Working Moms

Keeping it real in the mom and the professional jobs

Motherhood. The name itself inspires a complexity of thoughts. Regardless of whether you’re a stay at home mom, a tiger mom, a foster mom, a desperately trying to become a mom, a career mom, or a Pinterest mom, motherhood evokes emotions never experienced prior to taking on the great mom job.

One thing is for sure, I am not a Pinterest mom. Exhibit A: #browniefail.

 Poop or brownies? You decide.

Poop or brownies? You decide.

I’m more of an eat off of the floor/get your ass to bed no later than 7:30pm so I can have a glass of wine kind of mom.

Becoming a mom both saved and nearly ended my life. Not to get too science fictiony, but your brain literally changes from pregnancy. Throw in a traumatic birth experience, and it reeeeeally can cause you to reevaluate things. With new perspective as a mom to two little boys, I wanted to be a better person (although to be fair, there was a lot of low hanging fruit to make that happen after my first child), and wanted to desperately try living happily in the moment (although have been known to scream into a pillow in frustration with two annoyingly inconsolable children in the kitchen). For better or worse, my experience with pregnancy and motherhood taught me invaluable lessons. Many of them can also get incorporated into becoming more successful in your career. In the spirit of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d share some thoughts on succeeding in both our mom and professional jobs.

Shit happens. Literally. Motherhood stinks sometimes. You haven’t truly lived until you’re on an Amtrak ride alone with your son and he gets massive diarrhea, or when your baby zombie vomits all over himself when you’re five seconds away from the hotel. During times like this, maintaining a sense of humor, flexibility, and resourcefulness will get you through these crappy times. The same goes for work. Everyone experiences a time when things didn’t go how you painstakingly planned. I’ve given an impromptu presentation in front of 50 people when the scheduled speaker mixed up the day and time. Whatever happens, have confidence (or at least know how to fake it). You are still the badass goddess who deserves to be worshipped. Make sure everyone else knows that, too.

Imperfect perfection gets the job done. I mean is there anything more annoying than the mom on social media whose children are perfectly clean with cherubic smiles and perfectly matching outfits? They likely use #blessed without irony. The truth is, that is probably the seven millionth picture they took, and their kids are smiling from a sugar high. I love a good keeping it real photo.

This was our 701st picture before we gave up because the bus was coming.

 Look how happy we are while daddy is on a five day business trip to Napa without us!

Look how happy we are while daddy is on a five day business trip to Napa without us!

Who has time for perfection? Embrace the imperfection and let it fuel you getting things done. Kid got himself dressed, but his pants are on backwards? Good enough. In the workplace, I’ve seen people so crippled by achieving perfection that they never launch anything new or achieve their goals. Perhaps the backwards pants approach would help.

Build a diverse dream team. I am obsessed with my good friend Tina and Amy’s dope squad video.

We aren’t really friends, but this is my blog post and I’ll frame it however I want.

It’s too true. You need a tribe of people from nannies, to physicians, to shrinks, to friends who won’t let you get away with saying you’re fine when they visibly see things on fire behind your instagram filters. The same goes in the workplace. Surround yourself with mentors and staff who challenge, inspire, and help you get shit done. There’s strength in admitting weakness. Shout your weaknesses from the rooftops, and watch all of the kindred spirits come out and stand with you in solidarity.

If you’re too lazy to read the specifics of this post, the main point I can’t drive home enough is to just keep shit real. No one likes the sanctimonious mom. We’re all lucky to be here and to fight the good mom fight to raise non-serial killer, happy kids.

Be real. Be flexible.  Build a village. Make (good) shit happen.

Working through new motherhood: Leaky boobs, lunch dates, and chunky jewelry

This was me on my first day back to work after a 12 week maternity leave...

olviia pope .gif

Riiiight. As much as I wish I channeled my inner Olivia Pope, my first days back looked more like...

leslie knope.gif

 

New motherhood is the great humbler. Nothing knocks you off your “I got my shit together” high horse like a teeny tiny, nocturnal human. While some make those first days seem easier than others, we all know that a few weeks of time off is not enough to feel like you’re operating at your best when you do go back to your job. I’d like to offer the new moms out there tips to make the transition back to career woman a little easier.

Mind your boobies. If you are breastfeeding, make sure your time is blocked effectively on your calendar. I explicitly posted “PUMP” in capital letters so that no one dared to interrupt my “milking:” time. May as well put it all out there. While we’re talking about pumping strategies. Long meetings could make your boobies ticking time bombs for leakage so make sure you tell people when you have a hard stop.

newmomsmell.png

Go shopping. Retail therapy solves all of life’s problems, right? Maybe not, but before you throw a toddler level tantrum about none of your clothes fitting, remember you are a badass goddess boss lady who brought life into the world and deserve to be worshipped - stretch marks and all. Investing in a few, reasonably priced pieces that will make you feel comfortable and stylish. I lived in “legging pants” and longer, button down tunics (easy boob access), with a cardigan/blazer over it. Gigantic, chunky necklaces also serve as a nice distraction from other “problem areas”.

Call upon your village. The first day is….rough. It seems unconscionable to leave behind this helpless little bundle of love who JUST started to smile, coo, and provide some sort of return on investment for those lonnnnnnnnnnnng nights. Find other mamas in your company, or who work nearby, and make a lunch date with them. They know your struggles, and it will be nice to have something to look forward to on the first day. For example, my village of working mamas introduced me to this medieval device that made pumping much more efficient.

 Look how happy this model is!

Look how happy this model is!

Don’t quit your day job. New motherhood turned your life inside out. Now everything seems different (who knew diaper commercials were SO emotional???). Before you decide to light your entire career on fire, quit your job, and start a new life where your baby and you live together uninterrupted in mommy/baby bliss, remember working moms are good for babies. Take things day-by-day and know you’re doing the best you can.