Meet Team TULA: Alisa and Julia Talk Balance as an Office Mom
Today, meet Alisa Metzger, our VP of Marketing, and Julia Straus, our CEO. These two mommies on our team sat down for a few minutes just in time for Mother's Day to discuss motherhood and balance (or the lack thereof!).
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do at TULA?
Julia Straus (JS): I'm the CEO at TULA, so I do a little bit of everything.
Alisa Metzger (AM):I'm the VP of Marketing here, and I work on TULA's voice and messaging - helping everyone understand just how amazing our products are, and how they work!
Let's talk balance as an office mom. What do you think?
JS: So basically, I don't feel prepared [laughter]. Alisa, can you enlighten me, please, on some of this balance stuff? Like about motherhood and being an office-working mom? Because you blow me away that you walk in here and kill it at work, and then you have a two-year-old and a three-month-old at home. How do you take on so much?
AM: Of course! I think that balance is a frame of mind and a goal versus a true reality. As a mom that works in an office setting and has two kids at home, I do struggle with balance and trying to make time for myself. I think the way to achieve balance is about making sure you use your time wisely to optimize every moment of the day. Days of just mindlessly watching TV or reading a magazine for fun are over. Those little moments become real luxuries when kids come along.
JS: So how do you use your time?
AM: Well, my daily routine starts with waking up at 5:45 or 6 AM¦
JS: Dear god¦
AM: [Laughter] Sometimes even earlier! It really depends on the kids because they rise with the sun and set with the sun.
JS: So you become an early riser.
AM: Oh yes! My days are intense and jam packed, I won't sugar coat it. I wake up, feed one while changing the diaper for the other, and then what ultimately happens is that I comes last. I feel accomplished if I can drink a quick cup of coffee or a quick smoothie before I have to run out the door to make it to work. And then when I'm at work I solely focus on work.
JS: That sounds intense.
AM: And at the end of the day, I run home and switch from work mode back to Mom mode. I get the little ones fed, spend some quality time by reading a book, singing songs or playing with their favorite toys together and then get them both ready for bed. That's around 7:00 pm. When my kids go to sleep I finally get a bit of me time to re-focus myself, collect my thoughts for the day, and prepare for the next day's priorities.
JS: Which part of this routine is your favorite?
AM: That's a hard question because my kids are what bring me joy and light up my life. And my work brings me a different sense of accomplishment. I think these two worlds are my balance. When my kids are happy and healthy, it's like an A+ for me! That's what really matters. I realize that raising my kids is a collective effort. I can't take credit for it all because I rely on my husband, the grandparents and my loving nanny a lot. I have moments when I feel that I should be there with my kids more but what I've realized is they don't see it that way. They are thriving and so loved by so many people. My days at work when we celebrate milestones and successes also bring me so much energy. I absolutely love what I do, if I didn't, the balance between work and family would be very difficult to achieve.
JS: So this is kind of a hard question but how did you weigh the pros and cons when choosing to be an office-working mom? Was there a moment where you made that decision? Because I don't feel like I had a moment. It just feels like this was my plan all along.
AM: When I had my son, there was a point where I just felt like I never wanted to leave this little thing alone. I had this emotional attachment, and the horror stories of other office-working moms saying, I never see my kids just made me want to not return to work. But in hindsight, I feel like that statements a bit too¦
AM: Yes, extreme. My husband was supportive and responded to my decision of being a stay-at-home mom positively. But by the end of my maternity leave, I started to miss the office, the working atmosphere, dressing up, makeup, my heels...everything!
JS: Sounds like you were trying to balance your office-you, woman-you, and mother-you.
AM: Yes. I have days when my kids would cry when the nanny leaves, and I'm like what about me?! But I now know that it's just an emotional response and that being an office-working mom won't really affect your relationship with your kids because the bond between a mom and child is so unique. I'll always be their mom and no one can replace that.
JS: I love that. So inspiring. If you had only a few moments to spare and had to give me some quick tips what would they be?
AM: First, don't freak out and stay calm. Babies are super resilient, and they come with viruses, illnesses, sleepless nights, and so on. And that's okay. It's all going to be ok. Each tough step of being a mom is temporary. They eventually sleep through the night and get over the teething and recover from the virus. You just go through one and move on to the next.
JS: Amazing, I love that. It's kind of like a parallel to working at a startup...?
AM: [Laughter] Yes, in a way.
JS: What about guilty pleasures as a mom?
AM: To decompress at the end of my day, I love to just sit down with a beauty magazine. I mean, I know it's kind of old school¦
JS: No, I love it!
AM: But it helps with getting away from a screen.
JS: Of course!
AM: So tell me, what are you doing to prepare as a mom-to-be?
JS: [Laughter] Oh geez. I mean, people have said every baby's different, and that it's honestly unpredictable. So other than buying the actual supplies and skimming some books, I'm trying to just accept the fact that I can't control it. I'm probably oversimplifying it¦
AM: No, no. You're totally not. I like to control things myself for a sense of security, but my kids just totally threw that out the door [laughter]. So it's okay. Don't be nervous and just let things go with the flow. You will have tough days, and easy days. You can't be too hard on yourself and remember to focus on the important things, the bigger picture and enjoy the moment.
JS:Just go with the flow. I'll try it, I guess.
A few quick questions! Your favorite TULA product?
AM: Our Hydrating Day & Night Cream
What is the best skincare advice you've ever received?
AM: Always wash your makeup off at night and ... moisturizer, moisturizer, moisturizer. Hydrated skin is healthy skin.
JS: It's never to early to invest in a great moisturizer and great eye cream. Your skin will thank you in 10 years!
Fill in the blank: 2017 is the year of ___.
AM: Working mothers. We try our best to do it all.
JS: Skincare! I think you'll see more and more that skincare is the new makeup and that's where the innovation and trends will be set!
We'd love to know: how do YOU find balance in motherhood? Comment below with your best mommy tips and thoughts!
Next Time: Meet Donnie and Hannah, the women behind TULA.com, as they talk about how building a website is like planning a wedding.