How becoming a mother made 11 CEOS, founders, and leaders better at their jobs

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's clear that all of our lives have been altered. One group that has undoubtedly been affected is parents — specifically working parents, and, even more specifically, working mothers, who, as one study by Kaiser Family Foundation shows, are more stressed and worried than their male counterparts during this time.

Nearly overnight, the life of a working mother was flipped upside down- But if there is anything mothers have shown us from the moment they give birth, it's that they are resilient, strong, and adaptable. To get an inside into the lives of working mothers, Business Insider spoke to 11 powerhouse women who also hold the title of "mom." Click here to read the full article of how these powerful women stepped up, COVID-19 or not, both as parents and working professionals. And whether you are a parent or not, there are invaluable lessons we can all learn from their experiences:

Erika Murdock Balbuena
Global Head of Impact Computing, Amazon Web Services

How motherhood made me better at my job: I've learned to be more present and bring focus to being with the children or doing work. If I'm with them, I do my absolute best to not look at my phone unless we're choosing music for a dance party and when I'm at work, I'm at work. 

My advice to other mothers: Make time for yourself because, as Carl Jung said, "Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent." 

Rebecca Smith
Founder & CEO of RECLINER

How motherhood made me better at my job: If you think starting and running a business is hard, consider this: There is no greater pressure than being a mother for the first time. Learning to breathe through pressure so you can apply yourself effectively takes enormous will and presence of mind. It's a constant gear shift that requires a great deal of control, and I think any mother would agree that parenting (especially in the early days) is the greatest test of this. 

My advice to other mothers: Once you accept that you will not run a marathon every day, you'll be happier. Some days you have to go slower, some days you're limping. It doesn't matter — as long as you are moving forward. 

Ana Pompa Alarcon
CEO of findSisterhood

How motherhood made me better at my job:I don't think I'd be able to handle startup life without my kids. Since becoming a mom, I needed a purpose in life — something I can be proud of and show my children one day. I wasn't going to send them to daycare for a job that just pays the bills. 

After raising our first round of investment, hiring a team, and having users from all over the world, things got real very quickly. My kids kept me grounded and focused on what truly mattered. During rough times when I was too exhausted to keep going, they gave me the reason to never give up. When things don't work out the way I want them to, looking at my kids puts things in perspective. Leila and Ezra are my real superpower and endless energy resource. They give meaning to everything I do. 

My advice to other mothers: People know that I have children, they understand my priorities, and they appreciate that having such strong values ultimately makes me a better and more reliable founder. Being transparent about the hustle that comes with having children helps my community to understand better when I need support.

Wendy Heilbut
Founder & Partner, Jayaram Law

How motherhood made me better at my job: I took about five years away from my traditional career when my kids were young, but coming back to work was when the real learning happened. Every day is a new exercise in balance! I am so much better at my job because I understand people so much better — having a child, and knowing someone else that intimately has helped me see where each of us differs and is similar.  

My advice to other mothers: Outsource what you can, and save time for what you care about most. Maybe that means more takeout, a nanny who also does laundry, or letting your kids take the school bus.

Kristen Sonday
Cofounder & COO,Paladin

How motherhood made me better at my job: Motherhood has taught me how to ruthlessly prioritize so that I'm maximizing the impact of my time for both my family and my business. Now, I don't feel bad saying "no" to projects and events that don't move my company forward, and my time is much more focused whether I'm at home or the office. Plus, it's made me more aware of and empathetic towards our employees and clients who have kids. 

My advice to other mothers: This world can be really confusing (and exhausting) to navigate, so having a few go-to women who have been through it and can offer actionable advice makes a huge difference.


To continue reading more stories, read the full article by Dreamers // Doers at Business Insider by clicking here. 

Image source: Anastasia Shuraeva/Pexels.com




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