We realize Mother’s Day can be a difficult and complicated day for some, so please feel free to skip reading if this is a sensitive topic for you. Thank you.
While Mother’s Day has evolved to be a day of celebration and appreciation by way of brunch, flowers, cards and (if you’re lucky) some downtime for moms, the origination of Mother’s Day in the U.S. stems back to social and political concerns that impacted women in the early 1900s. Now, there is a growing movement for Mother’s Day to go beyond the Hallmark Holiday, recognize the sacrifices mothers make for their children and celebrate the collective power of mothers supporting other mothers. I am very happy to see this shift, with deeper and more meaningful conversations being had year-round, and certainly around Mother’s Day, about how society can better support moms of all types.
In this spirit of recognizing the women and mothers who are paving the way to inspire and create change for future mothers, I asked a few working mothers – both clients and A+P colleagues, the following:
"What advice would you give to your 'new mom' self, knowing what you know now"?
For new moms celebrating Mother’s Day for the first time this year -- I hope you’ll find the following advice and words of support insightful:
“It's funny how four and a half years into this working mom gig I feel like I'm still learning on the job. One day I'm killing it and the next day feels like total failure, and I think it's because the only constant with kids is that they are always changing. Right when you think you've got the whole mom / kid juggle thing figured out and you're nailing it, the kid's needs, personality, schedule, etc... changes and you need to adapt to make it work. So that's my advice to new moms – give yourself the grace to strive for being present, not perfect, and to be kind to yourself because, now and forever more, you are in a state of constant learning and change.” – Marilla Perkins, Senior Director of Marketing and Strategic Communications at Bolt Threads
“Embrace radical self-acceptance. Prioritize self-care and lean on others for help in whatever ways you can and need. And get outside every day. When pregnant with my first son I joined a prenatal centering group that was a lifesaver throughout maternity leave for social interaction and we’re still close eight years later. But with the birth of my second son I was in between jobs and experienced post-partum anxiety, which wasn’t even widely talked about just seven years ago. I was nervous about not having a job to return to and had trouble envisioning life beyond the infant stage. I’d tell that version of my new mom self to make self-care an even bigger priority, and do whatever it takes to lessen the guilt I felt about missing work and not wanting to be with the baby 100% of the time.” – Michelle Ticknor, Head of Lifestyle Partnerships + Corporate Giving at Zenni
“Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and mom figures today. It certainly hasn’t been an easy couple of years. The best piece of advice I can give to any new mom, as a mom and working professional, is to remember that it’s OK to ask for help. It’s also OK to say ‘No’ sometimes to requests from others. We know that every mom has mastered the art of multitasking by now, but sometimes reaching out to others for help and finding time for yourself are equally important. I would also encourage every new mom (and everyone, really) to take advantage of the wealth of wellness resources available. Take a wellness day, attend wellness webinar or dedicate time for a wellness each week; there are so many great options out there. -- Meghana Shendrikar, Director at Allison+Partners
“I would tell my ‘new mom’ self to give yourself some grace as you’re adjusting back into whatever your new normal looks like. I think moms in particular can be really hard on themselves, after all, much of society tells us that we should work like we aren’t a mother and mother as if we don’t work. But over time, I’ve come to embrace the superpowers that come with motherhood. For instance, we can multi-task like nobody’s business and we understand the value of time perhaps better than anyone else, so when it’s crunch time and the pressure is high, we thrive. There’s a lot of balance in the world of a working mom, but with giving myself a bit acceptance, I’ve embraced that I can be a great mom and a great employee and my talents at work have only been enhanced because of the family I’ve created at home.” – Ashley Gonias, Director of PR and Communications at Stasher
“Knowing what I know now, as a new mom I would have told myself that even the toughest moments pass. The bad days, the roller coaster of ups and downs, phases … they all eventually pass. Being able to proactively accept the presence of these rough spots, know they have an end, allows one to be truly present in motherhood during the tough times. Were there sleepless nights when our toddler was sick and wanted to toss and turn in our bed? Yes. Did our daughter get an insane diaper rash from daycare and ran around the house sans diaper for three days as a “cure”? Sure did. And then did our daughter not want to poop for months on end? Also true. But we all made it to the other side and with memories to savor for years to come.” – Kelly Goss Johnson, Vice President at Allison+Partners
To all the new moms out there navigating their way through motherhood and work, please reach out (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you ever want to connect to share advice, stories and more. I hope we can keep talking about real issues that impact all mothers well beyond this weekend, and Happy Mother’s Day to you!e
Meghan Curtis is a mom of two and when not running kids to T-ball and swim or having epic Encanto dance parties, is the GM of Allison+Partners SF.Categories: Public AffairsTechnologyIntegrated MarketingConsumer BrandsCorporateHealth