Ever wonder how you can balance it all as a mum? This is one interview in a series talking to mums who have found a way to make it work. Meet Ally Sperber, Account Executive at Marketing Maven Public Relations and mum to Aiden (2).
As a single mum whose son is her top priority, Ally Sperber is thrilled to have a career that allows for a flexible schedule, creative vision, and opportunity for advancement. In her position as a public relations executive, she’s able to work from home, work while travelling, and jump back and forth between mum duties and professional obligations throughout the day. This fearless mum is handling it all, on her own, with lots of daily laughter.
1. What do you love about being a mom?
Being a witness to my son’s life is the greatest gift of all. I loved watching him develop from a newborn to the fiery toddler that he is now. The other day I was watching him play and thought to myself, “What beautiful feet he has. I remember when they were smaller than my hand and now I’m buying him size 8 toddler shoes.” Everyday I look at my son and think how amazing he’s become and look forward to learning more about him tomorrow. Like, today he loves to inhale oranges and asks for his train the second I pick him up from daycare. What will his passion be tomorrow?
2. What do you enjoy most about working?
The ability to be creative in terms of constructing a pitch, how to reach out to the media, etc. I’ve always felt that I would be a career girl, but one who is able to juggle family life. So it was important to find a career that I knew I could grow with, but also have time for my family. Public Relations seems to be one of the best fits for being a working mum. I’m able to travel with my son and work at the same time; play during the day and work at night. While I was working at home doing freelance, I would wake up at 5 a.m., which is what I needed to do in order to call East Coast media (I lived in Hawaii at the time), work for three hours, hangout with my son during the day and then answer emails and finish administrative stuff at night. My career gives me flexibility in creativity and time.
3. What’s your biggest challenge in juggling both?
Since I’m so career-focused, it is sometimes hard for me to come out of my zone. But as soon as I look at my son, I stop what I’m doing and focus on him. I only have so long before he’s uninterested in my attention and time. So I get in all the hugs and kisses I can before he starts thinking it’s gross.
4. How do you deal with it?
My career is my number one passion, but being a good mum is my number one priority. Keeping this in mind helps me not feel guilty about loving my job so much. Plus, I’m a single mum. We have nobody else to rely on if the bills or rent don’t get paid so I need to be able to focus and have a drive for results. Otherwise, how am I going to feed him?
5. How do you re-charge?
I’m not sure. I have a gift certificate for a massage that I got a few months ago that is still unused. But at night I usually unwind with some “30 Rock.” Tina Fey is my home girl – she makes me laugh. Laughing is the best way to relieve stress whether it’s from “30 Rock” or my son saying or doing something hilarious.
6. What advice would you give other women considering being a working mom?
Don’t be afraid of going back to work, of the juggle, the comments that you receive for being a mum who works outside the home, or of missing your child while you work. The more fear you have, the more stress you will have. So be fearless in life. The less fear, the more you can conquer as a mum and in your career.
7. Who inspires you?
It might sound conceited but I’m inspired by my past accomplishments. I’m the only one who completely understands my position in life and knowing that I’ve gotten as far as I have is pretty freaking inspiring to me. I figure if I can get this far then I can only go further and be happier in the future.
8. What one thing can you not live without?
I can’t live without my laptop. It goes with me wherever I am. If I’m travelling for work then I can Skype with my son and babysitter. It also brings my family and friends together. They get the opportunity to see my son via Skype or photos that I post. Plus, I have over 90,000 photos of my son on my laptop.
9. If you had an hour of time to yourself, how would you spend it?
I would use my massage gift card and drool on the table.