Celebrating Our Resilient Moms This Mother’s Day
By Zeno Moms
At Zeno, ensuring all employees have a sense of belonging is essential to our diversity, equity and inclusion. In this new content series “Zeno for Everyone,” we’ll share personal stories from Zenoids and learn about how different backgrounds and histories shape perspectives and enrich our experiences. #ZenoForEveryone
At Zeno Group, ‘fearless’ is one of our core values. We embrace the unexpected and push the boundaries of traditional thinking. This year, Zeno moms (and moms everywhere) have been nothing short of fearless.
While this past year has been challenging for everyone, moms carried an extra burden of balancing their careers from home, new remote school environments and increased domestic chores while navigating a global pandemic.
This year leading up to Mother’s Day, we checked in on some of our fearless Zeno moms from across the globe. These moms shared what their year has been like, and how they’ve been resilient – their stories are below. Earlier this year, Zeno EVP Jackie Cox Battles kicked off PRWeek’s ‘Femme Forward’ series sharing her story about being a mom in PR and the professional and personal challenges of surviving the pandemic. You can read her personal story here.
Thank you moms, for all that you do.
Leslie Fogel – Vice President, Sports & Entertainment
This year has been exhausting yet amazing, mundane yet chaotic. The silver lining of this pandemic without question has been more quality time with my kids. Whether being able to pick them up at school or sneaking away for some lunch time laughs together, I’ve had a front row seat to watch them grow up this year. Sure, sometimes I’d love to take a call without them screaming in the background, but I realize how special it’s been to use this year to slow down and reconnect as a family.
Kelsey LeRose – Director, Influencer & Digital
Navigating the first year of motherhood during a global pandemic is not for the faint of heart. In addition to the normal worries that occupy the mind of a mother, isolation added a layer of complexity I could have never anticipated. It was challenging, rewarding, lonely and wonderful to be in a little bubble with my family. Rooting myself in the moment has been a daily practice to stay centered, focused and grateful. So, it’s a good thing when he smiles, I couldn’t be anywhere but present.
Karla Gonzalez - Account Supervisor
Not only did I have the opportunity to observe my daughter grow into a 4-year-old this last year, but she also had an opportunity to fully observe me. Spending so much time together over the last year made me realize just how much she’s a reflection of me. If I exhibited negative behavior, she’d pick up on that and copy me. I want her to be patient, match anger with control, and greet disappointment with determination. I want her to laugh, be brave and confident. I want her to love herself and be kind to others. But I had to want these things for myself first and lead by example. It’s changed the way I think and act, and it’s been so incredible being able to learn from one another.
Candi Kramer – Vice President, HR & Recruitment
Before the pandemic, I often felt motherhood was like learning to ride a bike again every few months – every time I thought I had “mastered” one aspect of motherhood and felt ‘I’ve got this,’ the kids throw something new at you. Nothing underscored that sentiment more than during the past year as I navigated so many unknowns and unfamiliar territory. This included remote schooling for my 8-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter and figuring out the online school schedule while printing out worksheets for the next day’s homework. We also had to explain why there were no playdates or basketball at the playground and cancellation of gymnastics practice and competitions, which was challenging for my daughter who lives and breathes gymnastics.
But during this time, we also made pillow forts and giggled when my son changed my daughter’s name with a less than desirable one for her Zoom online class. We ate dinner together as a family almost every night as my husband honed his cooking skills and explored new walking trails with our new puppy. We also learned how to truly enjoy time with each other and there's no one else I could wish to have by my side in the year of the unknown (although sometimes a little less by my side) than my family.
Angela Alvarez - Executive Vice President
Our family has always been a “go, go, go” kind of family – multiple kids in multiple sports every weekend and Sunday afternoons spent at Disneyland (we’re locals) as our favorite entertainment. For all the challenges of this past year with remote schooling, the pandemic has been a blessing to get our family to truly slow down and take in what’s important – being together.
My favorite times of this past year have been going on long walks with the family, taking in the sunshine and fresh air, making jokes and spending more time together (even if some of it was in between work calls and homework questions). It’s hard to believe my kids are grown now, ages 11, 15 and 17, as I remember clearly when they were in diapers and we were juggling the chaos that comes with toys laying around the house and kids running around like crazy.
This Mother’s Day I celebrate all the moms that made it through the pandemic. Each and every story is unique and different in perspective, and now this is a common bond we all have gone through which adds to our strength and resiliency as parents.
Julie Georgas - Managing Director
The past year has been an adventure full of ups and downs. Before the pandemic, I was out of the house at 7 a.m. and home after 7 p.m. I saw my kids for a couple of hours a day during the week. Cut to 2020 and we’re together every minute. And our house filled with Reese (8), Charlie (5), Billie the husky (14) and my husband Paul felt like it kept shrinking. Zoom backgrounds hid toys, laundry and little people fighting, giggling, crying and handing me silly notes that said ‘fart.’
But looking back, our house also grew with so much love thanks to karaoke nights, cookie cakes, theme nights, birthday parades, candy sushi and epic backyard parties for Charlie’s best bears. Magic is something you make, and boy did 2020 need it.
While I love the office, and all the people in it, there’s been something wonderful about closing your laptop and having a couple seconds’ commute to your kitchen with your favourite people in it. This Mother’s Day I raise a glass to all the parents who have maintained their sanity and sense of humour and just gone with it. I couldn’t have survived it without my incredible husband Paul. Happy Mother’s Day!
WATCH: Zeno moms asked their kids "what does mom do?"