Mauve Johnson sure has a lot to balance these days. A Washington D.C.-based Division Lead Professional Recruiter at TEKsystems, Johnson gave birth to her first child, a son, sixth months ago, and her steady repertoire of in-office pumping and nighttime breastfeeding will sound all-too familiar to many a working mom.
Luckily for her, though, Mauve has the total support of TEKsystems, her employer of six years, to help ease this transition period. Indeed, women who work here say the culture is “second to none,” and that you’re given “the flexibility you need to be the mom you want to be while also reaching your career goals.” As one Fairygodboss user put it, “You don’t have to worry about having kids and being successful with TEKsystems.”
Recently, Mauve shared with Fairygodboss what exactly new motherhood in a supportive, flexible work environment looks like. Check out a day in her life below!
While my 6 month old has been sleeping through the night since he turned about 4 months, his 2 teeth coming in have been getting him up at least one time through the course of the night. I get up to see about him and feed him for about 10 minutes before he goes right back to sleep.
My first alarm goes off, but of course I just press snooze to get a few more minutes of sleep.
The alarm goes off again, so I get up and sit on the side of the bed for about 5 minutes. After collecting my thoughts, I head into the shower to get myself together. Over the course of the morning, I get dressed, fix my makeup and hair, gather my pumping gear and take all of my vitamins for the day. I check to make sure that I didn’t miss any emails from the night before and respond accordingly. It looks like my 10 a.m meeting has been confirmed as well as a lunch meeting at 12 p.m, so I know there’s another level of intensity added to my day. I brace myself.
It’s time to leave the house! If I don’t leave the house by this time, I could at least tap on an additional 10-15 minutes to my commute. I kiss my boyfriend and the baby while they sleep soundly and then I head to my car. Even though my commute on most days is the same, I always check GPS to make sure that there’s not an accident or roadwork on my way in. It looks like everything is clear, so I hop on GW Parkway.
Arrive at work. I travel from Alexandria, VA to Bethesda, MD each day, so the traffic level is always pretty consistent. As soon as I get in, I set up my computer, grab my water and Greek yogurt and head into our office nursing room.
This marks the start of my first pumping session of the day! I have my computer with me so that I can get my plan together to be able to impact business as soon as I get back to my desk. I also check for any new articles on the happenings of the world. It’s important to me to stay up to date with the latest news because it works well during conversations with consultants and clients throughout the day. I take a call from my recruiter just as I’m wrapping up my session to go over her focus for the day and anything I can do to help.
I head into our daily office meeting. We work through all of our business for the day and I talk through my focus and which role I’m going to recruit on primarily for the day.
It’s go time. This is the time of the day that starts most of the consultant conversations. I start by calling someone who was referred to me by a hardware company in North Carolina. It looks like her skill-set is most aligned with our sister company, so I reach out to them and pass along the referral. I keep calling the people that I have interviewing for different opportunities to make sure they are good and follow up with anyone I have been on the lookout for.
I head out to make it to my 10 o’clock meeting on time. I’m going from Bethesda, MD to Gaithersburg, MD, so who knows what traffic I may run into. I get to my meeting thinking that I should be there for about 30 minutes which would give me time to go back to the office, pump again, and then head to my lunch meeting. That doesn’t happen. I do end up having a great conversation with the consultant, so I feel confident that I can get him an interview with an association in DC.
I’m just leaving my meeting. It’s too late for me to go back to the office now, but thankfully I have my portable pump in the car, so I go straight to my lunch meeting from Gaithersburg, MD to Tysons Corner, MD and head to the bathroom at Cheesecake Factory to pump a little before my lunch starts at 12. I get a quick text saying that the person meeting me is about 10 minutes late, so I have a little time to breath and check emails again to see if there was anything I missed from the morning.
My consultant arrives and we talk through how life is in general with her family as well as the role she supports. She supports a large company in VA and we’ve worked with them for quite some time, so I’m able to give her a little advice on them as well as the market as a whole. We eat, laugh and wrap up so that I could head back to the office.
As I head from Tysons back to Bethesda, the traffic is horrible. While I thought it would take me about 20 minutes to get back to the office, it ends up being about 40 minutes to get back.
I finally make it back to the office and as soon as I get in, a recruiter comes to me and asks if I could talk for a few moments. I have a feeling this talk could take more than 30 minutes, so I ask them to hold off for just a second and I head back to our nursing room to pump for a few minutes for the last time of the day. Once I wrap up, I grab an office and talk with the recruiter. They’re struggling with prioritization and awareness of what business to impact, so I walk them through some possible things to do.
I usually leave the office around 3:30 p.m. to be able to miss the heavy traffic going home, but I head out a little later after all the conversations and follow ups. Even now, traffic is a little heavy – so I immediately hop on the first toll road that I can to at least buy an extra 20 minutes. Since I haven’t been able to make calls with all the meetings in the morning, I immediately start making calls on the road and following up with people regarding candidates, interviews and talking to new prospects who are searching for a new job.
I arrive at my son’s grandparents — my boyfriend drops him off there before he goes to work--and run in quickly to kiss the baby before I head downstairs to work out for about 45 minutes. After spending some time on the treadmill and floor exercises, I wrap it up and head upstairs to get the baby ready to go home. We get him buckled in and hit the road again.
I’ve finally made it home for the day. I sit down for a little, put down my phone and allow myself to be all the way present for my baby. This is pretty much the only time we’ll have together for the day, so I try to make it count. We do a little tummy time as he tries to crawl everywhere and I just talk to him about my day. I feed him some pureed sweet potatoes and while he takes a short nap, I grab something to eat.
It’s time to get the baby ready for bed! I take him upstairs to give him a bath, his vitamin D and read him a book before bedtime. We say a little nighttime prayer and I breastfeed him to sleep. Once his eyes are slightly closed, I put him in the crib and shut off the lights.
I go back downstairs and clean up all the dishes, put everything away and straighten up the living room. I have a couple of flowers outside on the patio, so I water them and make sure everything is in order. Once the house work is done, I sit back down at my computer and follow up with people from the conversations on the road, document all the things that I’ve done in our internal database and get my call sheet together for the next day. I have someone interviewing tomorrow, so I make sure to send him interview preparation with who he’ll be speaking with, tips to remember and the job description to review.
It’s finally time to go to sleep. I get ready for bed, say my prayers and make sure the sound is up on the baby monitor. I’m exhausted and barely had enough time during the day to collect my thoughts, but I have to make sure that everyone in the house is taken care of because as a mother, that’s always your first priority!
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