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Five Moms Share How Facebook Supports Their Parenting Journey

It’s often said that being a parent is the hardest job in the world, and being a working parent adds another challenge to the mix. We recently sat down with five women at Facebook to learn more about their best moments, toughest challenges, and how they find balance as working parents. These are their unique experiences in their own words.

Jenn H., VP, Infrastructure

“I’ve been at Facebook for eight years, and have two amazing little girls. Coming back from maternity leave was hard both times, but in different ways. The first time, there were days I couldn’t wait to get out of the house. On other days, I cried uncontrollably about not wanting to leave my daughter. I think one of the things that helped me the second time is that I was much more comfortable being my authentic self and saying this is the best I can do—and I'm okay with it. I’m especially grateful to my manager, who empowered me to do my role. He supported me and lifted me up. For example, when I was going into long meetings, he’d say, ‘We're breaking at these two times so Jen can go to the mother's room.’ Taking some of that mental load off for me made all the difference in the world.”
“This speaks a lot to our company values. I know other people who feel like they need to hide that they are parents while at work. I've never felt like I need to hide the fact that I'm a mom. At the end of the day, I'm a mom first, and my family is my priority. I'm lucky that I have a job that nourishes my soul. It makes me better for my family and I show up across the board.”

Linda X., Product Manager

“Over my eight years at Facebook, the company has changed and grown—and so have I. I was single when I started, and now I’m a mom to two girls. Becoming a parent was the biggest shift to my identity, and it was really hard to figure out how to make it all fit in my life. It was critical that I was surrounded by people who were willing to work with me as I was trying to figure out how to balance it all.”
“I’ve had three great managers I’m so thankful for. Each one provided me with exactly what I needed at different points in time. Emotional support in the beginning, then the space to adjust, and then the opportunity to take on big bet projects despite my more limited time. What I love about Facebook is that impact matters most, not how many hours you’re sitting at your desk.”

Jin Z., Engineering Manager

“I’m a mom to two kids, and I’ve had to learn how to let go of some control. Taking care of myself is only possible by trusting my family, my manager, and my co-workers.”
“As an engineering manager, my role is to support people and develop their strengths. Managers should recognize the unique skills a mom brings to the table. For example, someone who is a mom might be really good at people skills and driving alignment between stakeholders. Or they might be really good at product development because they can sense people’s pain points. The most important thing is for a manager to treat a parent as a normal person while recognizing and supporting their unique strengths.”

Abigail S., Director, Global Operations

“I’m a planner but I didn’t feel prepared for parenthood. I’ve had to figure out how to relax certain parts of myself and trust that I’m still doing a good job at work. The culture of women supporting each other, along with men supporting us too, has helped make it possible. We have honest conversations about how we’re feeling, whether it’s related to being a mom or something else.”
“When you come back from leave, you're exhausted. You might not have talked to another adult in a couple of months! You literally run out of words and energy. What makes it all work is realizing that you’re best with the help of others. There was a point where I had to understand I couldn’t do it all, and I asked for help. That was really tough because it’s not in my DNA. At Facebook, we lean into the supportive culture, and it makes all the difference.”

Smriti S., Marketing Insights Manager

“When I became a mom, it was really important to nail time management. I like to get everything done, and all of a sudden I had to take care of myself, my husband, and my household—while performing at work. It's been crucial to have a support system of peers and managers who I can have direct conversations with. We talk about what's important to me, and the impact I'm having. I’m able to manage my time effectively around that.”
“I’ve learned that it's about planning ahead and finding compromise. Laundry doesn’t always get done, but I’m able to be there for my children’s most important moments. For example, my daughter had a tea party at her school in the middle of a Friday. Because I planned ahead, I was able to be there while making sure work was taken care of too.”
Hear more inspiring stories from these women by tuning into our recent Facebook Live.
Interested in learning more about how Facebook can support your career journey? See our open roles here.

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ARTICLE PUBLISHED ON Jun 20, 2019

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