Lollipops & Laptops

The Sticky Life of a Working Mom

4 Ways Working Moms Can Climb the Corporate Ladder (That Don’t Involve Extra Hours at the Office)

Working Mom Career Growth

Climbing the corporate ladder is challenging in and of itself, but as a working mom, it can sometimes feel impossible. It’s pretty incredible that even today, so many companies have a culture where arbitrary time spent at the office is lauded over results. Even if you can deliver the same (or better) results in less time, there are so many organizations, mine included, where you’ll butt up against the glass ceiling until and unless you meet the unspoken requirement of staying after 6:00pm (or 7:00 or 9:00). Still, even when it’s impossible to put in the face time at the office that others do, there are ways to “prove yourself” other than sheer hours. Read on for a few ways to stand out that don’t involve scrambling to find someone to pick up your kids before daycare closes.

Special Projects

Although special projects sometimes do require additional hours in the office, these are a nice way to show your supervisors that you’re willing to go above and beyond the job description. Being a team player and taking on a special project, whether that’s onboarding a new employee, tackling a data cleanup, or managing a unique client, shows that you are committed to the overall success of the company.

The plus side to special projects is that even if they require some additional face time, there is usually a clear timeline where you might be able to work out kid coverage for a week or two.

Industry Association Participation

Most industries have professional associations, and events usually occur during business hours. Offering to become active in your industry’s association, represent your company, and make valuable connections on behalf of your organization is a tangible value add to the business. Even a quarterly happy hour or breakfast event can usually be worked into the schedule when it is known in advance. If you can become well known in your industry’s association, speak on panels, and become acquainted with powerful people in the industry, you’ve opened invaluable doors for your company, and that doesn’t go unnoticed.

How a Working Mom Can Climb the Corporate Ladder

It might look impossible, but it’s not.

Make Up for Flexibility

Part of being a working parent means asking for a little (or a lot) of flexibility. Make up for that by showing up in other ways so people know you’re committed. Answer a few emails after hours when you have to leave early. If you’re working from home, be sure you’re online and available to people so they know it’s not a free PTO day. We are all human, whether we have children or not, and sometimes we require flexibility. But showing that you don’t take it for granted and that you’re reasonably available can go a long way.

Find a New Job

The reality is, corporate America is mostly still unsuited for a modern working parent, and it sometimes feels like you could go to the ends of the earth for them and still not get ahead by virtue of the fact that you’re a mom. Don’t go nuts trying to prove yourself. There are companies out there that value your results without an arbitrary number of hours required to sit present in the office. If you’ve done everything you can to show your commitment and effort to no avail, contact that recruiter friend and start looking for a place that truly values you, working mother and all.

Day in the Life of a Working Mom

Day in the Life of a Working Mom - Lollipops & Laptops

I get a lot of questions about my daily routine when people hear that I have a full-time day job plus two businesses and two little kids. Sometimes they’re genuinely interested in how I manage it all, and sometimes it comes from a place of judgmental disbelief, but since I get asked so much about “how I do it all,” I figured I’d share a day in the life of my work week.

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Working Mom Interview: Box Babe Gifting

Working Mom Interview: Box Babe Gifting - Lollipops & Laptops

One of the best things I’ve done recently is join an online course for female entrepreneurs. In addition to having some really great content, I’ve gotten to meet, both in person and online, some truly incredible, ambitious, creative, and successful women. One such lovely lady that I’ve been fortunate to connect with both via the course and in person is Brenda. Her brand, Box Babe Gifting, caught my eye right away, and it turns out she is a beautiful soul who cheers on others’ success more than her own, and takes a genuine interest in the people she meets and especially her clients. Read on to hear about her journey to entrepreneurship as a working mother.

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Toddler Sleep Woes and Practical Solutions

Toddler Sleep Woes and Practical Solutions - Lollipops & Laptops

I’ll start with a disclaimer that I’m not a pediatrician or a nurse or a sleep specialist. I’m just an exhausted mom with a strong-willed kid who spent the better part of 2 years trying to kill us while protesting sleep in every way possible.

It all started with what I like to call the perfect storm: a move to a new house, a new, big-girl bed, and a new baby brother. In an effort to save a little money, we decided to move our daughter to a big girl bed to reuse the crib for our son who was due within 2 months of our move. What followed were two hellish years of trial and error, exhaustion, tantrums, and minimal sleep for everyone involved. If you could obtain a PhD in late-night desperate Google research, I would have achieved it. Now that we’ve come out alive on the other side, we’ve picked up a few lessons worth sharing.

