Last week, we held a special Mother’s Day brunch at Blue State Digital’s New York office. We wanted not only to celebrate our moms, but to also have an intergenerational conversation about workplace culture, and share the place where we spend the majority of our waking hours.
After all, most of our parents came of age in a very different cultural, economic, and technological climate. The world feels like a different place than it was a few years ago — let alone a few decades ago. We wanted to provide a space to discuss what it means to be a mom today, and what it has meant to be a mom, working or not, across generations — to learn from the experiences and choices of the women who shaped us as we navigate our own futures.
We heard about first jobs (highlights included: candy factory worker, pediatric ICU nurse, romance novel cover designer), first concerts (multiple moms apparently attended the same formative Rolling Stones concert), and how difficult it can be to balance family life with work, friendship, and taking care of your own needs.
When asked about how the workplace could become more egalitarian, the moms seemed pretty aligned on the importance of parental leave — not just for mothers. One mom was reassured by the way modern women are standing up for themselves: “Women are just saying no. When I was working, if I asked for an assignment and was told no, we all crawled back into the corner. Now, women don’t take no for an answer.”
Overall, the moms agreed that being a mother is extremely difficult, whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a working parent, or anything in between. There’s no one right way to do it; all you can do is adapt and “just keep moving.”
Of course, despite their wisdom, the moms still had trouble explaining what their children do at Blue State (except for one mom who has worked in information technology for decades — but that’s cheating!).
Our moms have done so much for us, and nothing, not even a delightful brunch, can adequately express how much we appreciate them. We love our moms — even if they have no idea what we do for a living.
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