Work and Motherhood | Our First Ask Moms Anything Luncheon
Being a mom is hard work. Being a working mom can be even harder to navigate. Between trying to juggle work and family life, balancing mom duties with work commitments, and the sheer logistics of drop-offs, pump sessions, and the inevitable daycare contracted sickness, it isn’t easy.
We recently had a chance to host an event with Work & Mother, a Houston-based company providing boutique pumping facilities for working mothers. Their mission is to make it a little bit easier for moms to transition back into the workforce by providing them with spaces fully outfitted with hospital-grade pumps, cleaning stations, refrigeration, and lockers. They make the pumping part of the equation a whole lot easier and more comfortable. The event, Ask Moms Anything, was comprised of a panel of experienced working mothers. The panel was moderated by our own, Gabriela Gerhart, and Abbey Donnell, owner of Work & Mother. Gabriela assisted in selecting three of the five panelists for their experience as working mothers in different fields ranging from being a serial entrepreneur, banking, medical, architecture and marketing. They addressed questions from new working moms on how to navigate the challenges of going back to work.
It was a wonderful lunch and learn and allowed current and soon-to-be working moms to be in the company of other working moms. The questions resonated with the audience and ranged from topics like how to prepare for maternity leave, to what to discuss with your employers and other employees, to the realities of going back to work after having your child.
One of the questions asked was how everyone practices self-care, juggling work, and family. One of the panelists mentioned that she keeps it real by trying to find three accomplishments per day, no matter how big or small. One accomplishment she mentioned was holding her baby and changing the bedsheets with one hand! Another panelist touched on the challenge of squeezing in time to exercise with work and little ones. Her solution? She takes her kids to school by walking, or on bikes, so she gets a chance to exercise while spending quality time with her kids.
Another topic that arose was how to nurture the relationship with your spouse once your baby arrives. Everyone agreed it can be easy to be so focused on taking care of the family that the marriage gets overlooked. Weekly or bi-weekly date nights are critical to prioritizing the marriage.
One more topic everyone found to be important was having open communication with your employer about their expectations and yours. Discussing the realities of time commitments, expectations, possibilities of flex time, and working from home were crucial for everyone involved.
In our 45-minute lunch and learn we covered as many topics as we could, but felt that there was much more to discuss. We can’t wait to continue the conversation with future events!
A big thanks to Social Mama and its founder, Amanda Ducach, who was part of the event and helped us take the conversation online through live video.
Another huge thank you to our panel:
Andrejka Bernatova, Chief Financial Officer at Goodnight Midstream
Elizabeth Seeley, Managing Director and Partner at the Sterling-Rice Group
Hope Rice, Banker – US Private Bank – J.P. Morgan Asset Management
Lisa Roth, Owner and Principal at Montgomery Roth Architecture & Interior Design
Roula Smith, Assistant Vice President, Surgical Practices
From left to right: Elizabeth Seeyle, Abbey Donnell, Gabriela Gerhart, Lisa Roth, Andrejka Bernatova, Roula Smith, Hope Rice