Apparently artist @jennagribbon was in my bedroom last night. This is her gorgeous painting, titled “Working Mother.” H/t @pompomsocial and thank you, @jennagribbon for capturing the sweetness behind the exhaustion. I can never quite find the words to express how tough and simultaneously fleeting and instantaneously nostalgic this whole gig feels. But you did it with brush strokes. 💛💛💛 #workingmom #thefifthtrimester #sleepdeprived #boymom #tuesdaymotivation
You guys!! So much good stuff coming up....a new monthly motherhood column for @harpersbazaarus 💻💃, a @nytimes story 📰, and this speaking event 🎙in March. Usually, I go in, I talk to the employees and managers at one forward-thinking company. This is different. Fisher Phillips is an HR law firm, and they've asked me to come speak at a conference they're hosting for all of their clients' in-house counsel (people from automotive companies, tech start-ups, and more). And not just as one on a list of interesting/important topics, but as the keynote. That, my friends, is I believe what they call scale 📈. Scale for parents' rights in the workplace. Hooray!!! Thank you to all of you who have shared your #thefifthtrimester challenges and successes with me. Please know: I carry them with me as I hold that mic! 💛 (📸 @nancyborowick of course!)
A picture and a story: First, the little girl in this awesome photo is my friend Dawn Smalls, who posted it in honor of the start of Black History Month. A couple of months ago, @dawnfornewyork made a big leap. She left her law job and is running for NY Public Advocate in a special election at the end of this month. (The shirts were made and sold by her mom...and need reissuing, right?) 💛
And now the story: This week, my son’s classmate gave out little plastic-wrapped copies of the US Constitution 📜 to all of the fourth graders. This is the same kid who came over last weekend for a homework assignment they were paired up on. From a room away, I suddenly heard my son yell, “oh my gosh, Bobby! Not everything is about politics.” I resisted the urge to intervene (landed the chopper 🚁 as the mommy boards say) in the moment. 💛
But later that night we had a good talk about why, actually, anyone who can ignore politics...is in a bubble of privilege. As a mom, I told him, my number-one job is to keep my kids healthy, safe, and heard. That means I care a lot about healthcare, freedom of the press, gun control, education, climate change, equal rights...you’d better believe politics shape our families. Thank you, @dawnfornewyork, @liuba4congress and the organizations that rally moms to know the impact of our political strength. @votelikeamother @votemamaus 💛💛💛
Artist @laura_breiling gets it very, very right. (Only thing that suspends my disbelief is how recently-watered those plants look. 😫🌱 My plants definitely died when I was at this stage.) #workingmom #workingfromhome #witchinghour #pumpingmom #breastfeeding #momoftwo
Fun thing I’m doing this week! I’ll be answering Q’s on this wonderful new app called @elliemoms that’s basically a mom group for every need, right on your phone. The founder Hayley left her law firm job to launch this dream project to help tons of new moms find the support we all need. I really recommend it!... #Repost @elliemoms with @get_repost
This week on our "experts on ellie" panel we have Lauren Brody @thefifthtrimester, Jessica Goldberg @beyondthebumpnyc and Majo Mansour @minifreshofficial answering your questions on navigating the workplace as a parent, potty training and kids nutrition. A bit more on these incredible women:
Lauren Brody is the Founder of The Fifth Trimester movement and the author of The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom's Guide to Style, Sanity and Big Success After Baby and an advocate for working parents. Ask her your questions to get tips on navigating the workplace during your pregnancy, maternity leave, post-baby and beyond.
Jessica Goldberg is a post partum doula, lactation counselor and chid rearing expert. She is passionate about building community for new parents in NYC through her New Parent Support Groups and toddler classes at Beyond the Bump NYC held in the West Village. Jessica holds a Masters in Public Healthcare Administration from NYU and is a potty training guru. She's ready to answer your questions, including those on potty training - she's a true genius at transitioning away from diapers!
