What keeps your plate full these days?
The day to day operation of our production team, including producers, editors, photographers and videographers keeps me busy. I have to oversee things to make sure we are meeting all deadlines while working on projects for clients. This work changes each week depending on the client. We can work on a project as quick as an Instagram Reel to a project as broad as an unscripted television show. Aside from working with our production team, I am writing – usually in the evening and interviewing experts for the articles I write. I contribute to a variety of television programs when my schedule allows, most recently including outlets like NBC News and Paramount.
Are your kids in school? Daycare? Who cares for them ?
We had my mother-in-law living with us for almost a year, now we are deciding about next steps with childcare. I am able to care for our baby most days, working while she is asleep or in the evening. My partner, Kolyn, works from home and takes over the heavy lifting if I have to travel. We also get help from our daughters’ grandparents.
Do you work because you want to, need to, or some combination of both? What’s your honest answer to the question, “Why do you work?”
I work because I love the media industry. I was one of those kids that knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. I remember first seeing a young Black woman journalist on News 12 Long Island when I was about 12-years-old and realizing I wanted to work in this industry. I also work because I want to inspire my daughters to follow their dreams. Making money also helps pay for us to do the things we love, LOL!
What does your day to day look like?
I wake up every morning and meditate for 20-minutes. I do this before touching my phone, checking emails or anything – it’s such an important part of my routine to help prepare me for the day. My toddler sleeps in for a few hours, until at least 10 am every morning (thank God) – which helps enormously. My bonus daughter lives with her mom during the week. I check my emails to see if we have any new production requests, unanswered questions or issues. I check in with the team to confirm that progress has been made to meet our goals. I take Zoom meetings or phone calls with any clients that have new requests or updates to previous requests. I review all content that is delivered by our editors and provide feedback/notes before turning it in to our clients. My partner, Kolyn wakes our toddler up and gets her dressed for the day! I play with Kynsley and make her some breakfast – which could be as simple as cereal or on the weekends pancakes. We turn on Gabby’s Dollhouse while she eats breakfast then we go for a walk around the neighborhood. By the time we return, Kynsley is worn out from playing in the park and walking and she’s ready for an afternoon nap. By the afternoon, my assistant and I connect to discuss any outstanding media requests, for example this week I was asked to be featured in an upcoming children’s book and they needed me to provide a breakdown of what it was like to be a journalist, how I got started in my career and some photos of myself on air. She is also staying on top of any potential follow-up conversations I need to have. Once a week, I’ll connect with my television agent as well for similar conversations. As the afternoon turns into evening, I’m thinking about what’s for dinner. Luckily, Kolyn is an amazing cook and he usually has it handled. If not, I cook sporadically and also use food delivery services. We wake Kynsley up, Kolyn ends his work day and hangs out with the baby and I get started with any writing notes I have to address for Bustle or pitching new ideas for the coming weeks!
How does being a working mom impact your kids — either positively or negatively?
Of course, anytime you’re not with your kid is time you can’t get back, so leaving for long periods of time is always disheartening, but I try to schedule shoots so that we are not overbooked and I never feel like I’m neglecting quality time with our kids. As your kids get older they realize when you’re gone and it affects them a ton but I believe strongly in community and try to make sure that they are surrounded by family. I also believe in boundaries and I’m very comfortable letting clients and employers know what moments are non-negotiable so we are clear about any scheduling conflicts when it comes to our kids. I think there are exceptions to any rule but so far I haven’t run into too many conflicts.
What holds the biggest tension in trying to manage everything?
Honestly, I have a solid group of girlfriends and a majority of them live in a different state than I do. It has been tough, with a toddler, to show up for them when they have events and celebrations. That definitely bothers me sometimes but they do their best to keep me in the mix by coming to visit me and planning kid-friendly activities. I also believe the reason we haven’t hired consistent childcare help or looked into daycare is because I am afraid. I feel like once my toddler starts getting a routine like having a nanny, etc. she may become attached to that person more than her parents. I’ve spoken to many parents that have explained this is not their experience but it’s part of my process to take it slow with childcare, even if that means sacrificing my time.
What’s one resource that would make your life easier?
I think if I had a pediatrician friend that I could text and call for everything it would help. My pediatrician is available when I need her but sometimes I feel like I’m always freaking out thinking something is wrong and taking our toddler to the doctor and it turns out it’s just a common cold. I also think it is important to have an employer that emphasizes family, has flexibility and understands needs of a mom.
How would you encourage other working moms who are overwhelmed?
I would tell all working moms and all moms in general: YOU’RE DOING A GREAT JOB. Some days you will ace things and other days you may fail miserably. It is all okay! No one know what they’re doing. Every child is different. Just try your best and take care of yourself through it all – and everything will be okay. One foot in front of the other. One day at a time.
Any last words for working moms?
I am not aspiring to ‘do it all’ as they say. I’m aspiring to be happy with my family and my life – which includes having a fulfilling career and being present for my family. Every day I won’t succeed at both but I think there is beauty in the experience – the wins and the failures – and I hope my kids will learn from seeing me try my very best to reach personal, professional and motherhood goals.
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