Let’s face it, we all tend to think that our mom is someone who is superhuman and can pretty much make everything better — and on some level she usually can. Being a mom can be rewarding no doubt, but it can also present it’s own share of challenges, especially when many women are trying to juggle a career at the same time.
After getting the chance to talk with Abby Curnow-Chavez, mother of two and successful entrepreneur, we were able to tease out what it takes to manage this difficult task.
Alongside three other ladies, Abby is one of the founding partners of Trispective Group, a consultancy organization that has done work with companies such as PepsiCo, Ford Motor Company, Avon, and PetSmart.
“As a working mom, you have to find a way to do things and get things done successfully.”
Many people will attest, it is generally a constant struggle trying to maintain a healthy balance between work and kids.
“There’s always a stigma around having kids. People assume that it changes what your goals are, when in reality, and at least for me, it was not going to affect my career goals at all. Going into consulting there was a lot less traveling, which allowed me to be more available for my kids,” shared Curnow-Chavez.
She also acknowledges that you must know yourself reasonably well in order to make those big decisions.
“Everybody’s different and everybody’s goals are different. How engaged do they want to be with their children and their spouse? They need to be aware of themselves and the kind of life they want to have. There are so many options, people always seem to think they only have one or two.”
After making the decision to start a family, Abby received some advice from a former colleague that has stuck with her until now,
“You can have it all in life, you just can’t have it all at once — I realized that I don’t have to feel all this pressure to be number one at work. I don’t have to be the best parent all time. I’ve given myself the ability to think differently about all of that.”
It is something that she had to learn the hard way through years of experience, but she passes it on to the women she works with today — not everything has to be perfect.
“You don’t have to kill yourself at work to prove that you are a working mom. You’re great at what you do. Be what you need to be. It’s okay for you to work 40 hours instead of 50 a week; it’s okay for you to take time off, or work from home. You can switch to part-time for a year and do whatever you need to do in order to keep your life in balance. I think women just struggle with dialing it down a bit.”
Curnow-Chavez says that through her journey in the corporate world, and now working for her own company, she has learnt a lot about dealing with the everyday challenges of motherhood.
“There is an interesting parallel, the more you begin to rely on your team as a leader, the more you have to be comfortable with letting go. You can be there to guide them, but you have to learn to not hold their hand anymore. It’s the same with raising teenagers. I have to let go and learn to trust them. I’m there to guide them, to coach them and see things they may not, it’s the same principles.”
So for Abby and all the other moms who are out there kicking butt, taking names and helping the world go round, this day is for you. Thank you for all that you do, and we hope that you have a very happy Mother’s Day!