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Maybrooks + Motherly caught up with Cheyne Little, a product education manager at Etsy about how the company supports its mothers as employees, sellers and customers. Here’s what Cheyne had to say about how her work and personal lives coexist at the makers marketplace.



A Pilot Program for New Moms at Etsy

WHO SHE IS

Cheyne Little, Product Education Manager, Etsy

WHERE SHE IS

Brooklyn, NY

WORK SCHEDULE

Monday – Friday, 10am – 6pm ET

KIDS

Carys (daughter) 7 months

SANITY VICE

Cranberry + white chocolate oatmeal lactation cookies (made by my mother-in-law)

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Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager, by Michael Lopp

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FAVORITE TV SHOW

Parks & Recreation or The Good Wife

GO-TO TECH

I live by my iPhone and keep my team organized with Basecamp

BEST TIME-MANAGEMENT TIP

Since I’m still nursing, I get ready in the morning and wear a robe until right before I’m walking out the door to head to work.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE TO DO WITH YOUR CHILDREN WHEN YOU AREN’T WORKING?

Carys is still young so we mainly like to walk in the park and meet our neighbors’ dogs.

Tell us about your working mom journey. What are you doing now and how did you get here?

Back in

2007 I started my own Etsy shop selling accessories and handbags I made

in my studio in Texas. I loved running my business but was looking for a

big change and an opportunity to work with a team. Four and a half

years ago, I landed a job working working on Etsy’s Community team. I

moved to Brooklyn and started my job the very next day. Since then, I’ve

had great opportunities for growth within the company. Now, I’m happy

to be managing a team of four, focused on helping our sellers use our

site tools to help run their businesses.


You’re part of a pilot program at

Etsy where as a new primary care giver you receive executive coaching to

help you transition back into work with a baby. How is this going and

what are you learning?

The

coaching sessions have been my lifeline after returning four months ago!

On the professional side, my coach helps me work through prioritizing

my team needs. Time has never been more valuable and I’ve needed to

adapt from my previous go-to methods.

What I

personally find most refreshing about the program is how real we can be

with each other. A few weeks after I returned to work, I realized this

was the first time in many years that I couldn’t give all of myself to

my work — my time, my energy, my heart (all of which I gave willingly

and passionately). It felt so confusing to realize I had something else I

wanted to pour myself into.

Having my

daughter has been a much more transformative experience than I ever

imagined. I often feel like I’m a different person and it’s great to

have someone help me organize my thoughts and to know that I’m not doing

it alone.

How has becoming a parent changed the way you manage your team?

Becoming a

parent has generally made me more patient and mindful of others, which

has certainly affected how I approach my relationships at work. I feel

much more empathetic and I want my team to succeed now more than ever.

You also co-wrote with other mothers at Etsy a guide to using the parent’s lounge (aka pump room). What does the guide cover?

New mothers

have enough on their plate. It’s so important that returning moms

aren’t stressed or embarrassed about how everything is going to work

with pumping at the office. Once we published the guide, we shared it

with the entire company with the hopes that it would increase awareness

and support for returning moms (and make everyone feel supported and

comfortable upon their return from maternity leave).

The guide covers:

  • How to book a room & what to expect in each
  • How to buy a breast pump using our health insurance
  • A step-by-step with reminders of things to bring and how to stay comfy if it’s your first time using the room
  • Extra

    resources for moms who are struggling with getting the results they want

    or run into other complications with nursing and pumping


It sounds like many of the

executives at Etsy are leading by example when it comes to work and

family. Can you give us some examples of what this looks like/means

internally?

A

significant number of people on our executive team have a family of

their own. The executives who started their families while working at

Etsy took full advantage of our parental leave policies, including our

CEO Chad Dickerson.

I’m lucky

to have my daughter pretty close to the office and our culture is super

family-friendly, so she’s come and visited for lunch a few times. The

last time my daughter visited the office, our CEO Chad stopped by to see

her and chatted with me about being a parent. It feels right that I’ve

never felt as though I should hide that part of my life from my colleagues and teammates.

