During one of our recent end of day huddles, one of my teammates asked if I could take a look at something during my “second shift”. I smiled and said… I’m happy to take a look, but it’s actually my “fourth shift”. The first is getting everyone up, dressed, fed and out the door on time. The second is my 9ish to 5ish work shift. The third is the whole dinner, bath, bed routine. So when I finally sit down to do more work at the end of the night, it’s my fourth shift. As a mom and an executive, it’s important to me to make my boundaries clear and set realistic expectations for myself. I also believe that it’s my responsibility to make the juggle of working motherhood more visible so that no one feels they have to hide their mom role at work.
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Sandy became CEO of MAM during the pandemic and is leading the company towards being a family first company. She models this by setting a culture that allows her colleagues to be flexible and respond to priorities whether they are at home or at work. Sandy and MAM also launched a path to parenthood campaign to embrace the many diverse ways that people become parents.
Congratulations on your new role at MAM. Can you tell us a little about the company?
MAM, is an Austrian company that was founded 45 years ago. It is the number one pacifier here in the US and globally. Actually all of our products are medically backed. It takes six to 10 years to bring a product to life which speaks to the amount of research that goes into it. When we do it, we do it right. We have been the pioneers in sustainability in the area. And for me, as a mother, that’s what I want. I want to have full faith in the prodcts that i’m exposing my children to. With MAM you don’t have to worry about product recalls. In 45 years, we have not had one product recall. So for me, the company was just something that I could really get behind and believe in. I think that’s half the battle.
What does it mean that MAM is a family first company?
People ask me all the time if I have work-life balance. I don’t believe in work-life balance, because it’s never 50/50. . It’s a flow. There are days where you have to be at your kids’ school. There are days that your kids are sick. There are days that you’re prepping for board meeting, or you’re on a shoot. It just flows.
For me, I want my team to bring their authentic selves to work, because we do better when we can bring who we are. Whoever you are bringing to work, you shouldn’t have to choose between home and work.
Many people ask me when we’re going back to the office, but the office doesn’t predicate work to me. Sometimes you just need to be in the office, but other times you need to be home so that you can run out to a doctor’s appointment or get to your kid’s baseball game.
Can you tell us a bit about MAM’s path to parenthood initiative?
This is one of my babies when I started at MAM. I wanted to create a community where people can come forward and share their story about how they became a parent. And for me, it was really personal.
Just to share a little bit about my journey and becoming a parent- I got married later in life at 37. When we first started trying, I kept having miscarriages. And it was this scarlet letter for me. I was so ashamed. I come from a very traditional Middle Eastern family where you just don’t talk about these things. It was really weighing on me.
I finally talked to someone that I worked with and she told me she had a miscarriage too. I finally realized that the more I started opening up, so did so many other parents. It made me feel so much better. I wasn’t alone and it wasn’t my fault. That really inspired the path to parenthood initiative because being a parent at a later stage, I have so many friends and colleagues that have gone through very untraditional forms of becoming a parent, whether it’s adoption, surrogacy, IVF, you name it. Then I have other friends who felt like their husbands sneezed on them, and they got pregnant. How you start your family doesn’t matter. The initiative is about showcasing different stories. We want to be with you every step of the way- from inception to every mile milestone that you’re celebrating with your child.
check out #mampathtoparenthood on IG to follow the movement.
Co-founder & COO
Bridget is mom to two little boys, Hudson and Brooks, and a champion of working moms everywhere. NeighborSchools itself was borne out of Bridget’s challenge to find high-quality yet affordable child care, and the realization that so many parents struggle with these same issues every day.