As Aug 1-7 is National Breastfeeding Week, a week to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world, I’ve been reflecting on my personal journey to motherhood– as I am still in awe of the experience.
Putting the miracles aside, nothing has ever challenged me more than becoming a working mother while navigating through the sheer magnitude of all there is to lead and manage from a mental and emotional health standpoint. I had to redefine a new leadership method that required defining all of my life departments (self care, marriage, parenting/ family, career/ social impact, community, etc.), and what departments would take priority in various “seasons of life.”
Looking back at the last 4 years (I have a 2 and 4 year old now), the four hardest moments were having a miscarriage before my first child, losing my father to cancer while pregnant with my second child, having to go back to work 10 days after my second was born, and definitely breastfeeding (it always came hard to me).
The experience inspired me to host a fertility panel at the 2015 #SHESummit with Harvey Karp— creator of the SNOO and author of The Happiest Baby books, Latham Thomas— founder of Mama Glow & Celeb Doula, and Aimee Raupp— fertility expert and author. In 2015, this topic was bold… but I have always believed that transparency is transformational and required to lead change– another feminine leadership trait workplaces and communities need if we are to accelerate progress.
Questions to reflect on:
- Is your workplace really set up to support working parents and the journey of becoming one?
- What programs or resources might be missing or could be improved to better attracting, retaining and advancing talent? Consider sharing this with HR and trusted mentors/ sponsors who can send message up the leadership chain.
- If your organization has excellent or innovative benefits for caregiving and flexibility programs, other organizations need to know your best practices so they can champion for them. Be more proactive about sharing these programs on LinkedIn and to working parents at other organizations!