At Etsy, I

feel I’m encouraged to be a whole, 3-dimensional person, not just an

employee. From our annual talent show to our Etsy School program (where

employees teach and learn new skills from each other, from jewelry

making to 3D printing) we share and celebrate the things we’re

passionate about that extend far beyond our day-to-day work.

Etsy

basically loves babies. New members of the Etsy family are often

welcomed through an emphatic, company-wide email. We get Etsy baby

gifts. We have an annual Halloween party just for kids and dogs. Our

kitchens have high chairs to encourage lunch visits with family. These

are just a few, seemingly small choices that make me feel that my child

is just as celebrated at Etsy as I am.

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When it comes to holiday gifts, we know what you really want, mama. A full night's sleep. Privacy in the bathroom. The opportunity to eat your dinner while it's still hot. Time to wash—and dry!—your hair. A complete wardrobe refresh.


While we can't help with everything on your list (we're still trying to figure out how to get some extra zzz's ourselves), here are 14 gift ideas that'll make you look, if not feel, like a whole new woman. Even when you're sleep deprived.

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You can't give the gift of relaxation, per say, but you can give a gift certificate for a massage or spa service, and that's close enough!

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Gap Stripe Long Sleeve Crewneck

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Gap Flannel Shirt

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Nixplay Seed Frame

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Gap Crewneck Sweater

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This article was sponsored by GAP. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and Mamas.

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There's a lot of discussion about the importance of early education—but what about soft skills like respect and kindness? How can mamas teach children important values like cooperation, gratitude, empathy or politeness?

These values are basic, foundational beliefs that help us know right from wrong, that give balance and meaning to life and that enable us to form community bonds with one another. These soft skills are crucial for kids to learn at any age, and it's important for them to be reinforced, both in the classroom and at home, throughout their childhood.

Here are fundamental ways to build character in your young children:

Kindness

Performing random acts of kindness can have a positive influence on both the individual showing and receiving the kindness. As a family, think of ways that each one of you can show kindness to others. Some ideas may include baking cookies for the mail carrier, donating an unopened toy to a local charity, purchasing canned goods for a homeless shelter or leaving notes and drawings for the neighbors. Include your child in the process so they can see firsthand the joy that kindness can bring to others.

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Responsibility

Children have a strong desire to mimic adult family members. Encourage your child to help complete simple chores in and around the house. Children feel a great sense of accomplishment when they can do their share and feel that sense of responsibility. Two-year-olds will enjoy folding towels, putting books away, putting paper in the recycling box and tending to the garden. Older children may enjoy helping out in the kitchen or with yard work.

Patience

Patience is the ability to demonstrate self-control while waiting for an event to occur. It also refers to the ability to remain calm in the face of frustration. This is a skill which develops in children as they mature. While it is important to practice patience, adults should also be realistic in their expectations, evaluate daily routines and eliminate long periods of wait time from the schedule.

Politeness

Schedule a time when the whole family can sit down together for dinner. Model good manners and encourage older siblings and other members of the family to do the same. Use phrases such as, "Can you please pass the potatoes?" or "Thank you." Be sure to provide your child with guidance, by explaining what to do as opposed to what not to do.

Flexibility

Change your routines at home to encourage children to be flexible in their thinking and to try new things. Try being flexible in the small things: enjoy breakfast for dinner, eat ice cream with a fork, have your child read a bedtime story to you or have a picnic in the living room. Let your child know it is okay to do things in a different way.

Empathy

Children are beginning to understand different emotions and that others have feelings. Throughout their childhood, talk about their feelings and share one's own feeling with them as well. By taking the time to listen to how children are feeling, you will demonstrate to them that you care and reinforce with them that you fully understand how they are feeling.

Cooperation

Coordinate playdates or take your children to events where they can practice introducing themselves to other children, and potentially with adults. Find games and other activities that require turn-taking and sharing.

