Chicco “performance review” video shows what every working mom needs to hear
When a mom heads back to work after maternity leave, it’s easy for her to get in the mindset that she’s not doing well. At anything. She might feel she’s failing both her company and her kids by trying to be all things to all people, and what’s missing is someone telling her she’s actually doing great. That’s why this video about a new mom’s “performance review” hits all the right notes for those who’ve been there.
The video comes from Chicco, purveyor of the best umbrella stroller of all time and now, causer of our tears, because this message is incredible. It depicts new mom Jessica O’Dowd receiving a “performance review” after working a few months post-baby, and it’s not what she thinks it’s going to be.
Take a moment to wipe your tears. Don’t lie, we know they’re there.
OK, back to business. The HR rep sits her down and she thinks she’s going to hear about her job performance, but instead, he plays a video with people in her life telling her she’s doing great. As both an employee and a parent.
Is this not what every mom needs to hear? That despite the voices in their heads saying otherwise, they’re pretty much nailing it? You saw the look on O’Dowd’s face when one after another, family, friends and co-workers told her she was rocking being both a mom and an employee. That was all it took to erase the look of pinched worry and replace it with happy tears and a warm smile of relief.
She starts out telling her employer she feels “spread thin,” and is it any wonder? So many women go back to work far too soon after having a baby, and it’s not fair. This country expects an awful lot from working moms in the way of transitioning quickly from brand-new mom to brand-new mom who also holds down a job. It’s not easy. And it’s about time that change.
We try so damn hard as parents. And we live in a time where a record 40% of households with children under 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary income earner. More than ever, moms need to know their worth and how appreciated they are. Whether we stay at home with our kids or work at home with our kids or work in an office without our kids and sometimes, we need to hear it. That not only are we surviving, we’re thriving.
As someone who did the “back to work” thing a little later than the norm, I know how fortunate I was to have stayed home with my kids for a few years. I started back when my youngest was 18 months old, and though he wasn’t an infant, it was still incredibly hard leaving him and his preschooler sister so I could sit in an office for nine hours. I missed them desperately and worried every waking moment that I was short-changing either my employer or my family by working and being a parent. There were hardly any days (or even hours) where I felt I was doing it all well.
Things that might have helped? Managers who gave me grace when my kids got sick and I had to flee to pick them up instead of eye rolls and asking if my husband could do it this time. More paid time off to deal with those illnesses wouldn’t have hurt either. And overall, a supportive vibe where co-workers and managers alike appreciate what we go through as working parents. Like the mom in the video, I often wondered if I was failing. No one ever took the time to tell me I was actually doing pretty well, which looking back, I was. But at the time, my head was full of nothing but doubt and guilt.
Toward the end, O’Dowd says, “I guess I’m doing a better job than I thought.”
Yes. She is. We all are. And we’d do well to remember that.
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