Majo Mansour is a mom of 2, kids nutritionist specialist and the founder of Mini Fresh, Majka and Midi Bites. Have a picky eater or trying to figure out a good balance on what to feed your baby or kids? Ask her your questions on kids nutrition in the early years!
Make sure to download the app and check the "General" topic in the ellie group to ask them your questions today through Jan 20th!
😂 Ever made a snap decision at work and had it turn out to be really, really the right thing to do? For the record, I was sweating bullets the whole time. Thanks, @todayshow and @allisonslatertate for shining a light on the little moments of working parent drama that we can all help fix together. 💛 link will be in bio as soon as I’m off the road!
Fact: #SantaIsAWoman. Of course she is! Is this not the best idea ever? To support mothers living in poverty, the mom-connecting app @peanut has partnered with @baby2baby to collect personal care items and goodies to gift them. These are moms who sign their kids up for donations from secret Santas and who give every cent they can to make the holidays magical for their children....often while going without basics for themselves. Now it’s our turn to take care of *them.* This is how I filled my box. Want in? Follow @peanut and they’ll match you with a mama Santa and send you an empty box to fill to the brim with love. Thanks to @erikabearman for making me part of this effort. 💛 ((And here’s whose mom-supporting products I’m including: @strongasamotherbook, @hatchgal @moroccanoil @rayban @votelikeamother @marykayus @fabfitfun @drbronner @tidelaundry @oralb @algenist @arielgordonjewelry @stilacosmetics @summerandrose @rosebudperfumecompany...and surely O.B. Tampons are on Insta, right??))
A FREAKOUT WITH A PURPOSE ((🆘➡️🎯🎯🎯 ))
Sharing this super honest moment from last week's @masswomen Mass. Conference for Women for anyone who didn’t see me in full panic mode on my Stories. 💛
In a perfect storm of work/kid obligations, my boys' winter after-school sign-up (which helps cover afternoons so I can work) was at 12pm, right in the middle of my panel. 💛
My husband (a doctor) was seeing patients, my mom was on a plane....and, well, I preach the gospel of bringing your whole self to work ALL the time. So, I decided to walk the walk and logged in to register ON STAGE. In front of 500 people. Who cheered (thank God!). 💛
So, what made doing something so personal in a professional setting okay in my book? 💛
1) I cleared the idea with my fabulous co-panelists (@cateluzio from @bealuminary, @katieakitchens from @fabfitfun, and Yvonne Albert from @millipore.sigma) first. I never would have attempted this at a solo speech for a paying client. But here I had their backup to cover me, and their support. 💛
2) I gave the audience a heads up out of respect (after all, they'd bought tix), explained the urgency, and admitted my mistake in not planning ahead. A mea culpa goes a long way. In fact, I was mid-sentence speaking about the Motherhood Penalty when one woman shouted, "hey! It's noon!! Do your thing!" LOVED that. 💛
3) I jumped right back in afterward and didn't linger on it or self-consciously make jokes about the pause. This didn't need to be any more about me than it already was! 💛
In the end, it was 3 minutes of yikes and 57 minutes of being totally on and inspired and real with my awesome co-panelists. For all of my soap-boxing, it's still making me blush just typing these words. But here I am in all my red-cheeked glory, getting it DONE. 💛
PS: Thank you to the ten (10!) people who messaged me offering to help when I posted the dilemma on my Stories. You guys are amazing and I’d return the favor any day!
Happy 8th night to everyone who’s celebrating love, family, hope, things fried in oil, and children old enough to light the way.
Last weekend, I read my 10-year-old son Will the famous Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours essay, and, wow, did it have new meaning this time around. I hadn’t read it since before he and his little brother (the pink blob above) were born. The basic premise is that the only way to become a true expert at anything is to spend 10,000 hours practicing. *
Back when Will was first born, I was a magazine editor. I had already logged my 10k hours (plus plus) of learning to write and edit. The comfort of that expertise was, ironically, part of what made my adjustment to motherhood so jarring. *
In those blissful/painful early days, I hated not being "good" at all of the things that were supposed to come naturally -- breastfeeding, swaddling, napping while the baby napped (ha!). Gladwell would say that even with innate talent -- or, motherly instincts, I’ll add -- you still need practice to be excellent. And God knows, like many of us, I had *really* wanted to be excellent at this new work of mothering right from day one. *
Anyway, as 10-year-old Will and I sat there reading, I wrapped my arm around his shoulder -- we can now share sweatshirts -- and remembered what happened two days after his birth.
