Just over one year ago I became a parent. I think most new moms can agree that #momlife is definitely not what they expected. Little did I know that my new role as a mom would actually have a few things in common with my life as a PR pro:
(1) Days start early. I used to set my alarm for 5:35am so that I could get a workout in before starting my work day. Now I don’t even need to set my alarm because my little tot wakes me up promptly at 6am – when she sleeps in.
(2) Caffeine fixes. This one is a no-brainer. Morning and afternoon lattes are a must. As a PR pro, that first sip of coffee was always a moment of zen before I jumped into whatever I was working on. My caffeine fix continues to provide me with a fleeting moment of relaxation, only now a quick espresso is the only way to go!
(3) Great negotiating skills required. At the office you are constantly using these skills with clients, colleagues and reporters. At home, you realize they are becoming increasingly indispensable for naps, feedings and pretty much everything else!
(4) Prioritization. Lists, schedules, calendars, whiteboards. They make your desk and household run like a well-oiled machine.
(5) Running around. PR pros are always on a deadline: finding a story, meeting a client, running against the clock. Mom life is pretty much the same: play dates, classes, feedings, walks, naps, food prep and the like keep you constantly on your toes.
(6) Networking is key. Lunches, coffee chats, events and phone calls help you maintain your sanity and keep on top of your game in the PR world. As a mom, networking is just as valuable. Meeting with other parents allows you to learn about different ways of doing things, new programs for your little one and tips to juggle everything whilst enjoying parenthood. The added bonus: meeting awesome people who will have a great impact on your life.
(7) Evenings are the only time to catch up. My pre-parent evenings as a PR pro were sacred. I used them to check out my favorite industry Websites, social media feeds and magazines, do a little cooking and maybe watch some Netflix. As a mom, the 7:30-10:30pm timeframe is also incredibly valuable. Whether it’s used for reading, writing, planning activities for baby or simply chillin’ with my hubby, these 3 hours allow me to be better at everything I do during the day.
(8) Constantly amazed at your multitasking and juggling abilities. PR pros are master multitaskers. We live by lists and schedules that end up getting re-arranged due to some emergency or relevant breaking news item. Early on, I have learnt that mom-hood is similar. Carefully planning activities, naptimes, feedings, walks and playdates is necessary to get anything done. By the end of the day, there is a sense of pride in ticking things off ‘the list’.
(9) Can’t live without social media. As both a PR pro and a relatively new mom, my social media feeds are indispensable. Professionally, they are my go-to for news and information, as well as advice from experts in my field. They are also indispensable for my leisure activities and interests like running, cooking, yoga and fashion. Social media is a must for my #momlife as well. It provides me with information about playgroups, salsa babies and music classes, as well as advice on nursing, sleeping, making baby food and a plethora of other things I had no clue about one year ago.
(10) Your peeps are the best support system. My colleagues are the best. Whether its pulling together to meet a tight deadline, working through a crazy day, teaching each other new skills or simply sharing coffee and treats, the people I work with are a big part of why I love my job so much. Similarly, I have recently had the pleasure of spending time with several moms who have helped me face the tougher moments, and provided sage advice, company and loads of laughs. I can’t believe I ever lived without these individuals!
(11) Everyone has an opinion. At work it’s your boss, his/her boss, your team, your clients, their teams, etc. Sometimes the number of opinions you get on any given day is incredible. Well, that’s nothing compared to the amount of unsolicited advice you will get from family, friends and even complete strangers about what your child should do, eat, wear…
(12) Every now and then you have a “moment”. You know the one. A difficult client, several looming deadlines, a PR crisis and personal issue all surface at the same time. You feel like all the balls you are juggling are going to come crashing down. Ninety-nine percent of the time you are able to deal with it productively, professionally and efficiently, but sometimes, you just need to lock yourself in a room and scream. These “moments” occur now and then in #momlife as well.
(13) It really is THE BEST. At the end of a big project at work, I get a rush of excitement and a sense of accomplishment. It always makes me feel like, heck yes, this is what I was meant to do! I get that feeling times a million every time my daughter laughs or does something new.
I feel really fortunate to get to wear both hats and I think they complement each other very well. A shout out to all the other new PR moms out there – you’re doing great!