The mother of three had a career in business and politics before she became a mom. After having her first child, she set up the Golden Gate Mothers Group in 1996, wrote the book “Life After Baby: From Professional Woman to Amateur Parent” while having her second child and now is a career and executive coach.
Why did you set up the Golden Gate Mothers Group?
To provide information, support and community for new parents. A lot of people in San Francisco don’t live near their families or don’t have an extended network, so this was a way for those people to be in touch with others. There was no Internet, so it was a time when it was harder to find out information like what you do when a baby cries for two hours in a row. It was a way to get connected with other people and then ask those quesitons.
Where did the idea of the book come from?
My idea for the book was to do a similar thing that would reach more people. It is a series of interviews with moms. It’s about all the changes that happen when you become a parent. So much of the challenge of becoming a parent is that you don’t know what to expect.
You had a career first and then a baby. How do you think you personally have benefited?
I really liked working and having a sense of being able to do something out there in the external world — having professional satisfaction before having kids. It meant I never had to wonder what would’ve happened if I hadn’t had my career first. There were parts of my job I loved and then parts that I was happy to leave behind.
What are the challenges of being a modern mother?
There are so many. I do think it’s a great time to be a parent as there are so many resources, experiences and knowledge about how to raise kids. But it can also be overwhelming. Because of the mounds of information about how to do it, you can lose your own sense of direction. Even the way that kids play with each other requires much more organization and structure. There is a lot more expected of kids academically and in their communities.
What would be your perfect Mother’s Day?
It would be spending some time with my family and also having the opportunity to spend time by myself, like to go for a hike with a friend or read a book.
What would be your favorite family day out?
Everyone together having an adventure and getting along with each other. It’d be great to do something we haven’t done before like go on an excursion so that there is a sense of adventure for all of us, and we could maybe learn something too.
Where do you get your motivation from when times get tough as a mother?
From my friends who are also mothers. I’d go to them to get the spring back in my step. By talking to other people, it makes you feel as if you’re in it with them.
What has been your greatest achievement?
The thing I’m most proud of is my kids. It’s not just that you have raised kids, but that you have put in so much to create a whole life that supports your family that is satisfying and that just works. I am still aware that things change and circumstances happen that you can’t anticipate, so I have a much bettter appreciation for the status quo.