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The Part-Time Jungle Podcast Episode 56: Project Management for Parents with Hilary Kinney

e056 – The Part-Time Jungle Podcast: Project Management for Parents with Hilary Kinney

How does a project manager organize her family and home? And what are the benefits to having planned out systems in place when it comes to things like chores and household responsibilities? This episode is jam-packed with amazing tips to manage boundaries, workload, time and energy so you can spend more of your time doing what you love.

Joining me is Hilary Kinney, a project director with 18 years of experience at a Fortune 500 company. She is also the proud mother of an elementary school student. Her recent parenting accomplishments include teaching him to, among other things, plan his day independently, make dinner, and get his chores done without complaining – most of the time. Her career achievements range from facilitating a C-suite-sponsored customer recognition program across 7,000 Marriott properties globally, to directing special projects for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company President’s office. 

Hilary earned a B.S. in Hotel Administration from Cornell University. She holds a Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification from the Project Management Institute, as well as a Change Practitioner Certification from the Prosci® Change Management Leadership Center.  She lives with her family in the Washington, D.C. area.

Listen in as we talk about:

  • Prioritizing as a family. Hilary developed this concept based on the theory of constraints, which means managing to our limits.
  • Creating ‘white space’. We discuss adding more space in our lives to just live and be present.
  • Strategies to help families manage times of change. Hilary shares her best tips when it comes to helping families navigate change.
  • Working together as a family team. There are ways to get our family on the same team, and Hilary talks about the ways that work for her family.
  • Favourite organizational systems to use as a family. How do we get our family organized? Hilary teaches us how she keeps track of her family in her home.

Connect with Hilary


Hilary developed the concept of prioritizing as a family based on the theory of constraints, which means managing to our limits. This can be a bit counter-cultural and different from what we’re used to hearing, because we’re used to thinking about how to maximize our time and get as much done as possible in the amount of time that we have. The project management theory of constraints flips that on its head and focuses on what our limits are and what we need to be restricted by.


“No matter how organized you are, if you’ve got too much going on categorically, you’re not going to be able to make it happen.” 

Creating white space is imperative for busy families. The idea is that it’s like a buffer of free time where you don’t have anything scheduled or planned. It’s when you get to relax and simply exist and be human instead of constantly doing. Hilary shares how she has implemented white space into her life and into her family’s routine, and the joyful moments that have come from this simple shift. 


Hilary shares two important points about how to help families manage times of change. The first strategy is change management. It’s about analyzing and developing a plan to help support the change, as well as including all stakeholders (aka your family team) in the change management process. The second strategy is risk management. What are the risks of the change? How will this change impact and affect the family unit? By considering these two important strategies, you can plan for change within your own family and create a plan that will support all family members.


Hilary talks about five ways to work together as a family team. The first is to involve our kids early on in the decision making process. It’s about asking for their input and getting their buy in before you make big decisions.

The second is desire. Promote the desire for change by communicating the benefits to our kids. When they understand the benefits and what they will get out of it, it will allow them to become more open-minded and receptive to whatever challenge or plan you’re putting in front of them.

The third is knowledge. Give them the knowledge that they need to be able to make the change. The more information they have, the more they will understand why it’s important.

The fourth is ability. So do they have the ability to make the change? Is it something that they’re able to do and be a part of?

Lastly is reinforcement. Reinforcing the change with them and supporting them in any way that they need during this process. 


“As parents, we’re all in this together, and it’s tough. If we can give each other tools to make it a little easier, let’s do it.” 

Does your family have organizational systems that you live by? Hilary shares two great tips for our listeners to help you and your partner communicate and stay on top of the tasks that need to get done. The first is having a shared family calendar, and the second is having a weekly chore chart that she simply prints off and posts for him to see. The key benefits to this are having a bird’s eye view of what’s happening within your home and what your kids are working on in terms of chores. It also keeps communication lines between one another open, and lessens nagging – which let’s be honest, no one likes!


  • Go-to meal on a busy night: Sardi’s chicken 
  • Favourite family activity: Uno and hiking
  • Favourite TV show: Emily in Paris
  • Who Hillary would love to sit down with: Eve Rodsky and Jessica Gross 


The Part-Time Jungle Podcast is proudly supporting the Calgary branch of the national charitable organization Mamas for Mamas with a “Buy Me a Coffee” initiative until Mother’s Day (May 8) 2022. All funds raised will go directly to Mamas for Mamas – Calgary: A purchase of “one (digital) coffee” is equivalent to a $5 donation to Mamas for Mamas – Calgary.

Mamas for Mamas supports mothers and caregivers in crisis by providing ongoing support to individuals and families facing various poverty-related struggles. Their mission is to change the landscape of poverty through innovative approaches to financial barriers faced by struggling families.

Thank you for listening, for being a part of The Part-Time Jungle community, and for your support of Mamas for Mamas. To learn more about Mamas for Mamas, head to:

Wishing you all the best with your motherhood and work juggle!




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