It's hard not to resent high-powered working moms. Yes, they have demanding jobs and families to raise, but because they get to call the shots, they often reap benefits that "regular" working moms don't. Take celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe, for instance. Her career is unique, yes, but she also brings her kids to her office, cuddles with them in editorial meetings, and lets them tag along on business trips. What regular mom would be allowed to do any of that, aside from on the one Take Your Child to Work Day that's sanctioned every year?
Well, Rachel realized how good she had it and, for the past year, she has been paying it forward with a remarkable addition to her company's headquarters: an in-office nursery.
"I wanted to create an environment where these new mothers wouldn't have to make a choice between career and motherhood," the mom of two sons said on her website, The Zoe Report. "I've been fortunate enough to be able to grow my company from just a few people to more than 40 while having my kids — and my husband — by my side, and so I knew I had to do everything in my power to give my staff that same luxury."
The business decision, which she first blogged about this past Spring, wasn't an easy one to orchestrate. She admitted it required her to make additional investments — namely, insurance premiums, child care, and the overhead on the physical space — but that the benefits have been invaluable.
"The working mothers at our company can improve and grow our business without having to sacrifice spending precious time with their babies at such a crucial stage in their mother-child relationships," she said. "Seeing how motivated and committed the mothers on my team were after returning from maternity leave and being able to set up their babies in the nursery has only solidified my belief that every company should consider this option."
She admits that employers might worry the working parents would be distracted, but in a new interview about the nursery, she says the opposite is true: "The parents who work in my office, honestly, they say it makes them work better. They know their kids are OK. If they have to stay and work late, they know their child is there with them. And they get to commute with them every day — that's quality time!"
And if such a bold move isn't an option, Rachel has some advice: "Ask your employers to help you do the job the best you can, whether that means providing adequate healthcare and benefits or allowing you to partially work from home in order to be with your children. Never apologize for being dedicated to your kids and challenge those around you to not only acknowledge, but celebrate your ability to be a mother and an asset in the workplace."
Now that's a working mom who's using her powers for good.