Ensuring working moms that there is a way to do both; balance life and be a Great MOM, while being a BOSS of their career
Expert Interviews: Latika Vine CS, SWP of Visionary Initiatives, LLC
Tell us about Visionary Initiatives:
Visionary Initiatives provides career and organizational development training, coaching, and consulting for Working Mothers, Government Agencies, and Small Businesses. We deliver customized solutions for high-performing Working Mothers to successfully balance life, so they can grow in their career; while providing Organizations with the tools to develop the careers of their high-performing employees to create a talent pool for succession management and increase employee retention and satisfaction.
What are the services you offer?
Through Virtual Coaching, we educate and empower high-performing working mothers with the opportunity to develop their career, while showing them how they can balance work and life, using The Life & Career Management Solution. Through our Consulting and Training Services, we dive deep into the Growth Vision and Potential of the Organization, ensuring that it is an initiative; while providing them with the tools to sustain their employees, so they can thrive.
Why focus on career moms?
As a working mom of 4, I understand the overwhelm caused by trying to balance everything and everyone and not being happy with where I am in my career. I have helped so many other people achieve their career goals, but I put mine on the back burner because I always felt that my family was more important than my own happiness. Once I was diagnosed with postpartum depression, I understood that I had to make my own happiness a priority - I needed to go after my own career aspirations. I also realized that there were other working moms just like me. So, I made it a mission to work on myself and to ensure working moms knew that there is a way to do both, balance life, and be a great mom while being a Boss of their career. So, I combined my 15 years of Career Development, Training, and Coaching experience and began a new journey of helping myself while I help other working moms.
What are some of the challenges you see most career mothers facing?
The working moms that I have been in contact with are challenged with a lack of support from their family or job; not being able to balance work and life; not having time for themselves; feeling like COVID has jeopardized their careers; not having time for themselves; not taking care of themselves; resentment; not spending enough time with their children; ashamed that someone else (nanny or daycare) has to raise their children; not knowing what career is right for them; not being able to prioritize what’s important; and a host of other challenges. This has inspired me to share with them The Life & Career Management Solution (TLCMS), which has helped me manage and balance (or blend) both my career and life together. I was able to create an answer to doing both without being overwhelmed. In TLCMS, I share how working moms can eliminate overwhelm by gaining clarity on their priorities versus their list of “things to do;” identify what they want their career to be, how they want to spend time with their family, and how they want to have my time and create a plan to achieve it; address reality and what changes need to be made so that balance can be real; and create measures that will allow them to save time, money, and stress; all so they can be the great mom and boss of their career. I do all of this inside my signature coaching program, Work It. Life It. Self It.
Do you feel there’s a difference between today’s generations of career mothers vs baby-boom working mothers?
Yes and no. I believe both generations are facing the unbalance/imbalance of work and life, but I believe that today’s working moms are commuting more; have more children who are diagnosed with physical and mental disabilities which requires more flexibility on the job to care for those children; are more innovative, so they are taking more risks in their career to go up the career ladder; the need for mother’s rooms are a necessity now as more working mothers are breastfeeding their children; too many options for support or positions causing them to be overwhelmed in decision making; more of us are managing our own diagnosis of physical or mental disabilities; and a host of other challenges. In my own family, I have had to make arrangements for two of my children to attend therapy on top of their various after-school activities, while bringing my other two children along for the ride; I didn’t have family members who lived close by to pick up my children after school, so I had to rush from one city to another to pick up two children by 4pm and the other two by 6pm. Although both generations have experienced similar unbalance/imbalance, I believe that today’s generation has a bit more than we are managing all at the same time.
Some would say, we’ve come a long way…why do you think there’s still conflict with working and parenting for career moms?
Yes; I believe that we have come a long way from previous years, but there is still work to be done. Working moms are still facing discrimination in the workplace; working moms are still fighting for flexibility just to watch the soccer game their children are a part of; working mothers feel they have to trade their family for career progression; and so much more. But, I believe that when we as working mothers have the right systems and solutions in place, we are able to manage better and set our daughters up for success in the future.
