Welcome to another #3NoMoreThan5 in 5! The last time we chatted I was in the Bay Area after had visited with family down in Southern California. I had the privilege of sitting with three of my cousins and learning about things that jumped out at them as they transitioned into working moms. So welcome to the Mommyhood series!
The first episode was really just to introduce you to the fact that we’re going to talk about what I learned. This segment will be to share a little bit of their interesting insights of things that came into focus for them as moms. The next segment will talk about how we can support moms or parents in the workplace. And a future segment will cover maybe how leaders and managers elevate these women, these parents, that are new to their roles as parents to little ones or growing little ones.
So for this series, I though it’d be interesting to ask my cousins, what were things that you took for granted that came to focus as you transitioned into mommyhood?
For one cousin, who is in law enforcement, she said, “I have always heard about how tired parents are. But I wasn’t ready for how sleep deprivation impacted how I did my job. It was a constant battle to stay alert and focus.” I would guess in a high risk/potentially dangerous environment, like being in law enforcement, that was important. She didn’t really think how it would look like or how it would feel until she was in the middle of it, but her one thing was sleep deprivation.
Another cousin said, “it didn’t really occur to me until I chose to be a mom that there aren’t a lot of mothers or parents in the philanthropy space.” So while that wasn’t part of her landscape, when she chose to be a mom suddenly it became crystal clear that there weren’t a lot like her at least among the people she worked with.
And for my third cousin, she said “it was really valuable to have a work life and a home life.” The separation between home and work allowed her to be her best self. It gave her a chance to separate that mommy mentality and mommy space (not that it’s a bad thing!), but to be able to do something different and come back and focus on being a mom.
These three things highlighted to me how every individuals journey into parenthood is going to be different. So for us as leaders/managers/colleagues, how can we support them? In the next episode we’ll talk more about it, but for now think about how maybe in your world what was it that came into crystal clear focus for you? Was it sleep deprivation is no joke? Was is “gosh am I the only one in this space?” Or was it, “you know what? I like having these two worlds that I can be part of. They balance one another out. It’s different for everyone and I’m hoping by sharing this and having a conversation we start to delve a bit into what it looks like for you! When you have a change like these moms did, what is it that comes into focus for you? More to come in a future episode!