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May 8, 2020

Wisdom of Mothers at TripActions

Kate Kirby

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Motherhood is a journey of discovery--both of our growing children, and also of ourselves. And as you know, TripActions is all about journeys, in particular those that facilitate in-person connections. So in celebration of Mother’s Day, I connected with a few TripActioners like myself--business travelers, moms and busy professionals--to share thoughts about motherhood in this exceptional time. What have we learned? What can we share from our experiences? What did our moms teach us that’s helping us get through these uncertain times?

On working-from-home parenting

Every working parent today is learning to juggle with the dual responsibilities of parenting and working. I for one have come to appreciate how helpful my 11-year-old is when I simply ask for it--and I think they are more willing to help out in part because for the first time in their lives, they have an opportunity to see how busy I am throughout the day. Here are other observations from my peers:

Probably the most rewarding experience so far has been watching our nine-year-old tackle her Zoom classroom meetings like a pro--muting herself, screen-sharing, running through Google Slides presentations, etc. I asked her how she picked it up so fast and she told me, “I just watch what you and Dad do during your meetings.” While so much has been stressful during this time, it’s moments like this that make me realize there have been some great learning opportunities -- for my children and also for me.
Florence C., People Experience Program Manager

After I had Evelyn and went back to work, my mom gave me great advice. She told me, “Get ready to feel guilty, and then let it go. Be present and give your all wherever you are, whether it's at work, or at home, and enjoy your successes in both areas.” I've definitely missed a ‘mommy and me’ breakfast at my daughter's daycare, and I've definitely had to reschedule a work meeting to be present with Evelyn. And both choices were OK! To this day, it’s some of the best parenting advice that I’ve received.
Lee Lee E., Director of People Success

For my daughter, who is four years old and in Pre-K, I have created a treasure chest of candy and cheap toys as an incentive to produce great schoolwork. We place stickers on her packets and she can either save them for bigger surprises or select smaller surprises. It’s working for us.
Chelsea W., Travel Support Specialist

Mothers’ Wisdom Many of us look to our own moms for advice we can use in our life journeys--my mom instilled in me a love of travel that drives me to this day. Traveling to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Germany, France, and Thailand in my youth made a big impact on who I am--I understand the value of being there and seeing it in person. And I’m not the only one at TripActions who had that experience.

My mom was born outside the country and grew up all over the world--Norway, Turkey, Japan, etc. While I was fortunate enough to grow up in the same house for 18 years, she always encouraged me to have a sense of adventure and take opportunities to live in other places as a way to expand my horizons. If it wasn't for her, I probably wouldn't have taken the leap to leave the state for college, move around the country for work, even spend some time living abroad. "You can always come home," she'd say. She was right. I ended up back where I grew up, but am so grateful for all those experiences and the spirit of adventure I have thanks to her. :)
Leslie C., Chief People Officer

On being in this together…

Paradoxically, not being able to travel and to connect in person has led many of us to connect with one another in another way--for example, through Zoom, we’re able to “visit” each other’s homes and families. Which sometimes leads to awkward scenarios, but all bringing us together.

Working from home plus having a toddler 24/7 has been tough, but TripActions has been understanding through it all. My coworkers know I have a nosy four-year-old and to expect a blonde head in the background of Zoom. The TripActions parent Slack channel is also helpful for ideas and fun things to do. I’m thankful to work for a company that is basically one big extended family.
Chelsea W., Travel Support Specialist

TripActions has been so supportive of me balancing my work life and personal life. I have always been encouraged to take personal time, I've been able to shift meetings to manage my mommy duties, and my manager and team regularly check in (in a very authentic way) to make sure we're all staying sane during this crazy time.
Lee Lee E., Director of People Success

The virtual family of TripActions is supporting one another in an unusual time--and we're learning new ways of being moms, seeing this stay-at-home time as an opportunity to connect with our loved ones. Nevertheless, we look forward to connecting in person soon as travel resumes. Happy Mother’s Day from TripActions.

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