Written by: Marcy Stoudt, owner
Give yourself a pat on the back. We are strong women who do it all! Let’s celebrate each other as mothers and businesswomen. I’m a firm believer that there is no better time than NOW for women in the workplace. At the Executive Mom Nest, we take an innovative approach to personal, career, and business growth. There are many demands for working parents. But when stress at home is high, it’s mostly moms who debate if they should keep working.
Since early 2020, we’ve been hearing about the great “Shecession.” I know these statistics are real, but I also know there is a better approach. With the right mentorship, there are solutions for her to stay engaged, inspired, and successful at work and home.
When I started working in 1994, I knew the finish line to my corporate career would be when I had my first child. I gathered career trophies and saved as much money as I could. Ironically, during that focused sprint, I fell in love with my career, the people I worked with, and the challenges that a career in STEM presented to me.
I struggled with the debate: Do I want to be a working mom or a stay home mom? Could I be a successful mom if I stayed with my company? I felt I had a decision to make: a businesswoman or a mother? Except I wasn’t complete without either identity.
My husband encouraged me to continue working. He knew my career was fulfilling and that I wanted to accomplish more. We promised each other that if it worked for our family and I enjoyed it, I would wear the Working Mom hat.
Fast forward 2 years, I sat in my car after a company-wide women-in-leadership meeting. As the keynote speaker, I was ready to espouse advice on leadership. As the audience applauded, I felt relief. I faked it again. What others couldn’t see was the absolute chaos at home. Both our toddler and nanny were sick. Both my husband and I had priority meetings that day.
The more I became the go-to women-in-leadership, the more I fueled a flaw I tried to keep secret: I had started to play small. I no longer invested in my personal leadership development. I stopped asking growth-minded questions to discover how I could move my career further up the ladder. I was ashamed whenever I doubted myself. After all, aren’t I supposed to be an expert? Didn’t I already have it figured out? Wasn’t I the example as the “only” female Vice President in a $3 Billion company?
What I needed were solutions at my fingertips. One day I needed someone to help me decorate my baby’s room. Another, I need help optimizing my calendar. I started to ask myself, Why do we expect women to work like we don’t have children, and raise children as if we don’t work? Trying to do it all created burnout, and eventually, I left a company that genuinely cared about me.
Society puts pressure on women to be career-driven or family-oriented, but why not both? I now realize that when I was having babies and trying to figure out how to be a working mom, it wasn’t my job title that needed to change, it was my mindset. I often wonder where I’d be if I had a different perspective.
I learned that there is both joy and sacrifice in these roles. I’ve witnessed bravery, leadership, loyalty, joy, kindness, and countless more descriptions of strength in all moms. It was at this point I realized the trap I created by dividing mothers into two categories. When I eliminated that endless debate. I could see clearly.
With each maternity leave, I navigated my choice of career or family through building skills of trust, empowerment, and delegation, both as a VP and as a mother. After spending 22 years in Corporate America (15 as a working mom) in various roles from VP of Strategy to VP of Sales & Marketing, I burned out. I thought I would be able to finally create the homelife I wanted but realized I felt untethered.
I joined the coaching space and modeled my business the way I experienced it as an executive. However, it wasn’t what I needed when I was an executive—I didn’t want to create a one-size-fits-all program. I wanted to build something different. I wanted to ease the burden of the executive mother by equipping mothers and mothers-to-be with a foundation of peace and confidence.
The more I reflected on my personal journey as a time-starved executive mother, the more I realized I was not alone in looking for solutions to ease my level of stress that may not have been work-related but were a large part of the burnout I experienced. I started building relationships with a variety of coaches who I consider valuable to other women and created a team that provided opportunities for both executive women and coaches.
My goal is to inspire women to live an authentic life that includes all their desires without sacrifice. Simultaneously, I wanted my children to experience my success in a way that they know they, too, can do anything. This is why I created the Executive Mom Nest community.
