Embracing Yourself as a Mother in the Workplace
By Robyn Weikert, Director of Resource Management, Digitas Health
As a member of Publicis Groupe’s “Viva Mama” business resource group for working moms, I recently was given the opportunity to attend the Mom 2.0 conference in Austin, Texas. Mom 2.0 is the premier professional conference and gathering of influencers who create online and on-air content about a variety of topics, including parenting, entertainment, politics, and more.
I had no idea what I was signing up for, but there was no way I was passing up a kid-free adventure to a new and exciting city that I had not yet visited.
I packed my bags and embarked on a journey to Austin with five other “Viva Mama” moms who were also ready for a kid-free-getaway. We arrived in Texas for a few days with few expectations and minimal knowledge of the conference or what it entailed. One thing that we shared in common: we were all moms.
I felt a wave of apprehension as soon as I arrived to Mom 2.0 on the first day. My mind was racing. Do I belong here? What breakout sessions do I attend?Do I go to “How to Make Sponsored Content?” or “Stand out on YouTube?”Elite mom-bloggers and influencers surrounded me, and if didn’t begin channeling Annie Heckenberger, I was going to walk out. Yet in my doubtful state, I found my goal of the experience: to figure out why I came in the first place.
I channeled my inner boss-mom and attended many valuable breakout sessions to try and grasp the full Mom 2.0 experience. Coming out on the other side of this influencer gathering, here are my main takeaways from Mom 2.0.
1. Content is key.
Content. A word I hear at work every day, yet something I know I can always learn more about — and I did at Mom 2.0. Content creators need to find their unique value propositions and what they have to offer. Get on Instagram. Get on Twitter. Start a conversation. People want to hear what you have to say.
2. You can’t do it all.
Here’s a secret: no one can do it all. Make a plan to defy odds and exceed expectations in your family life, career, and craft. Set reachable expectations for yourself. Sometimes, you have to tune out the noise — use “do not disturb” on your phone. Be more present when you’re at home. Don’t apologize or feel guilty. It’s okay to ask for what you need, and it’s okay to ask for help.
3. Use your mom-ness to your advantage.
GSK sponsored an authentic, touching panel session about using mom influencers to tell personal stories about meningitis. The panel was comprised of a survivor and her mom, and it moved me to tears. Ultimately, it taught me how clients should be tapping into the mom-influencer community.
4. Teach your kids how to #BeInternetAwesome.
In a keynote speech sponsored by Google, we learned how to teach our kids to use the Internet. The keynote was broken into five sections, all with clear, inspiring messages:
Be Smart.Say what you think and OWN IT. Cultivate curiosity. Be scrappy — resources aren’t always necessary. Ask questions. Raise your hand. Listen more.
Be Strong. Hard work pays off in the long run.
Be Alert.Be a tech-savvy mom. Know what’s real and know what isn’t — and relay that to your kids.
Be Kind. Activism is daily living for our kids. Kids need choices. Choose kindness.
Be Brave. Kids need someone to talk to — be that someone. Foster open communication at home.
Last but not least,
5. Mother yourself first.
Focus on your mental health. Go to therapy. Remember what brings you joy and makes you happy. Keep the child in you alive.
I entered Mom 2.0 with apprehension, doubt, and a lack of understanding of my purpose as an attendee, but I left with full understanding of my purpose as a mother in the workplace. I do belong. I may not be a viral mom-blogger sharing DIY videos on YouTube or writing about my killer daily routine and how I can “do it all,” but I am a mom — a mom who has the ability to mold my children’s lives, a mom who can inspire other moms in the workplace, and most of all, a mom who is not perfect. Maybe one day. Until then, just being a mom is fine in my book.
Robyn Weikert is the Director of Resource Management at Digitas Health, with history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. She is skilled in Talent Acquisition, Creative Management, Change Management, Organizational Development and Training, and Talent Casting. Robyn graduated from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) focused in English Language and Literature. Connect with her on LinkedIn.