Today we have just as many male figures taking on a bigger role of parenting while working. From a gender imbalance perspective, what are your views on the conflicts of being a working parent between men vs women? Please share some examples.
This is a tricky question, but, I believe that men are doing more to help their wives at home (and even encouraging them to pursue their career dreams), which is a blessing! But, when the term working parent is used, most often people will refer to the woman, rather than the man, simply because most people believe that women are responsible for the home and children (which is a society norm). Most people (women and men) believe that women are more of the nurturers of the home where the husband (man) is the provider of the home. I don’t disagree that the man is the provider and the woman is the husband’s helper, but we can not continue to put ourselves in corners. A husband can be a provider of the family and be a stay at home dad; a wife can be a nurturer and be the sole breadwinner of the family. We don’t have to stick with the society norms that have been placed on us from generations passed.
The school season just began and it’s very different from the norm. Now or before COVID-19 why do career moms struggle the most when kids start school?
The beginning of the school year is always stressful, as our children are getting adjusted to new schedules, new teachers, new friends, new lunch hours, the latest trends, and so much more. This year, we have had to readjust to virtual classrooms, virtual playdates, etc...which has caused additional stress on the working mom because she is making sure her children are online in their virtual classrooms while at the same time logging into her meeting where she is presenting. But, as working moms, we are paying attention to the details at the start of the school year. We are ensuring that our children have the necessary tools to excel in school; their outfits are perfect; we are taking them to the doctor's office to get the necessary shots for the new school year; making sure we pump them up with vitamins because sending them back to school means germs and more germs, and the list goes on. And, we are doing all of this as we manage to work and go about life before the first day of school. So, the beginning of the school year is very stressful. And, if you have multiple children, you are doing everything at a heightened degree (I know I am).
How can being a career mom change a child’s growing up?
Studies have shown that children of working mothers know the expectations of how a family operates when two parents are working, etc. Studies also show that those daughters are inspired to go after their own career aspirations because they saw their mothers do so. From my personal experience, it teaches our children to be resilient (especially in the midst of a pandemic) and to be patient with ourselves and others. It also teaches our children that we have to be organized and have systems or routines in place that allow our life to flow - this has been a great teaching point for my children. I believe it also teaches our children how to be independent. My children have had to do things on their own because I have to work; so it has taught them that they are smart and can do more than they thought they could.
How should people get in touch with your services?
To learn more on how you can balance work and life and grow your career at the same time, book a complimentary call with me at www.calendly.com/visionaryinitiatives.com
Tell us about your podcast?
The Latika Vines Show is a Work & Life Balance podcast for working mothers, inspiring them to lead and grow their careers while living a balanced lifestyle and putting God first. We are currently in Season 3 of the podcast, which I believe has been the most authentic season yet. But, I have shared more of my postpartum depression story and have invited guests to share their tips on balancing life in the midst of COVID. New episodes are available every Friday and can be heard on Apple, Anchor, Google, and Spotify. To learn more and check out the trailer, go to anchor.fm/latika-vines
Is there anything else you’ll like to share with the readers?
Working Mom, please know that you can’t do this alone. We need a village surrounding us to survive and thrive as working moms. Identify three important people who can provide you the physical, mental, and spiritual support you need to be a working mom. Having that support will make a difference in your life, your family’s life, and your mental health. Don’t be afraid to lean on whoever your support system is; and when it gets to be too much, tell someone that it’s too much. Don’t suffer in silence. There is a friend, sister, prayer warrior, mother, colleague, and/or boss waiting for you to speak up and say something. Thank you Gracie for this opportunity; I greatly appreciate it!
Thank you, Latika for taking time out to chat with us about career mothers and the challenges they face.
Please contact Latika at Visionary Initiatives, LLC for her services.
Continue to watch out for more interviews, tips, and advice from amazing experts like Latika S. Vine. Latika is also the Local Chapter President for the Maryland Area of IAW, International Association of Women. To learn more about the association please visit https://www.iawomen.com/ or if you’re from the area please contact her for membership.
Latika, it’s been a pleasure!
Until next time,
Check out the video chat between Latika and Gracie:
To learn more about Visionary Initiatives, LLC by visiting www.visionary-initiatives.com