JANUARY #MAMACRUSH: LIBBY
December, 31 2018
As moms we all seek to achieve that sparkling unicorn; work/life balance. Is it even possible? What needs to happen to make it a reality? Meet our first #MamaCrush of 2019; Libby Rodney. Libby's job is working to undercover future trends and insights, and yup, she spends a lot of time researching this very subject. Professionally, but also personally with her 6 month-old. Read on to learn what she thinks the future holds for working parents.
Where are you from and where do you live?
From Minneapolis, MN live Brooklyn NY
How many kids do you have and how old are they?
One baby boy; 6 months.
Tell us a little bit about him.
He is sweet, relaxed, curious and friendly. I feel very lucky so far he is a great traveler, chill restaurant buddy, and amazing snuggler. I know things will change as he gets mobile but I’m just enjoying each and every moment now.
What kind of work do you do?
I’m the Chief Strategy Officer of a research and marketing consultancy company called The Harris Poll. I head up the thought leadership and trends foresight group.
What do you enjoy most about this work? Least?
I love the power of smart and creative thought leadership research, as its purpose is to shine light on where society is headed and help clients get ahead of the wave. For example, I recently worked on a project on how women are redefining wealth performance as they start to control a majority of the wealth in the U.S.
The part I like least is coloring in the lines without questions. What I mean by that is tackling problems in an often outdated manner just because it has been done that way over for the past three decades.
We hear a lot of talk about this so-called work/balance thing, do you think it’s possible to achieve?
When you look at our research, we see society is at a tipping point where Millennials are demanding more work/life balance from employers (e.g. flexible hours, remote work, gig contracts etc.) and are willing to work for less to achieve this balance. This is where I think the future is headed, employers who want to recruit the best talent will systematically help employees achieve work/life balance, while others will make theirs happen jumping into the entrepreneurial and gig economy. Personally the way I approach it is to think of it in cycles with on and off periods. Two years ago I traveled around the world with my husband working remotely and when my son is 10 years old, I plan to do it again.
What has been the most challenging part about having gone back to work?
Sleep exhaustion hands down. Thinking about the future and writing smart complete sentences feels 10X harder when you’ve only managed 4 hours of sleep. Also, creating more work/life boundaries, taking the time to turn off and not push work into the weekends.
What are some tips/tricks you’ve found to be helpful; either to manage your time, needs or emotions?
I love my private pilates class! I do it once a week and it’s great because it’s a combination of it is too expensive to cancel last minute, my body gets to reset and elongate, and my instructor is constantly reinforcing that I’m doing a great job (which is so nice to hear on tough weeks).
What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
I love everything so far, but especially cuddling, I know it won’t be like this forever but right now Matisse is a little cuddle bear and I love it. I also love seeing the world through his eyes, like the first time a dog licked his hand or his utter joy playing with balloons.
How has motherhood changed you?
It’s made me stop in utter amazement of the world of mothers out there, I remember in the early weeks walking around Brooklyn looking at all the adults and thinking ‘wow, someone loved you and kept you alive’ that is amazing.
If you could teach your son one important life lesson, which one would it be?
The world is full of abundance, it is not a zero-sum game, the leaders of the future will recognize we can create tides that raise all boats.
Thanks for all the great insights, Libby! And thanks for continuing to pave the way for companies to 'get it' moving forward when it comes to work/life expectations.