FIRST THOUGHT: #MomSelfCare
Let’s talk about self-care for working moms. The number one tip I’ve heard is to schedule it, just like how you schedule soccer practice and doctor’s appointments and conference calls. Put it on your dang calendar, mama. Your first session should involve identifying what gives you energy and what drains you. As the adage goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. If your inbox has officially zapped your stamina, get a boost from whatever’s on your energy list like reading a book, watching Queer Eye, eating Nutella, or ignoring your family (haha). Women don’t have to be martyrs. Seize one moment a day to welcome calm into the chaos.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 78 percent
We know that more and more women are entering and staying in the workforce. But here’s the thing, once women have kids, they often have to sacrifice or want to sacrifice a full-time job. In case you haven’t heard, childcare is astronomically high in the United States, so for many women, it’s cheaper to stay home. Nearly all of employed fathers (96 percent) worked full time in 2018, compared to only 78 percent of employed mothers. Why do you think women reduce their work after becoming a mother? Choice or necessity?
In the hundreds of Women to Watch we’ve featured, there have been several who were hustling to get their company off the ground, only to discover they’re pregnant. An expecting mom will be pitching their brand to investors who vocalize their concern at whether she can handle it, you know, with that growing bump and all.
These are the stories and situations that Sarah Peck hopes to bring awareness to through her company Startup Pregnant. Sarah’s mission is straightforward: what if instead of viewing pregnancy and motherhood as a deterrent to a successful career, we see it for what it actually is: the hardest on-the-job training that fosters insight and wisdom. You try negotiating with a three year old, am I right?
Sarah describes Startup Pregnant as a place to mix work and family. Can you imagine?! From a weekly podcast to essay series to courses, Sarah hopes to connect the business world with the parenting world. The Startup Pregnant podcast is a platform for women to share their experiences, from lessons learned to failures survived. One listener explains that it’s a podcast that gets at the heart of what it’s like being a working mother.
This busy mom knows all about startups because she worked at a venture-capital startup in downtown Manhattan. Sarah’s impressive in so many ways, one of which is the fact that she’s a 20-time All-American swimmer, who once swam without a swimsuit. It was for charity!
Sarah offers some sage strategies about how to increase productivity as a parent because, let’s face it, you can’t hit pause. First, she suggests you create a uniform of sorts. Mornings tend to be busy when you’re a mom, so having a go-to outfit that requires little to no decision making is crucial. Another hack: carry wipes at all times, so you’re prepared for spilled coffee or spit up.
Lastly, figure out what your superhero cape is. That thing to put on that makes you feel unstoppable. It could literally be a cape if that’s your sort of thing, but for Sarah, it’s bold, red lipstick. Oh yeah, and Sarah says it’s totally OK to leave your kid in her jammies all day.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Working mother Hillary Clinton said:
“There’s never been a more important woman than the one who stands up, not just for herself, but for everyone else.”