It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That second Sunday in May, where many women can expect to be treated like royalty — pampered by their families from the moment they open their eyes. While that might not be reality for all of us, Mother’s Day is always an occasion to be celebrated, an opportunity to do a little something extra to recognize the moms in our lives. This year is no exception, especially with working moms all over the world having been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.
Throughout this isolating time, I was fortunate to get to know many Atrian moms, and am truly in awe of the grace and strength they showed in pulling off one of the most challenging balancing acts in the history of modern motherhood. In honor of Mother’s Day, we got even more personal as I asked some of my Atrian teammates about ways in which their mom lives and professional lives intersect.
Bridgette Brown, Project Manager: Mom to 16 year old twin sons, two daughters, aged 20 and 22, and Grandma to a 2-year-old granddaughter
If you could choose only one professional quality of your own to pass along to your kids, what would it be?
I would like my children to learn to never be satisfied with mediocrity. When they determine how they want to apply their unique skills and talent, I hope they always strive to do above and beyond what is expected of them and what they think they are capable of as long as they are mentally and physically able… that they aspire to be life-long learners with a desire to be better each day than they were yesterday… and that they express the complete, authentic versions of themselves along the way.
Jenny Curtis, Resource Operations Manager: Mom to a son, aged 11, and daughter, aged 8
Some say moms are the ultimate multi-taskers. Do you see this being an advantage in your professional role?
Yes! Resource Management and motherhood are similar in that you wake up everyday not always knowing what issues are going to pop up, so you need to be a flexible problem solver. It could be a sick kid, a forgotten lunch, or an unexpected project issue that needs to be resolved ASAP, so organization and prioritization are key skills. I love that I have the flexibility and support at Atrium to succeed in both roles.
Jess Cantu, HR/Talent Recruiting Manager: Mom to two daughters, ages 4 and 1
What would your kids say you do here at Atrium?
I had hoped to keep the answer authentic, and quite frankly learn what my daughter, Maya, thought I did every day while at work. Her simple and quite witty reply of, “Mom, I think you do nothing,” filled the room with laughter and indicated this was an excellent teaching moment. I shared the similarities of my role in human resources to her typical day at school: I get up early to work every day with friends, solve problems, share, learn about new things, and find ways to make the day better for everyone I meet.
Tammy Vierkant, Director of HR & Recruiting: Mom to two daughters, ages 4 and 7
What are some leadership skills you lean on in both your professional setting and at home with your kids?
There are many leadership skills that cross over from the professional setting to home life, but two that I think are incredibly relevant are empowerment and empathy. When you empower employees to have a voice, to try new things and make decisions, it allows them to feel valued, trusted and that their feedback matters. This spills over to homelife daily. It’s easy to quickly do a task for kids as it will save time or frustration, or insert our thoughts and feelings in conversation without asking them theirs, but it’s not teaching them to be self sufficient, to speak up, and to feel confident expressing their thoughts.
Being empathetic is crucial when working with employees as it allows you to better connect with your team and understand their perspective, show awareness, and truly listen which isn’t always easy in the fast-paced world we live in today! We strive to teach our girls the importance of listening and truly understanding that everyone is different, entitled to have opinions, but mostly to be accepting of others’ thoughts and feelings, even when they may differ from your own.
Laura Koch, VP Customer Engagement: Mom to two sons, ages 17 and 15
How do you personally define work/life balance?
Work/life balance? Much like Utopia… it is ideal, but it doesn’t really exist. I actually gave up the quest to achieve work/life balance. Instead, I just look at prioritizing activities for my day or my week, and controlling what I can. There are things that I can block off on my schedule; cheering at my boys’ baseball games (I try not to miss any!), cooking at least one of their meals a day (although I think that they prefer their dad’s cooking to mine!), getting them to doctor’s appointments (actually some of our funniest interactions have been while waiting in a doctor’s office!), etc. But more importantly, I look to find times in the day where I am “available and present,” meaning I am not on my phone or typing on a computer when they are home. I am physically there to absorb their day, as they want to share it. It sounds very basic but many days it is actually quite difficult to do! It is very tempting to multitask — just one more email or just one quick update to that presentation when the kids are in the room with me — after all, isn’t that what moms do best – multitask? If I can just prioritize one day at a time with some of that space to be 100% present for the kids, I feel more at peace. I am also often starting work at 5:30/6am — but for me, that’s ok, it is actually a nice quiet time to be my best workself!
Jessica Duca, Customer Engagement Lead: mom to two sons, ages 5 and 8
What’s your favorite thing to do with your kids?
As a busy mom of 2 boys, I spend most of my time cheering them on at whatever sport we are at for the day, but finding little moments for just me and my boys is something I always look forward to. With my 8 year old, we find a show/movie that he and I can watch together once a week. We pop popcorn and snuggle up on the couch. With my 5 year old, we skip big brother’s practice and go for an ice cream date on Friday nights! It’s not easy finding time in our busy life, but hanging with them is always the best time!
Rebecca Seymour, Director of Project Management: Mom to a son, 36, and daughter, 31. Also Grandma to a handful of cuties!
Give us your best advice for new moms for advancing their careers while balancing a healthy home life.
I think the best advice I could give for new moms would be to have a support system in place. I was a young mom in the 90’s and early 2000’s and things were a little bit different then. I had back ups for my back ups! Whether it’s family and friends, or hired help, it’s absolutely required in order to have any sort of home life. And also — don’t feel guilty about it!
Atrium Moms, You are Appreciated!
From the hard work you do, to the backbone you provide to our teams, to the love and support you bestow upon your families — your dedication knows no bounds.
To the moms around the world, whether your plans include a trip to the spa, spending the day on a sports field, or anything in between, we salute you!
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