Gratitude

Encourage your child to spend five minutes every day listing the things they are grateful for. This could be done together just before bedtime or after dinner.

Respect

As parents, our goal is to teach children to recognize that even though people have different likes and dislikes or beliefs and ideas, they must treat each other with manners and positivity. Respect should be shown when sharing, cleaning up, and listening to others. Always teach and model the Golden Rule: treat others the way you would like to be treated. Also remind children that respect can be shown towards things in the classroom. Treating materials and toys correctly shows appreciation for the things we have.
Learn + Play

Medical researchers and providers consider a woman's postpartum period to be up to 12 months after the delivery of baby, but too often, health insurance doesn't see it the same way. Nearly half of the births in the United States are covered by Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and while the babies who are born during these births are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP for a year, their mothers often lose their coverage 60 days after delivering their child. There is clear data showing 70% of new moms will have at least one health complication within a year of giving birth.

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This week, members of Congress' Subcommittee on Health met to mark up H.R. 4996, the "Helping Medicaid Offer Maternity Services (MOMS) Act of 2019, and it was favorably forwarded to the full Committee.

What does this mean? It means that while this bill still has a ways to go before it potentially becomes law, its success would see states get the option to provide 12 months of continuous coverage postpartum coverage to mothers on Medicaid. This would save lives.

As we at Motherly have said many times, it takes a considerable amount of time and energy to heal from birth. A mother may not be healed 60 days out from delivering. She may still require medical care for perinatal mood disorders, breast issues like thrush and mastitis, diabetes, and the consequences of traumatic births, like severe vaginal tearing.

Cutting off Medicaid when her baby is only 2 months old makes mom and baby vulnerable, and the Helping Moms Act could protect families from dire consequences.

The United States has the highest rate of maternal deaths in the developed world, and according to the CDC, "about 700 women die each year in the United States as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications." This is not okay, and while H.R. 4996 is not yet signed into law this bill could help change this. It could help address the racial disparities that see so many Black mothers and Native American mothers dying from preventable causes in the first year of motherhood.

A report from nine American maternal mortality review committees found that there were three leading causes of death that occurred between 43 days and one year postpartum: cardiomyopathy (32.4%), mental health conditions (16.2%), and embolism (10.8%) and multiple state maternal mortality review committees have recommended extending Medicaid coverage to one year postpartum in order to prevent these deaths.

Basically, making sure that moms have have continuous access to health care the year after a birth means doctors can spot issues with things like depression, heart disease and high blood pressure at regular check-ups and treat these conditions before they become fatal.

The Helping Moms Act is a step forward in the fight for maternal health and it proves that maternal health is truly a bipartisan issue. Republicans and Democrats alike recognize the value in providing support for mothers during the postpartum period.

The Helping MOMS Act was was introduced by Democratic Congresswoman Robin Kelly of Illinois, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust. It was co-lead by Texas Republican Michael Burgess (who is also a medical doctor), as well as Georgia Republican Buddy Carter, Washington Republicans Jaime Herrera Beutler and Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Ayanna Pressley from Massachusettes and Lauren Underwood of Illinois (both Democrats).

"Incentivizing postpartum Medicaid expansion is a critical first step in preventing maternal deaths by ensuring new moms can see their doctor. I'm proud that my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, came together to put an end to the sad reality of American moms dying while growing their families," said Kelly. "We can't allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. This is a good, bipartisan first step, but it must be the first of many."

It doesn't matter what your political stripes, reducing America's maternal mortality stats should be a priority.

News

Whether you're having a low-key Friendsgiving with your closest friends or prepping to host your first big Thanksgiving dinner with both families, figuring out all of the menu details can be the most overwhelming step. How much should I cook? What ingredients do I need? How does one actually cook a turkey this big?

But, don't worry, mama—HelloFresh is lending a helping hand this year with their Thanksgiving box in collaboration with Jessica Alba. Because you already have enough on your plate (and we're not talking stuffing).


