Christine Lovelady, Kristine Nunez, and Jodi-Ann Watson. Photo courtesy of DTCC.
Having children and a busy career is no easy feat. And with the changes brought on by COVID-19, any mom would tell you working motherhood has gotten even more complicated and is riddled with new challenges, benefits and confusing feelings.
Recently, three working mothers at The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), a leading provider of financial services infrastructure, took the time to share how they’re managing working motherhood under these unique circumstances — and how DTCC has supported them every step of the way.
For Christine Lovelady, Corporate Actions Executive Director, Site Lead for DTCC Wrexham, the amount of opportunity she’s received, even as she balances raising her two sons, points to a supportive culture for working parents.
“I’ve had a lot of opportunities at DTCC, so I am grateful for that, and for all the support and mentorship I have had on my journey so far,” she said.
Meanwhile, Kristine Nunez, Associate Director, Global Strategic Sourcing & Inclusion, said employees at DTCC “are honest about who they are,” making it easier for her to bring her full experience to work.
And Senior Associate on the DTCC Talent & Development team Jodi-Ann Watson says her personal tenacity has been strengthened by motherhood — and celebrated at DTCC.
“My 7-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Autism at age five. Since then, I have made it my priority to seek out any services that will make her life at home and school easier. This tenacity has definitely helped in my work life. I believe that's why I have been able to grow across various departments within the company,” she said.
Keep reading to find out each of these mothers’ unique take on productivity and work-life balance during the COVID-19 crisis. Plus, see what advice they have for other working moms right now, especially those who may not work in supportive environments.
What’s your pre-work morning routine like?
Christine: On a typical day, my wake-up time depends on my kids. I am lucky enough to have my two boys, Jasper, who’s three and a half years old, and Eli, who’s ten months old. They are both early risers, so I try to get up around 6 a.m. to get showered before the morning routine starts. We have breakfast together, then my husband and I tag-team to get ourselves and the kids ready for the day. Like many parents, we do rely on children’s television to help to make this work.
Now though, instead of dropping our boys at the nursery, I enjoy seeing my boys more during work from home, though I really miss getting “dressed” for work!
Kristine: I wake up around 5:00 a.m. and get “WFH ready.” I have a 6 month old that wakes up around 5:30 a.m. My 20 month old wakes up around 6:30 a.m. I change, feed and play with them until around 8:15 a.m., when I start my day.
Jodi-Ann: Due to COVID-19 and working from home, my morning routine has changed considerably. Though the impact of the pandemic has been less than ideal, I don’t have to get the kids ready for school or daycare. Now, I get to workout and enjoy breakfast before logging on for work.
What kinds of boundaries do you follow to separate work and family time?
C: I don’t talk about work at home. That helps me not overanalyze things that may not have gone well, and provides some separation between work and home. I try not to check work emails at home unless there is something urgent that needs to be addressed. . If I do, it's after the kids are in bed, so I can spend quality time with them.
K: During the work week, I do not log on before 8:15 a.m. and I log off at night at 5 p.m. or at the conclusion of my last meeting. If I need to get back online to do additional work, it will be after 7:30pm when my children are in bed.
J: In this new working environment, it can be difficult to separate work and family time, but I try to have a set schedule for work and, once I log off, I completely log off. I find it is very important to devote time to my family and spend as much quality time as possible.
How has your role as a mom made you a better employee?
C: I am mindful that everyone has something going on outside their day jobs and life can be challenging. I really try to be as flexible as I can to keep a positive work environment. Also, I try not to dwell on things as much.. I guess you could say I stress less about the smaller things, both outside and inside of work.
K: In a way, I try to do the best I can because essentially everything I do is for my kids.
J: Being a mom has improved my organizational skills and has taught me to prioritize in order to achieve my goals. I believe that’s made me a better employee.
Why do you think DTCC is a particularly great place to be a working mom?
C: For me, DTCC has been a great company to work for. I have had both of my children within the five and a half years I have been with the organization and I took off nine months with both babies. I have great flexibility — I can work from home if I need to get to any nursery appointments and can flex my hours on occasion if we have any childcare challenges, too.
Within DTCC, I have been a participant in various events that help support development with like-minded-individuals and have learned a lot from the WINS (Women’s Initiative for Networking Success) group. I don’t feel that I have been impacted by taking the time off to have my children, and DTCC has really invested in me as an individual. My role expanded when I returned after my first baby, and when I was due with my second, I was given the opportunity to attend a prestigious executive development program at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
K: The flexibility that DTCC has provided while working remotely and having to tend to my two kids under two is very much appreciated. I feel DTCC and my manager really worked hard to understand the challenges that employees face in this new environment, and the flexibility they provided was very much appreciated, considering I had only been at DTCC for six months before needing to go on maternity leave.
J: This November will be my 10th year with the company and I have had many life moments here — most notably getting married and the birth of my two daughters. DTCC’s parental leave policy far exceeds some of its competitors. Plus, the paid time off and flexible working arrangements make DTCC a wonderful place to work for mothers.
What’s your No. 1 tip for new moms who are navigating the delicate balance of working and mothering?
C: You are doing a great job! Always remember that. We have good days and bad days and the key thing is not to beat yourself up when something doesn’t go well, either at work or at home. Also, regardless of your decisions, you will likely feel guilt. I have spoken to many women from various companies and different jobs, and no matter what we do, we always feel guilty about something. I have tried to let that go, and just know I am doing the best that I can for myself and for my family.
K: If you have access to help, ask for help. There is no room for pride when it comes to your children. Take the help where you can get it. Also, always know you’re doing your best. As long as your children are fed, clothed and loved, they are happy.
J: Tap into your support system! It can be very overwhelming being a new mom and working. I could not be as successful at work or in my personal life without my village. Having support is key.
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