Celebrating Mother’s Day: A remote edition

Over a year later and we’re still at it - at home, that is. You know, where we’ve been spending all our time, trapped with the people we love. Working from home used to require a degree of discipline - discipline to stay on task, take breaks, stretch, eat, and refocus. Working from home with kids for over a year - it requires a PhD in balance, focus, setting realistic expectations, communications… The list goes on.

And all in a time where our usual coping mechanisms - self care, spending time with friends, leaning on family - are harder than ever to access. It’s not just work - it’s a lack of privacy, constant interruptions, the blurring of the edges of “self” into an amorphous “mom-work-housework” blob, never having a single moment alone and yet feeling lonely. We can relate.

The surprising time WFH has given back

But it’s not all bad news. It’s challenging, and we definitely see and hear you on that. But we’ve also gained some things, which has helped us retain our collective sanity.

Chelsea-Michaels-Mothers-Day

“I didn’t realize how much I was missing by commuting to work. My priority has always been to be there for the big stuff and be there for my husband when he needs support. Having this time to be so present with my little family has let me be there for it all - it’s those small things and moments that are just as great as the big. When we start going back to the office, I want to make sure I’m more engaged with my family and keep taking in the little moments.”

- Chelsea Michael, Talent Development Manager

"We cook together a ton now, and we eat way better than we used to. My kids have discovered a bunch of new veggies because I’m less rushed in the evenings and can experiment with more recipes. We’re also way more active - my kids had never seen me workout before, since I used to run after dropping them off at school, but now they want to workout too. It’s been really interesting to see how they will independently choose to go for a bike ride rather than screens because they’ll say, 'I’m ready to do something active!

- Pia Adolphsen, Product Manager

Kurdeen-Karim-Mothers-Day

“CallRail and this time at home has changed my relationship with my son. We have spent so much time together and it’s brought us closer. We cook together, we bake together, he tells me things - he’s 14 years old so he’s at that age, but we communicate so well.

We actually took on a huge housing renovation together over the past year. I had never installed hardwood flooring and I don’t recommend doing it yourself in hindsight, but we did it. It got him involved, it promoted teamwork and great bonding time. This time together has been a blessing for us.”

- Kurdeen Karim, Director of IT Security and Infrastructure

Whitney-Bennett-Mothers-Day

“My youngest was 9 months old when the pandemic and subsequent lockdown happened so he was very much still a baby. Because of the lockdown, this is probably the longest time that I've spent with one of my babies at this age during the week. The fact that he is our last baby made that time even sweeter. I've really enjoyed seeing kids on zoom calls and the occasional hilarious interruption. I've been super appreciative of how everyone has just rolled with it. I feel like it's brought our team closer and everyone has a better appreciation for what working parents are dealing with.”

- Whitney Bennett, VP of Talent and Culture

Tameka-Hughes-Mothers-Day

"There’s been so many big changes over the past year, but this time together has definitely brought us so much closer. My heart melts every time they walk up to me and simply say, “Mommy, we love you so much. You’re the best mom in the world.” This time has been tough on kids and they’re really handling it all like champs. The exciting news is the kids were finally able to see their grandparents and spend the night last night. With the vaccine and the world slowly opening, I’m excited and grateful to bring back our family connection and spend more time together.

- Tameka Hughes, Senior Customer Success Manager

A gentle reminder to give back to yourself

“Self-care” is not a thing of the past. It may look different than it used to, but consider any investment in self-care an investment in your mental health, happiness, and holistic well-being.

“In reality, it’s challenging to sit down and take time for myself, especially with having a newborn. For the moment, bath time is when I take time to myself. Candidly, doing self-care and feeling good about it in the newborn stage is tough, but I remind myself that doing regular tasks isn’t selfcare. Going to the grocery store, taking a shower - these are simply things you do. Making sure you’re in a good mental state? That’s self-care.”

- Chelsea Michael, Talent Development Manager

“I felt guilty for the longest time about taking time for myself. I would plan something only to cancel it soon after to prioritize my children and family. I felt like I needed to schedule myself around everyone else, but in doing that, I realized I wasn’t being the best “me” for my family. Not prioritizing myself, hurt myself and my family. But with the kids slowly being able to see their grandparents again, Saturdays are my time. I treat myself with my husband and order in, have dessert, and watch movies. And my husband helps by giving me the space I need for the small things - getting my nails done, going for a solo walk, simply not making dinner. Sometimes you just need the room to breathe so give yourself that.”

- Tameka Hughes, Senior Customer Success Manager

"At the beginning of the pandemic and working from home, there was no difference between work and going home. Pretty quickly, I realized how easy it was to just keep working well after I should have stepped away. But you need to create those pauses for yourself - take a moment, take your lunch - even if it’s for thirty minutes. Everyday at noon, I will go for a walk just to refresh my mind and give myself a break. Create and stick to a stopping point for your work day to transition into your own time."

- Karen Marsh, Senior Software Engineer

“I think self-care went down the drain in the beginning - especially in IT. But after 6 months, I finally went to get my hair done. I walk 5 miles a day. I used to go to kickboxing classes, but with gyms being iffy and closed - walking is my time for mental and physical health.”

- Kurdeen Karim, Director of IT Security and Infrastructure

"I started working out more - it’s the number one thing I can do for my mental health. I also started eating better. My fiance, Stephen, and I LOVE wine, and at the beginning of quarantine, we got into the habit of drinking wine every night. Which is delightful! But not so great for balance, especially the additional energy required to manage kiddos at home every day. So less drinking, more veggies."

- Pia Adolphsen, Product Manager

Advice to new moms from moms

Pia-Adolphsen-Mothers-Day

“None of the things that seem like a big deal now will ultimately be as big of a deal as they seem now. Soon enough, your kid will be eating dirt on the playground with all the other kids. Nobody goes to college not potty-trained. It’ll all come together eventually.”

- Pia Adolphsen, Product Manager

Karen-Marsh-Mothers-Day

“One simple offering: Take lots of photos and videos and make a point to print them out - don’t leave them on your phone. You don’t really think about it a whole lot, but your children grow up so fast. Back in the old days, they didn’t have access to videos like now, but you go back and you look at pictures and videos. Just keep recording those precious memories in the making. You think to yourself “I’ll never forget this,” but having that memory captured, something to look back on that day, it’s something else.”

- Karen Marsh, Senior Software Engineer

“There’s so many things I want to say, but mostly; it's OK to ask for help. You can not pour from an empty cup, don't be afraid to ask for what you need and take a break if you can. You will be a better mother for it. Don't feel guilty about taking a break from your baby; they literally have no sense of time.”

- Whitney Bennett, VP of Talent and Culture

“Please know that none of us were given a mom’s manual and it’s actually okay to say no to advice that you're given by other mothers. It’s so easy to go down the path of “Am I doing this right? Am I being a good mother?” It all comes naturally. No connection is as close as mother and child - you can feel and sense their needs.

And cherish every single little moment. I’ve felt so many emotions over the last few days - My son is turning 15 and getting his permit. I’m sitting here thinking about how it felt like just yesterday I was bringing him home and now he wants to drive? Time flies and they keep growing so cherish those moments.”

- Kurdeen Karim, Director of IT Security and Infrastructure

More than anything else: we’re all in it together. We may not be able to see each other (yet!), but we’re together in spirit, facing the same challenges, grateful for each other, and full of hope for the future ahead.

To all the moms, at CallRail and everywhere, Happy Mother’s Day.