Here are the details. You can choose from two Thanksgiving boxes: Turkey ($152) or beef tenderloin ($132). The turkey box serves 8-10 people while the beef one will serve 4-6 and both are $6.99 to ship. We got to try both and they're equally delicious so you can't go wrong with either one, but the turkey does require a 4-day thaw period so keep that in mind. And if you're wondering what the sides are, here's a sneak peek:

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  • Garlic mashed potatoes
  • Green bean casserole with crispy onions
  • Ciabatta stuffing with chick sausage and cranberries
  • Cranberry sauce with orange, ginger and cinnamon
  • Apple ginger crisp with cinnamon pecan crumble

While someone still has to do the actual cooking, it's designed to take the stress out of Thanksgiving dinner so you can focus on spending time with your loved ones (or watching Hallmark Christmas movies). You don't have to worry about grocery shopping, portion sizes, recipe curation or forgetting that essential thing you needed to make the meal perfect. Everything is super simple to make from start to finish—it even comes with a cooking timeline.

Orders are open through November 21 and can be delivered anytime through November 24. Even better? You don't need a subscription to order.


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My mother's death propelled me to start the process of becoming a parent as a 43-year-old single woman. As my connection to her remained strong in spirit after her death, I was ready to experience the same bond with my own child. I began the journey with Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI), and after three failed attempts at getting pregnant, I decided to adopt.

The adoption process is a lengthy and humbling one—one that includes fingerprints, background checks, references, classes, doing a profile of yourself and your life that birth parents eventually use to choose adoptive families.

After my application was approved, a young couple chose me just a month later. I couldn't believe my fortune. But I had to get to work and prepare the house for my baby's arrival. I bought the best of everything—bassinets, clothes, diapers, car seats… the list goes on. I told close friends and family that it was finally happening.

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But all of this was in vain. The day I was supposed to pick my daughter up, I learned that the birth parents had changed their minds. They no longer wanted to give their daughter up for adoption. As time passed, it was difficult to endure no interest from potential parents but the faith in believing what is meant to be continued. To increase my potential, I enrolled with a second adoption agency.

A few months later, as I was getting ready to try IVF for the first time, I received a phone call to let me know that a woman had selected me to adopt her child. So I opted out of IVF and found myself in a hospital delivery room with the birth mother, assisting her in the delivery of MY child. It was a boy! I was so thrilled, and he was just adorable.

After six years of losses and disappointments, I was able to bring him home and awaited the final word that the mother and father have given the needed consent. I was getting ready to watch the Super Bowl with him dressed in football gear, I got a phone call.

Once again, the adoption agency informed me that the birth mother had changed her mind. That evening, I had to return the baby to his birth mom. I was heartbroken, and my hopes were shattered.

What now? Going back to IVF meant starting from scratch, and that would take a minimum of six months before being able to really start getting pregnant. I was 49 years old, and the clock was ticking. I really wanted to be a mom by the age of 50.

I was in Chicago, recovering from a collapsed lung, when I received yet another phone call from the adoption agency. An expecting mom had chosen me and had already signed over all of her rights. This little girl was mine. For real, this time. But I had to get to Southern New Jersey by Thursday to pick her up from the hospital.

After negotiating with my doctor to give me the green light to leave while recovering from my condition, I hopped on a train, and 22 hours later, I arrived to New York City in a massive snow storm. I took longer than expected to get to her, but after navigating the icy roads of New Jersey, I met my daughter!

She is now 2 years old, and she has changed my life in ways that just can't be fully described. What I can say is that I now understand my mother's love even more and her devotion to me and my siblings, and as I am sharing the same with my daughter, my bond to my mother keeps on growing.

Becoming a mom at 49 was never what I had envisioned. But whether you are trying to conceive or have decided to adopt a child, the road to becoming a parent is rarely easy. I know that inner strength and believing in what was meant to be kept me moving forward.

Life
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