This Mother’s Day we hear from the ladies themselves about juggling a career during a pandemic and what it truly means to be a mother. Here’s to all the moms, Happy Mother’s Day!

Christine Whelan – Sahadi’s

What is your motherhood superpower?

My motherhood superpower is to let my children make mistakes and learn from them rather than solving their problems. It is so hard to watch anyone you love make mistakes but my two adults are great and responsible people who can problem solve and at the same time be creative. I love spending time with them.  

What is your favorite solo activity to recharge?

My favorite solo activity to recharge is absolutely yoga. I have been practicing for over 20 years and it has always been a source of peace for me. When I hit my mat my world slows down. 

People say “it takes a village,” who is in your village? How do you get support?

My village is absolutely my family. My husband is my rock and has been for almost 40 years. My children both work with us and are always there for me. When you work in a family business and are as close as we are you learn to rely on each other. My parents and siblings, aunts, and uncles are all part of my village.  Finally, my team at Sahadis rounds out that village.

Nadia Decayette – Industry City

What is your motherhood superpower?

I would have to say my motherhood superpower is “Healing”. Being able to kiss all the booboos and knowing what remedies are needed for colds, tummy aches and more. With my healing ability just being there to nurture my child back to health during their most vulnerable days is such an awesome ability to have as a mother.

People say “it takes a village,” who is in your village? How do you get support?

My village consist of my husband, my amazing mother, mother-in-law, and sisters. Everyone has done their share of helping raise our 3 children…but most importantly my MOTHER who is their primary care taker while my husband and I both work full-time. Having someone we know and trust with our kids mean so much to us especially during this pandemic where finding childcare while so many of us moms had to return to work full-time has been so difficult. She has been my rock through it all and I couldn’t ask for a better MOTHER.

How do you think the past year has shaped you as a mom?

This past year has strengthened me in so many ways. So many things I had to change in my personal life in order to be the mom that my children needed me to be. Going after each goal I set for myself and not giving up no matter how hard the task was. But most importantly just enjoying the time we had with each other at home or in our backyard. This pandemic taught me to slow down and just appreciate being a MOM and enjoying time alone with my children.

Mandi White-Ajmani – Small Brooklyn

What is your motherhood superpower?

I am an expert-level multitasker. With three kids (and my fourth kid: the business), the only way I can get everything done is to prioritize, sequence, and do multiple things at a time. If I can juggle tasks in a way that’ll shave off 10 seconds, I’ll do it. Because of this, I’m incredibly efficient and can accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. The downside of this superpower is that it’s hard to turn off! Even when I should be relaxing, I have to scan through my mental files to see what I could be doing right now and then make a deliberate decision to focus all my attention on, for example, simply enjoying my family.

Studies show that women dropped of the workforce during Covid 19 in droves. What should employers be doing to recruit these moms back into the workforce? What types of amenities or culture are necessary for mothers to thrive in the workplace?

This is a longstanding issue for women in the workforce. Moms are still the default parent in an overwhelming number of families, so, when an emergency comes up and children need a parent with them, it’s often the mothers who end up sacrificing their careers, rather than the fathers. Lack of equal pay plays into this, as fathers are often the stronger earner in the family, so families decide that it makes more financial sense for mothers to be the ones to stay home. But the longer-term outcome is that then there are fewer mothers in the workforce overall, which just reinforces the cycle– there’s less advancement of mothers, fewer mother mentors and leaders, and a greater stereotype that men are the reliable ones. And businesses suffer without women’s point of view! To combat this, employers need to change their notion of what a workday looks like. That expected invisible curtain between “employee” and “mom” might need to be more porous than how workplaces are traditionally set up. Productive work might happen in spurts throughout a 12-hour day, for example, or might happen at home rather than in the office. Babies might show up on Zoom calls or under desks, and moms might have to suddenly reschedule a workday to the weekend because a suddenly quarantined child needs help logging into remote school. Flexibility and creativity are critical– and they’re cheaper than hiring and training a new employee, and they offer more flexible service hours to customers.

What has the pandemic taught you about motherhood?

My personality is one that craves growth and change and achievement. These are great traits for an entrepreneur, but, at a certain point, it can be too much. Closing the practice in the early days of the pandemic was incredibly stressful, but that forced break made me rethink that mindset. I love this field because it gives me more flexibility and freedom to spend time with my family, and I needed to remind myself of that. So, as time went on and the need for psychological services came roaring back, I had to remember those early days and remember that I didn’t have to reach for the next achievement; I could instead get better at helping our clients while taking time to be a mom at the same time.

Amy Driscoll – Bear’s Fruit

What is your motherhood superpower? 

While I definitely hit the baby jackpot with Charlie (he’s adorable, super sweet and sleeps 7 pm -7 am every night PLUS 3 daytime naps ?), he’s 6 months old now and his personality is starting to shine through. Like all humans, he gets frustrated – especially since he can’t talk yet. My superpower is knowing how to calm Charlie down within 30 seconds. Makes me feel like a God. Three of my favorite tricks to turn his lil baby frown upside down ASAP:  Kissing (or pretending to eat) his tiny toes, singing Baby Shark and most recently, I learned rolling my R’s absolutely fascinates him. 

What has the pandemic taught you about motherhood?  

Well, I became a Mom during the pandemic. We found out we were having a baby a few weeks before NYC went into lockdown. It was terrifying since there wasn’t really any research at that point on how the virus affected pregnant women. While it was a ROUGH time to be sober and I’ve certainly felt a bit isolated at points, the massive silver lining to having a baby in 2020 is the amount of time my partner John and I get to spend with Charlie during the work week. We have a nanny, but since I still WFH most days, I get to be there for Charlie’s milestones – crawling, saying “mama” and eating every bit of solid food we give him. The boy loves to eat. ?  I’m excited life is getting back to normalish, but I am very grateful I’ve had the chance to watch him grow every day. 

What’s something you have learned that all moms should know? 

The lyrics to Baby Shark. ? 

Courtney Gayle – Naked Perfection Spa

What is your mom’s superpower?

MY MOMMY! Lol what isn’t her superpower? That’s a better question. My mother is a hustler in the best way possible. She is selfless and molds you to be your highest self. 

Why is it important to have your mom working with you to build your business?

I trust my mother! It’s the first person I learned to trust in this life, appreciative of her every day. Some people aren’t as blessed, I am forever grateful for her.

What is one thing your mom taught you that you take into your day-to-day?

My mother shares everything she’s learned in life. Mistakes and all, my mom has maintained her confidence in our Lord, Jesus. When I am down and feeling depleted or like I’ve run out of steam and answers and she knows she is human and may not be able to give me every answer I may want or the patience I may need at times, she reminds me to pray and rely on the Lord. We are imperfect beings but that has been her greatest lesson to me, always turn to God.

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