Mother's Day Wisdom from the Working Moms of SuitShop
By Lily Ertischek on 2022-05-08
SuitShop is female-founded and woman-led. Among the powerhouses pioneering a new way forward in formalwear and growing our business, a few of our team members are simultaneously working one of the most important jobs out there: motherhood.
Our brand has its roots in family and motherhood, with the idea for the company sparked at Jeanne’s wedding (an important moment in starting a family of her own) and with Diana’s mother, Ann, on our team. The OG SuitShop mom, Ann offers major support not just to Diana but to our brand. As our resident mom-ager (aka our Wedding Group Coordinator), her example and working mother-daughter relationship helps set the tone for us.
In honor of Mother’s Day, we sat down to get insight and advice from the mothers on our team: Co-founders, Jeanne and Diana; Director of Customer Experience, Katy; and Ann. Being a working mom in 2022 is quite the feat, and we got the ins and outs from these seemingly tireless multitaskers on what their experiences look like and how exactly they get it all done.
What do you find to be the most challenging element of being a working mom?
Jeanne: Dividing my attention in the right amounts towards work and family life. No working mom really ever has enough time for both, so finding balance is difficult when you want to be pursuing your work at the highest level and being a great mom for your child. Things are always changing with the needs of your business vs. the needs of your kids, so you have to stay flexible and go with the flow.
Diana: Keeping the company, kids, and my life all moving forward at an equal rate. The kids and the company frequently have their all-encompassing moments, and when that happens it’s easy to get derailed in other aspects of life. Most of the time, my personal needs or interests get put on the backburner to keep the company and kids on track. But that’s just what being a working mom is like, I guess!
Katy: Self care. It’s so easy to put your attention into everyone else that needs you and leave yourself last on the list.
Ann, what was your working balance like when you were raising Diana and her siblings? How do you feel about being a working grandma now?
Ann: For me, working part-time was the perfect balance. It allowed me to continue to use my professional skills, continue learning, and still spend a good amount of time with my children. I’m enjoying having the same balance as a grandma!
Routines are important to everyone, but they can be especially necessary to mothers. Can you share your core routines or rituals? How do you get ready for your day?
Jeanne: My daughter gets on the bus at 7:20am, so we’re up early and out the door. When I’m back from the bus, the house is quiet and I can catch up on some projects before things start full-force with our customer service team at 9am. I’m not normally a morning person, but I’m thankful for the early bus schedule since it presents really peaceful morning moments that are really productive.
Diana: Working out. I schedule at least 3-4 workouts a week that are more important than any other meeting on my calendar. Staying physically active is critical to maintaining a healthy mental state!
Katy: Coffee. Every morning the first thing I do is make coffee in a to-go tumbler and put it in my car. It’s something I look forward to enjoying while I drive my son to school in the mornings. Sometimes I really need something to look forward to when I have a busy toddler who does not want to get ready for school.
Ann: Morning coffee and a light, healthy breakfast is what gets me going!
Do you have any specific routines to close out your work day? What do you do to switch from work mode to mom (or grandma) mode?
Jeanne: We enjoy having dinner together every night (even if it’s take out) and ask our daughter about her day. It’s fun now that she is 6 and in school… There are stories galore! Then we read a couple of books together and get some snuggles in before she goes to bed.
Diana: From 5-7pm I don’t even look at my phone or computer. 100% of my attention is given to the kids before they go to bed. It goes by quickly and I enjoy it more when I don’t have any distractions.
Katy: “Alexa, play something I like.” Once my computer is closed for the day, I like to spend 20 minutes having a quick kitchen dance party or listening to a new podcast episode that just dropped. This me-time is my transition from caring for our customers to caring for my tiny human and three dogs.
Ann: I especially enjoy walking outdoors to relax and recharge. It always calms me down after a busy day!
How did Covid and working from home change your experience as a working mom or your approach to working motherhood?
Jeanne: It made me so much more thankful for daycare and a routine! With none of that happening during Covid, we had to reassess how the day was going to flow. It took time but I think I found that I really love working from home, but that doing both (being a caregiver and full-time business owner) wasn’t really sustainable. We all just got through that unique time, and it helped us to realize that we wanted to be closer to family. We moved in 2021 to do just that, and it really has changed everything. Having help and support close by with family and friends makes all the difference as a working mom. I’m so thankful that we had this moment in time to reassess things.
Diana: With travel completely restricted, it kept me grounded (literally) and helped me slow down so that I could spend more time with my daughter when she was born (May 2020) and then again with my son who was born 16 months later (Sept 2021). In general, with everyone and everything being more accommodating to remote work or virtual meetings, I don’t think I’ll ever have to travel as much as I used to, and that shift in work-life dynamic couldn’t have come at a better time for me, personally.
Katy: When quarantine began, my son was just six months old. I will always be grateful for the extra time I got to spend at home with him, but I was still working full time with a baby on my hip or in a stroller during every conference call. I wanted to be a minimal screen time parent, but Covid made me very grateful for Sesame Street.
Ann: I was already working from home, so that wasn't a transition for me. Not being able to socialize was difficult but it encouraged me to catch up on some overdue home projects.
Tell us, is there any one product that you just couldn’t live without as a working mom/grandma?
Jeanne: Starbucks iced coffee and dry shampoo.
Diana: Dry shampoo and Daily Harvest frozen smoothies. Washing my hair is a luxury these days and so is enjoying a meal! These two things help me live my life on the go!
Katy: Meal delivery services–currently Hungryroot, but we’ve probably tried them all! Having a delicious meal that can be prepared in just 10-30 minutes means that I get more quality time to play with my kid.
Ann: Several days a week, I enjoy a nice glass of wine and a healthy snack while preparing dinner.
Do you have any advice to share with busy professionals that are new or soon-to-be parents?
Jeanne: It gets easier over time!
Diana: Let go of your perfectionism and desire to control. Not everything needs to be done your way. Let people help you!
Katy: Finding great childcare is key. It’s inevitable that you will miss your child while you’re working, but knowing they are spending their day with a loving family member or friends at school is such a relief.
Ann: Find a healthy balance between work, family, and leisure time so you can enjoy it all!
The moms on our team and the moms in our lives keep us going. The work they put in impresses us always, and we appreciate them today and everyday.