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May 21, 2019

Founding Mothers: A Conversation with Badass Boss Moms

Our partnership with the [Female Founder Collective] (https://www.femalefoundercollective.com/) has allowed us to meet so many incredible women, many of whom are also mothers. We decided to tap into some of them for their best real talk on how to navigate the complicated reality of being a working Mom.

Laura Geller, Founder of [Laura Geller New York] (https://www.birchbox.com/brand/266)

How do you manage feelings of guilt that creep in when work has to take a priority over being present with your kids?

When I have a work commitment, I always make sure to plan quality time that me and my son can look forward to. It helps me manage the guilt and keeps us both going; we have the time together to look forward to and appreciate it that much more.

How do you set boundaries at work that help you to balance both areas of your life?

I try to carve out time in advance to help balance my personal life. I have a unique work schedule compared to most (Im not a 9-to-5er) and have a lot more flexibility so I might be an anomaly to some people that have a more corporate job. If I needed to go to a school play or attend a parent teacher conference, I would block it out of my schedule beforehand. There were things I missed, but as long as I had sufficient notice, I could find a work around. As you get older, you feel less concerned about prioritizing that time.

Do you have any "working Mom hacks" that help you tackle those really mentally and physically challenging days?

I always make sure I find time during the day to get a full download (whether thats from my son or his caretaker). Being looped in and getting caught up makes everyone feel more connected.

Michelle Cordeiro Grant, Founder and CEO of [Lively] (https://www.wearlively.com/)

How do you manage feelings of guilt that creep in when work has to take a priority over being present with your kids?

I try to always reset and remind myself not to compare myself to others. Its important to focus on what I can realistically accomplish in the day, while allowing myself time in the morning, evening, and weekends to spend time with my kids and husband. There will always be a day or two a month where its inevitable that work will need to take priority, but I make up for it by spending extra time with my family when I can.

How do you set boundaries at work that help you to balance both areas of your life?

Im a big believer in setting boundaries. I give myself an hour of me time in the morning, and then ensure I leave the office most evenings in time to have dinner with my family and have time with my kids before they go to bed. I then hop back online to focus on outstanding work to-dos. I think it is so important to start and close each day with your loved ones. Ultimately, that is what life is all about!

Do you have any "working Mom hacks" that help you tackle those mentally and physically challenging days?

I like to use that hour I give myself in the morning to do something I love, whether its running, a fun workout, or a walk to clear my head. Having that time to myself helps set a positive tone for the day. Ive also recently begun taking a lot of my calls as walk & talks, so I can get some additional movement in my day, which helps me a lot.

Melissa Ben-Ishay, President and Chief Product Officer of [Baked by Melissa] (https://www.bakedbymelissa.com/)

How do you manage feelings of guilt that creep in when work has to take a priority over being present with your kids?

I feel proud to be a working mom. I think its a great example to set for my two daughters. I look forward to teaching them about what I do. I want them to see that women and men are equal. I focus on that and I do my best to drop off and pick up from school as often as possible and be totally present when we are togetherno distractions. Im doing the best I can and I remind myself of that when guilt sets in.

How do you set boundaries at work that help you to balance both areas of your life?

Im lucky to be able to leave when Im done with my work. My rule is: If Im done with my work for the day, then I go home. Sometimes that means 3 p.m. and sometimes that means 8 p.m. But I always put my family first. If theres a school activity, sick child, or something that Im needed for, then Im there without question.

Do you have any any "working Mom hacks" that help you tackle those mentally and physically challenging days?

Ive learned that as a working mom you always feel like you can be doing better (at everything)being a mom, daughter, sister, friend...and of course at work. I have constant FOMO (fear of missing out). If Im at work when the kids are home I have FOMO. If Im at home when everyones at work then I also have FOMO. I tell myself multiple times a day, "You're doing the best you can and really, that's all you can do." Also: FreshDirect, Our Harvest, Amazon Prime, Uber... etc.I cannot imagine being a working mom before these blessed inventions that allow me to live efficiently. We are so lucky!

Author

Kate Bartick