The Executive Mom Nest community consists of 17 advisors who work in a variety of industries to anticipate coaching needs members may have. The advisors coach in the following industries and topics:
- Public Speaking,
- Strengths Strategy,
- Business Organization,
- Transformational Coaching,
- Nutrition & Wellness,
- Interior Design,
- Career Coaching,
- Event Planning,
- Professional Organizing,
- Positive Parenting & Mindfulness,
- and Travel Planning.
Whenever a Nest member is in a pinch, whether it be planning their kid’s birthday party or needing speech preparation for a last-minute meeting, the goal is that the Nest has an Advisor who can provide the member with the support, guidance, and tips they need to take on any challenge.
Beyond individual advisors, there is also a weekly mastermind-style educational program that allows an opportunity for community building and mentorship between all members and coaches. We all know the saying it takes a village. The village is the Nest. Thanks to the pre-vetted outsourcing, members don’t have to invest time and nerves in finding a coach. Our innovative approach to Executive Coaching builds a team to help you live your vision. The Nest is empowering women to reach new heights both at home and at work. But, at the same time, they are building a legacy for the next generation.
Advice for Finding Harmony at Work and Home with The Revel Way
It is possible to find harmony at work and at home. To uncover success as a businesswoman, a mother, and all the other hats we wear, we need to build a community of champions who can help us find solutions when we need them. One way to do this is to uncover patterns, reactions, and emotional triggers at work and home by keeping a journal.
Step 1: Create a Vivid Vision
Start by creating a vivid vision for your future. A visualization is an amazing tool that can help you turn your dream into a reality. It provides the clarity to say yes to the right challenges and opportunities, while proudly saying no to the wrong ones. Think about what this future self does daily. Does she dress like a CEO? Does she make healthy meals for her family? Does she have “date night” with her children once a week?
When you create a vivid vision of your future self, it is to start to become her.
Step 2: Align Daily Action
Creating daily action helps you step into your future self by defining and leveraging your strengths and values. Aligning action begins with creating Journey Goals. Rather than using outcomes as a measure of success, Journey Goals help us act in alignment with our vivid vision. After all, it’s not about the destination. Journey Goals focus on the process of growth and using small steps to create big results. Aligning our actions with our strengths, values, and vision keeps the focus on our own Should-Do list, not on someone else’s.
Step 3: Embrace a Growth Mindset
Next, embrace a growth mindset. Seek opportunities to improve skills, build new habits, and create new connections that align with your vision. We teach children they can do anything, be anything. We teach them to believe in themselves and learn something new every day. This advice has no expiration date for our children. And it doesn’t for us either.
Rather than taking leaps that are too large, we use our vivid vision and aligned action to eliminate clutter from our Should-Do list. Focusing on our Journey Goals helps to avoid failure because we are committed to growing.
Step 4: Celebrate Joy
Joy can be as simple as leaving the house on time when it never seems to happen smoothly, noticing the spring blooms in the garden, or a hug from a two-year-old (even if they have spaghetti sauce on their hands). Joy will look different to everyone, but once you start to recognize how it aligns with your vision, action, and growth, you will see it everywhere. Open yourself to all the beautiful opportunities you’ve created for yourself, your partner, your team, and your children!
As the founder of Executive Mom Nest and CEO of Revel Coach, Marcy Stoudt is passionate about developing leaders, bringing teams together, and creating a work environment where people thrive. For the past 25 years, she has worked with hundreds of women and executives and coached, taught, and inspired results through confidence and balance.
Marcy spent 22 year career with Allegis Group, the global leader in talent solutions headquartered in Hanover, MD. Allegis Group is unified by a common purpose: to create significant opportunities for people that, day by day, shape our world. Allegis Group companies include: Aerotek, TEKsystems, MarketSource, Aston Carter, Getting Hired, EASi, Major, Lindsey & Africa, Allegis Group Global Services.
Connect directly with Marcy at [email protected]