I remember being pregnant and thinking “Of course, I’ll go back to work, I can do it all.” And then the magazine where I was the editor in chief folded. While I was sad that I would no longer see my work fam on a daily basis, I was relieved to know that I had a little more time home with my son Oliver. And after some more time home I realized that I actually had no idea how women “do it all.” But then Jessica (aka superwoman) and I decided to get the wheels moving on the launch of our baby: Well Rounded NY. And it struck a fire in us both. We created what we like to think is a kick ass website and continue to challenge ourselves -- and work our butts off -- daily.
Even so, I struggle to figure out where I belong. Even as I try to schedule enough hours to work, I revel in things like an afternoon walk with my two-year-old that takes the place of the work I should be doing. I also endlessly make false promises of weekly yoga classes I never attend. Yet, I know I am just one of many grey-area stories of simply being a mom. These stories are one of the beauties of NYC; there’s a unique one around every corner. Except sometimes when you’re a mom trying to balance it all, it becomes harder to pick your head up to hear those stories. You forget to take time to connect with women over cocktails or coffee or after a yoga class. Most likely you’re focused on the task at hand: baby or work. But you’re still in need of that connection between other people too. Other moms in particular.
NYC mom and yogi Randi Zinn wants to change that with her first ever Beyond Moms Mixer coming up this Thursday, February 6th. Zinn will “mix” working moms, stay-at-home moms, and mama-preneurs up in one room to create an event about connectivity. “I’ve realized that these three groups of women don’t always understand each other,” says Zinn. “I’d love for all three of these types of women to have a more fluid relationship with one another, to drop judgment and realize that we have a lot to offer one another.” She hopes for them (YOU) to leave with many connections and a lot of wisdom.
“I plan to create a network that is both feel-good and a fire-starter,” she says. Zinn aspires to create a community that moms in the city want to return to again and again. Here, find out more about the Beyond Moms Mixer and how you just might want to set aside some “you-time” for it. You might just get inspired.
How did you come up with the Beyond Moms Mixer?
I’ve met so many purposeful, driven women since becoming a mom. Many are entrepreneurs, some are working in the corporate world, and some are taking time with their kids to reflect and figure out what’s next. These women don’t need more drive -- they have a ton of that. What they need is community: other women to be reflections of themselves, to say, yes, I’m working through that too. Or, I know just the person for you to talk to! We need each other. I’m into wellness for NYC moms -- not just wellness in our bodies (though that’s clearly important), but wellness in our hearts, and that comes from feeling supported and validated.
Why is community so important to moms in particular?
Motherhood can be isolating. It’s uncharted territory for us all. Even with each child, the game changes because you don’t really know what you’re going to get! But when you’re a mom who is “Beyond Mom” -- in other words, you continue to cultivate the YOU inside of you -- it can be even more isolating. Who do you talk to about this deep work? Who gets that you are a proud and loving mama, but that you also want to develop the person who is a woman, a creator, a power source? We need other women to validate and encourage this process.
How do you think being a mom changes the way you think about your career?
Becoming a mom gave me an outlet for my already established passions and talents. I’ve always been a writer, but suddenly I wanted to write about motherhood. I was a Yogi but suddenly I was utilizing my yoga to be a better mom and woman overall. I feel like I was given a profound experience to speak through, and this has shifted my career. Many women I speak to have come up with brilliant business ideas through the experience of motherhood and are in the midst of launching them, kids in tow! Not everyone goes through giant career changes when they become moms (and that’s ok!), but many do discover untapped creative potential and a slew of cool ideas.
How are they at an advantage?
I think today’s work climate offers opportunities to work in a variety of ways: freelance, home offices, family run businesses, etc. We can be more creative with the ways we produce.
How are they at a disadvantage?
Our culture is desperately trying to figure out the “Can women have it all?” questions. Can women exit the workforce and come back in and still climb the ladder? Can she build a business and be a mom and not lose her mind? Most of the women I know feel a giant tug to be with their kids, so whether they work for themselves or for someone else, there is always a tug or two of guilt and some real emotional stuff to grapple with. It’s always a little painful for us.
Is there a way to eliminate that disadvantage?
I think the only way to eliminate is to persevere. Keep showing up. Build your business. Network with other women asking questions and building businesses. Be the light you want to see in the world. It’s the only way to show that there is a new way to do things.
How do you personally practice what you preach at the Beyond Mom Mixer?
I network a lot. I meet women who are doing interesting things, I ask good questions, and I listen carefully. I really want to learn from women who are taking risks and running toward their dreams. Beyond Mom Mixer is about me trying to bring that level of inspiration to one place for the women who crave it.
Why do you think NYC is the perfect launching pad from this event?
Anything is possible here! The cliché is so true. I love the different types of families, the crazy cool businesses people run, and the fact that someone in my network knows a person I need to meet. This city has a heartbeat all its own and it’s a perfect place to do the juggle I’m talking about. And it’s a great place to be inspired if you feel try!
How do you take time for yourself?
I’ve built into my calendar “Me” time which is usually my workouts and yoga classes as well as Saturdays when my husband spends the bulk of the day with my son so I get time to write, visit with friends or get a mani/pedi. Those moments on my own are pretty refreshing.
How could each category of mom potentially benefit from the Beyond Mom Mixer?
Working mom: Working Moms usually need more me-time in the form of inspiring conversation, time for wellness, and perhaps discussions that have nothing to do with the typical at-work- mentality. Mix it up working mamas!
Stay-at-home moms: Despite conventional thought, stay-at-home moms are also desperate for inspiration and ideas. Hanging out with your kids all day can be tough and mind-numbing. Stay-at-home mamas are often thinking of their next career move and also need a relevant and up to date network. Why should they miss out on that?
Mama-preneurs: Mama-preneurs definitely need their network. We rely on each other to connect, introduce, and make it happen for one another. Networking, I have learned, is everything. But we also need to stop working sometimes (it’s really easy to be on Twitter into the wee hours) and have fun! We need our other mama friends to remind us that is ok to let go a little bit and relax.
Will we see you at the Beyond Moms Mixer?
Purchase tickets here.