Motherly @ Work features the stories and insights of modern women growing their careers—and their families.
Courtney Flint is one of those mamas. Along with her husband Andrew, Courtney has two boys, Redding (3 1/2 years) and Ozzie (17 months). “They are my everything!" she says.
Born in Southern California, Courtney has lived and worked in New York City for the last 12 years.
For the last 10 years, she has worked at Gucci as an advertising and marketing director, which she calls an “a challenging and rewarding role, especially right now with the brand having gone through an exciting creative direction change."
When she's not working, Courtney's is off exploring NYC with her boys.
Motherly talked to Leah about how she makes it all work:
My work situation works for me right now because. . .
it really speaks to some of my passions. I love the Gucci brand and the fashion and publishing industries.
“Becoming a mother has made me better at my job. I appreciate my work so much and I am much more efficient."
My work has also made me a better mother.
When I am with my kids I try to be totally engaged and conscious and I am totally focused on work when at my office.
I'm inspired to do this work because. . .
it's really stimulating and invigorates me.
I am so fortunate to work on an incredible team and they all motivate and inspire me to do great work.
Great relationships are important to me and I've had the opportunity to meet and partner with so many wonderful people.
Gucci's products are so beautiful and well-made, advertising this brand definitely makes my job easier.
If I just do this one thing every day my work and home lives run more smoothly. . .
Get organized for the week on Sunday and get organized for the day the night before. If I feel prepared I can handle the unexpected.
My fave look to rock at work. . .
black jeans, tee, blazer with Gucci clogs or heels.
I wear a lot of color, but black is definitely easy and hides those kids morning cereal stains I inevitably find on my way to work.
My partner supports me by. . .
He totally has my back and with his very demanding job at a start up he knows if I ask for something it is important and he makes it happen.
He also has the best sense of humor and when I am overwhelmed or stressed he has a way of taking my feelings seriously but distracts me with hilarious antics.
He is my biggest cheerleader and helps me see that anything is possible.
On the hard days, I remind myself. . .
to stop and take a look around.
There are so many people in this world dealing with heart-ache and hardship.
This helps me get out of my head and put things in perspective.
It's not that my hard days aren't real, they are and I never want to belittle my feelings, but perspective is key for me.
I know that “this too shall pass."
I am not in control of anything but my reactions, and I want to be proud of how I react to the good and of course the ugly.
It is helpful to remember to forgive myself when I lose it on the hard days.
The best work advice I ever got was . . .
find a great mentor and be a great mentor.
The childcare situation that works for us right now is. . .
We employ two nannies who both work part-time and it works beautifully.
When I had my first son Redding and went back to work I made a lot of mistakes in hiring and managing our then-nanny.
I acted out of fear and I didn't listen to my gut.
It was so overwhelming to learn how to care for a newborn and also how to put him in someone else's care so I could go back to work that I actually didn't manage the situation well.
I wanted the childcare situation to be effortless and couldn't face up when it wasn't.
It takes a lot of trust to get to that level of effortlessness or ease with a caretaker and sometimes no amount of effort will make it work.
I think kids are the biggest motivator for a reality check there could ever be.
When I finally faced that it wasn't working and we parted ways, I decided I was going to really listen to my instincts and trust them. It didn't steer me wrong.
After interviewing countless people we ended up hiring a wonderful, nurturing, fun loving, responsible and hard working women who happened to be newly pregnant.
We knew she was right for the job and took it one step at a time.
Hiring a maternity fill-in when she had the baby and then now she is back part-time.
It is exhausting caring for two children full-time so with this arrangement no one gets burnt out.
Both care-takers can fill-in for each other and they show up refreshed each day.
I see it as really a partnership in many ways so there has to be a mutual respect there.
Tell us about a typical day in your life:
I wake up. . .
And the best is when Andrew, Ozzie and Redding pile in the bed to wake me up on the days Andrew gets up early with the kids.
At: 7am. . .
I'm doing….10 things at once!
I'm inevitably half dressed, making breakfast and eating at the same time.
My phone is totally out of sight in the morning and evening so I can really connect with the kids.
We have a blast playing and make everything into a game so it literally takes two hours to shower, get dressed and out of the house.
At 9am. . .
Redding gives me a hi-five as he heads into his pre-school class
12pm. . .
I'm deep into my work and answer a few last emails before taking a walk to grab lunch to go.
On my walk I make my daily call to my big sister, Jen.
She is just starting her day and I just cherish our daily talks.
3pm . . .
sugar fix. I have a terrible sweat tooth and need a bit of chocolate or a cookie, something to push me through the final few hours of work
6pm . . .
Out the door at work and read on the subway home then its play-time and bed-time for kids
9pm. . .
snuggle up on the couch with Andrew, although we are both on our computers.
I finish up anything for work and get a chance to look at personal things that need attention.
I also get organized for the next day and wind down with a cup of tea or glass of wine.
I make time to recharge by. . .
Taking time to let go of thoughts and tune into myself helps me stay grounded and present and is really restorative.
I use a daily guided meditation app called Headspace.
They even have a SOS 5 min version that comes in very handy!
I also find it has been helpful for me to have daily, weekly, monthly and yearly rituals.
This goes for a lot of things including how I take care of myself.
Daily, 15 minutes of meditation. Weekly, I take an hour hot yoga class. Monthly, a visit to the spa for a treatment. Yearly, getaway with girlfriends.
To me, Motherly means. . .
A caretaker, and a community of mothers, sharing and caring for each other.