Just home from the hospital, baby Will spit up blood. So, back to the ER we went. The doctors stripped him naked and he screamed and thrashed on the table like a terrified alien. My husband looked scared. I started to cry. *
And then, standing behind my baby, I put one hot hand on either side of Will’s face, cupping his tiny head in my palms. The room went quiet. “Hey, mama,” the nurse said to me, gently in the silence — funny how they all call you mama, I thought — “see what you did there? He knows you, he loves you, he knows he’s safe with you.” *
My 10,000 hours started that moment. I didn’t feel yet that I had any right to trust my own instincts. But my baby knew better. And bless that nurse for telling me so. (It was just blood from my breastmilk he’d spit up, btw, no biggie.) *
As I write this, I’m on my way to speak at the launch of @elliemoms, a new app that lets moms connect and share their 10k hours. Because the only resource more precious than time is people. 💛
May, 2008, just home from work at 11pm, 38ish weeks pregnant.
November 21, 2018: I’m on the PA turnpike on my way to Thanksgiving, listening to Jenny Lewis, just swimming in nostalgic RIP posts for my beloved Glamour magazine, which announced yesterday that it would evolve (not die!) to become all digital, ceasing regular print operations. *
I have more memories — thrilling, challenging, indelible — of my 13 years working there, every one of which I carry with me as I do the work I treasure now. When I stand with a mic in hand and say that all moms work, and that everyone at work has a personal life need, some just more visible than others....When I say that when we solve these challenges for new parents, we solve them for everyone who wants to bring their vulnerability, their humanity, their passion to work, I say so thinking of this place. Of its sparkling, deeply talented editors, designers, sales team, researchers, copy editors, freelancers, building services staff, and more. These are people who, on the surface, got dressed for work and showed up to do a cool and fancypants job. *
In reality — and you learn a lot of people’s backstories when you’re burning the midnight oil, sharing cold pad Thai by the printer — they were: having babies, losing babies, stuck in bad relationships, taking care of sick parents, gay and finally breathing in the big city after years of feeling unsafe in smaller hometowns, “the only ___” on staff who bravely represented that perspective, frustrated world-caliber artists doing hourly gigs to pay for studio space, parenting sick kids and kids with special needs, living with chronic pain, going through chemo, planning weddings, getting divorced....And all the while bringing their hearts and minds to work with great care in a place that welcomed their truth.
I owe you all and am so, so grateful.
NYC-area friends, I am SO excited to be speaking at the @elliemoms app launch in Brooklyn two weeks from today. It’s open to the public and tickets are FREE (I never get to say those two things in the same post!). You just need to RSVP. Ellie is a genius and much-needed idea that will connect virtual mom groups neighborhood by neighborhood. I’ll be sharing hard-earned #thefifthtrimester negotiating tips for work, home, and beyond, because #AllMomsWork. Oh, and! There’s free five-minute consults from my friend @theparentingmentor too!
#Repost @elliemoms with @get_repost
You’re invited! We're hosting the ellie Williamsburg/Greenpoint LAUNCH PARTY at @WildWasMama on Monday, Dec 3rd at 7:30pm featuring Lauren Smith Brody, author of @TheFifthTrimester for a special talk on how #ALLMothersWork: How to Negotiate Like a Boss at Work, Home, and Beyond.
You'll also get to chat with Susan Groner from @TheParentingMentor who will be doing free mini consultations offering (genius!) parenting advice.
RSVP by clicking the "Get Tickets" link on our profile page! 📲🙌🏼