ICYMI: Mama Boss Event Recap
On Tuesday evening, Love Squad got really real about what it’s like to raise a family and run a business at the same time. We were so grateful for the opportunity to finally have this important conversation.
Founder and CEO of Love Squad, Ally Love, sat down with the founder of Satya Jewelry, Satya Scanietti, and the founder of Haven’s Kitchen, Alison Cayne.
These awesome bosses got vulnerable with our squad and opened up about a lot of intimate topics like guilt, breakups, and the handling the shame placed upon working mothers.
Satya was founded her jewelry brand 17 years ago. Her company was the first ever yoga-inspired jewelry company. Years after starting her business, she underwent IVF treatment and gave birth to twin boys when she was 45 years old.
Alison got married at 23 and had five kids in eight years. She went back to school and then founded her business – a cooking school/event space/café – when she was 40.
Both women shared some great insights and came together to make this evening a powerful one.
Satya had always been an entrepreneur and had her kids later than most people, so her timeline and experiences lined up nicely when it came time to start her jewelry line. When she decided to try to have kids, her business was thriving and she had the funds to make it all happen: I had my independence and the means to do it.
For Alison, the decision was grounded in admiration. She remembers organizing a lot of things for her kids’ school events and she admired the working moms and how “they were talking about bigger issues than the color of the napkins for the Halloween party.” She wanted that for herself and decided to pursue that life for herself.
Due to her unique timeline, her older kids knew her as a stay-at-home-mom and her younger kids only knew her as a working mom and she says, “there is tremendous guilt either way.” however, she believes her professional life strengthened her relationship with her kids in the long-run: They all know that I have something I love so much and they’re all proud about it. Whether it meant I could go to every play, or show up at the library, or be at pick-up, which I can’t, I think they know me as a human, which makes our relationship better.”
A little advice for the dads
An attendee who is a father and a husband to a stay-at-home mom asked our panel for advice. When he and his wife had their first child, his wife chose to leave her job to be a stay-at-home mother. He told our panelists that she made that decision on her own, but now that their kid is entering kindergarten, “she kind wants a kick in the ass; she wants to start again.” As their family moves forward, he asked for some advice for both her and him.
After giving him some props for being so supportive, Alison told him about The Second Shift. This is a network of vetted, experienced women some of whom took a step away from the workforce for a while and are hired through this company to complete projects based on clients’ needs. Alison told the attendee about this idea because if she wants to get back into the swing of things, it is contract work so she does it when she wants to.
Alison’s advice for him was simple: listen. There may be days where she is inspired and motivated and some days when she is questioning or doubting herself or her desire. Be attentive and listen, because “she just wants to be heard.” Then, when she does go back, try not to ask what she needs too much; that’ll make her worry and stress more even though your intentions are good. Think about all the things she was doing and take initiative by taking the hidden work she does on a day-to-day basis as a stay-at-home mom off her off her plate. Get ahead of it all as best you can to help her out.
Ally said, help her carve out time to think and plan, because if you don’t, “you spend time thinking about how you haven’t thought about what you need to think about.” Exhausting. Maybe get a sitter so she (or both of you together) can just have time to think and plan for what life will be like when she goes back to work.
Shame vs. Honesty
There is so much shame surrounding motherhood and the feelings you experience after having a baby. One attendee expressed a lot of gratitude for how honest our panel was about how they felt about tackling motherhood. The attendee has a 14-month-old that she loves with all her heart, but she told the panel how frustrated she was with how everyone in the medical arena and within her everyday life dismissed her feelings and her well-being. Her experience was disheartening in that everyone only focused on the baby (which she was thankful for) but ignored her needs.
Alison was in total agreement with this notion and expressed her own frustration: “Throwing shame that you’re supposed to feel something you don’t feel makes it all so much worse.” She referred to how most people and the media make motherhood seem like it’s all supposed to feel like paradise, when that is nowhere near the reality. She said, “Once you throw a little honesty into the conversation, the shame starts to go away.” If you feel negative emotions, you’re not a horrible mother; we promise.
Alison finished the evening with a little story for our audience. Her 18-year-old daughter came to visit her at work a couple days before her high school graduation. After Alison returned to her desk after a meeting, she was met with a bunch of post-it notes on her computer screen. She loved all the little notes, but one caught her eye more than the others… It said, “You’re a bad bitch.”
At first, she had some mixed emotions, but then she realized this was how her daughter hypes herself up, that she was proud of her mother and that she wants to instill confidence in others. We all need some of that energy in our lives.