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The 5 Best Investment Pieces in my Closet

The 5 Best Investment Pieces in my Closet - Lollipops & Laptops

I’ve never been one to go full throttle on the latest trends. If I had to describe my style, I’d call it California Prep–casual and classic. I could live in jeans and a t-shirt if I didn’t work in a corporate setting. Over the years, I’ve worked out a few of my favorite brands and I tend to stick to them. They’re usually mid-range brands that can be found a Nordstrom or local boutiques. And while the quality is decent enough, I have found that in many cases, either the fit doesn’t stay relevant or the piece starts to fall apart after high use. In comes the investment pieces.

From the perfect coat to the ultimate statement bag, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the cost of true “investment pieces” for your wardrobe. For some, it might never be an option. Some people think they are worth saving up for. For a lucky few, they aren’t investments at all. But for me, there are five pieces in my closet that I have invested in over time and have been worth every penny, based on longevity of style and quality. Read on for what they are, how much I paid for them, why they’re great, and a decent budget-friendly option if it’s just out of the question for you but you want to hone that California Prep style.

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Life Hack: Daily Digest Emails

Life Hack: Daily Digest Emails - Lollipops & Laptops

Life is busy. And there is major information overload these days through social media. Sometimes the information is so overwhelming, people prefer to tune it out completely. But it’s good to get information in tolerable doses, and that’s not just the news. As much as I’d love to read a full newspaper each day, research in trade magazines, and catch up on that stack of fashion magazines I subscribe to but can’t seem to find time to open, the reality is, I just don’t have the time. Luckily, a great trend in daily digest emails has made it easy for me to get the information I need and want without scouring the Internet to find it. I have found a digest for all different genres to round out my daily knowledge.

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Staying Focused After An Inspiring Retreat

Staying Focused After an Inspiring Retreat - Lollipops & Laptops

Recently, I did something that I previously never would have done. I spent money to go to a retreat for female business owners. The reason I’ve avoided these in the past (aside from the obvious lack of time) was that I wasn’t convinced I’d implement what I learned. And that’s the real challenge, isn’t it? It’s a pretty solid waste of money to go to an educational seminar and not apply your newfound knowledge. So when I decided to surround myself with a bunch of inspiring women pursuing their dreams, I made a promise to myself that I would actually put plans into action. But when Monday morning rolls around and your work/life responsibilities rear their ugly heads, how do you go about that? Here are a few practical tips to capitalizing on your momentum when you’re side hustling.

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Books On My Nightstand

Books on My Nightstand - Lollipops & Laptops

As an adult, I have loved reading. I read from many different genres, but I’ve been devouring business books in recent years. I’m definitely the kind of person who buys multiple books each month and watches the pile grow by my bed despite having very little time to read lately. I previously talked about my personal challenge to finish a book each week for a month, but since then my reading has been slow going. Recently, I made some extra time to read (truth be told, all I had to do was stop browsing Instagram before bed) and love being back in the saddle. I just finished When Breath Becomes Air. I’m so late to the game on this one but it was totally worth getting around to. Read on for a rundown of the queue currently on my nightstand.

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Working Mom Interview: Jamie

Working Mom Interview: Jamie - Lollipops & Laptops

I was lucky enough to meet Jamie many years ago because she was best friends with a dear friend of mine. This girl exudes happiness. She is so genuinely kind and light-hearted, it just makes you smile to be around her. And Jamie makes being both a mom and entrepreneur look effortless. This working mom not only is building her own business while raising two little ones, but her husband has simultaneously built a business at the Exact. Same. Time. Read on to take a peek into the life of Jamie and her brand, Saturday Morning Pancakes.

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Working Mom Interview: Courtney

Working Mom Interview: Courtney - Lollipops & Laptops

Courtney is one of those women you meet and are instantly connected to. We briefly met when we were in junior high and both performed as extras in the local high school musical, then did one year in high school drama together before she was admitted to a prestigious performing arts high school in Orange County, and our lives came full circle when she planned my wedding 10 years later. By the time she was 30, Courtney had gotten an education at a first class university, gotten married and had three boys, founded, ran, and sold her own company, and supported high-end wedding and event industry leaders in various positions. What makes Courtney’s story so interesting is her experience as business-owning mother, stay-at-home-mom, and now a working mom in the traditional corporate world. Read on to learn more about Courtney’s background and how she’s crushing that working mom life.

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