Who am I?
I am a proud midwestern woman at heart who fell in love with California. Except for short periods of time, I am optimistic and content.
What is your biggest strength as a mom?
First, I am very spontaneous and can pack to drive to the ocean in about 90 minutes. Second, my sixteen year old daughter tells me that she can tell me almost anything. (For the hard talks we have been known to meet in the coat closet so she doesn’t have to look in my eyes when she is embarrassed.) Okay, I know this is my third strength, but my kids say I’m silly.
How do you spend your time away from your children?
American River trail walks, lavender bubble bathes, a movie with a great script or listening to Ted Talks or NPR’s Fresh Air are my favorite past times.
You didn’t ask, but favorite food: heirloom tomatoes with balsamic vinegar—try it, you’ll love it!!
What did you do before becoming a mama?
I am very passionate about community service and non-profit work. In my life before children, I worked for the American Red Cross and American Heart Association. My ex-husband and I also were one of two families who started a law firm.
What made you decide to go back to work?
I firmly believe that we are on this Earth to contribute toward the common good and take care of each other. While I loved my time with my four children so very much, I really missed working with adults and contributing.
What did it feel like applying and interviewing?
Interviewing for the first time in many years was both Invigorating and scary at the same time. There was no social media when I had left the non-profit world. I was so excited and knew I had so much to learn. But I would be lying if I didn’t fess up that I have had moments of feeling like an imposter.
How does it feel to be working again?
Working again feels a-m-a-z-i-n-g. I’m extremely blessed to be working with a team of super-hero women. Together, we work to end human trafficking. It is an honor to work with this team and on this important cause. I also appreciate one of my bosses telling me that no matter how hard I worked I’d never get it “all” done and to make peace with that. Good advice!
After roughly 100 days on the job, I am still figuring out how to work and love on my children. I’ve realized I’ll never “get it right” but I appreciate the opportunity to try again every day.
Most of all, it feel so great to be out there making a difference. I am one blessed working momma!!! I come home to kids that I love immeasurably. On even the most challenging day, I still pinch myself and ask if this is really my life. And then I smile because it is.
What has been the biggest adjustment in going back to work and how have you handled it.
The biggest adjustment for me as a working mom is settling in with the fact that I cannot be at every soccer game, track meet and school activity. I have to work hard to keep momma guilt at bay and realize that I’m going to miss some stuff.
Tell us a little bit about where you work and what your doing.
I have the honor of working for 3Strands Global, a very small organization with some lofty goals. Our vision is a world free from human trafficking. While good statistics are difficult to determine for this well hidden crime, the US Department of Justice, the Department of Justice believes there are approximately 27 million victims held in modern day slavery. I am 3Strands Global’s Director of Outreach and Development. In other words, I hope to motivate others to join our movement to fight slavery. The cool thing about this work is that everyone can do something. Helping can be as simple as throwing a bracelet party or building a team of walkers or runners for one of our upcoming Break Free runs.
What does a successful day as a working mama look like for you? What about a not so successful day?
A “successful” work day is measured by having a good moment of connect with my children as well as at the office. If my daughter notices my eyes sparkle when she walks in the room because she is everything to me, my heart sings! If my youngest, who I swear thinks I am a cruise ship’s activity director for him alone, and I had some silliness (extreme hide and go seek, anyone?). At work, I’ve done well when I was the bridge between another human being’s desire to help and his/her determining HOW to help and going for it!
An unsuccessful day is one in when I don’t manage my time right and I feel like nothing got done, except running around in a zillion directions without accomplishment. That happens when I don’t allow for some quiet time to really think out the day beforehand.
What advice would you give to a mama going back to work?
Perfection is overrated and not possible. I have had to decide whether I was going to always feel like I was on the hamster wheel or live in the moment and enjoy my work and enjoy my family. I can honestly say I feel I am succeeding at that more often than not and it feels great.
Also, I’ve been on both sides of the fence and appreciate that peers have never made me feel less than when I was at home with the kids or as a working mom. We owe that support to one another. I am thankful and hope that we as women continue to grow in that support of one another.
Thank you for the wonderful words of inspiration Jackie!! It has been an honor to witness your journey the last 8 years!
For more information on 3 Strands Global and how you can educate yourself on the extreme crisis of human trafficking go to this website. http://www.3strandsglobal.com/