primary caretaker with professional ambition. In our business, we recognized that if we could look past the limitations of an 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. work schedule, we could find talented candidates who would be assets to our organization if they were only afforded a bit of flexibility to balance their demands. As a result, we rolled out flex time to many of our departments as our response to the challenges of work-life balance and it warmed our heart to see this change result in greater employee satisfaction across the board!
2-3 p.m. I am usually heading home at this time. The first call I make every day is to my Mom in Michigan. She is a widow and retired, but has a fairly rigid daily routine. A call from me is part of her daily routine and I love having the time to chat each day. My drive home is about 45 minutes and I will often make a few work-related calls to shore up some to-do items for the day before I finally arrive home.
3:30-8 p.m. The kids are home from school around 3:30 pm. Their evenings are spent on homework, riding bikes, having play dates, going to swimming lessons, piano, basketball, reading books, taking baths, eating dinner, etc. For the things outside of the house, my in-laws usually take them around to lessons while I stay home and take care of other things that need to get done such as laundry, grocery shopping, getting any additional work done for the office, reading up on things I need to know, sometimes squeezing in some exercise and getting the kids’ clothes, backpacks and anything else they need ready for the next day.
8 p.m. Time to wind down. My husband and I sit down together and read the Bible and pray with the kids and then it’s time to get the kids in bed.
8:30-9:30 p.m. When the kids are finally down for bed, this is usually the time I get on my cell phone to see what happened in the world, check social media, talk with my husband Rej and finally go to sleep.