Tips for Working Moms from the "Experts" at The Jim Henson Company
by Nicole Goldman
Mother’s Day is right around the corner, so we wanted to take a moment to honor and appreciate the many moms that work with us every day here at The Jim Henson Company.
We asked these intelligent, dedicated, loving and very busy women to share some of their wisdom about balancing motherhood and work.
When you are having a tough day, always remember to stay in the moment. Be present with your family, be present at work. Let things flow, let things happen to you. Remain mindful even when it’s a challenge, especially if it is a challenge! Give a ton of love, unconditionally. Hold on tightly, but let go lightly. Finally, I always carry with me a little figurine representing my baby, it’s always with me everywhere I go.
— Blanca Lista
Vice President, Feature Film Production
I put broccoli and kale in everything – secretly. I steam and puree and throw it in everything from spaghetti sauce to chocolate smoothies. Also, lately I haven’t been able to find time to workout, so now I just workout with my son. He counts how many reps I do. He has his own set of mini weights. And then we end the workout with a little yoga stretch so he is plenty tired and ready for bed!
— Cynthia Barron
Manager, Music Business Affairs
When I travel on a business trip, to help my younger son, Theo, with the separation while I'm away I make him a simple book, with stick figures and construction paper, talking about the beginning and end of the trip (I also did that with my older son when he was little). I'll draw what each of us will be doing while I'm away — Hugging each other goodbye; Mommy riding on an airplane; Theo going to school; Mommy working on a show; Mommy calling Theo each night; Theo brushing his teeth and getting ready for bed; and — of course — Mommy coming back home and hugging Theo! Mommies always come back! I also write letters ahead of time for Theo to open that have fun messages and goodies inside that explain about where I'll be going on my trip (i.e. a word search about New York City or a fun fact list about Miami). And, with my older son in college, I don't send him stick figure books (although I think I need one for me missing him!) but I do send him fun care packages from home!
— Halle Stanford
Executive Vice President, Children’s Entertainment
After a poop disaster at our first doctor’s appointment, I now keep an extra change of clothes for my son AND for me in the diaper bag and in the car. I also learned that those flaps that are on the shoulders of baby onesies are SOOOOO helpful where there is an explosive diaper. Open the flaps and you can slip down the onesie. And finally, in that 3AM feeding time, I have tried to give my son his bottle through his ear. Moms, this doesn’t work!
— Rohini Pahwa
Lay out as much as possible the night before: clothes, shoes, diaper bag, lunch bag, personal bags. (And set a reminder alarm so you actually do this.) Wake up 20-30 minutes before your kids to get yourself showered and dressed in peace. Then you have more time to cuddle and play when the kids are awake. Do your make-up on the train. Remind yourself how amazing you are to do as much as you do!
— Melissa Creighton
Senior Production Manager, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop
We find Monday's to be one of the hardest days, since it's a jump back into the routine and a goodbye to the weekend. To make things easier we always have spaghetti and meatballs every Monday night, without fail. I make a double batch of meatballs ahead of time and freeze them. Dinner can be made quickly and easily and it's something everyone likes and looks forward to every week. Also, sometimes my son will give me a little friend (plush toy or action figure) to "help" me at work. I'll take some pictures of the friend throughout my day and show them to him at dinner that night. He loves seeing his friends on mama's desk.
— Z. Briggs
Foundation Manager, The Jim Henson Foundation
Each of your children’s art pieces are important, perfect, works of profound genius, right? If there is not enough room on the fridge for all that beauty, my suggestion is to do what my parents did, and what I then did for my own kids. Buy a large professional portfolio at the art supply store for each kid (the kind that zips up or shuts with a lock.) You can rotate art pieces through the usual display spots, but keep all the rest in these sturdy portfolios that last for years and years. Everything stays flat and clean, and the portfolio itself stores neatly in a closet or under the bed. You’ll still have it when it’s time for the kids to move out… "Here you go!"
— Lisa Henson
CEO & President
Do you have a great working mom tip? We’d love to hear it!
Please share it below and Happy Mother’s Day!
Nicole Goldman is the Executive Vice President of Marketing/PR and Education Initiatives. And a mother of two. She shares: When my kids were babies, it made me nuts to get to daycare and realize I forgot a favorite blanket or pacifier, so I taped a notecard inside their diaper bag that listed all the essentials I needed to bring each day. It was very helpful in the morning when I was in a rush, but too sleep-deprived to think straight!