Me time, mom time, wife time, assistant director time, learn more about working momma Beth Rose

*Name: Beth Rose 

*Kid(s): Hannah (4) and Brandon (1)

*Official work title and company: Assistant Director, jBaby Chicago @ Jewish United Fund (JUF) 

*Location: 30 S Wells Street Chicago IL 60606

*Tell us more about your company/the company you work for? (How you got started, where did the idea come from, how it has grown to the success it is today, etc.)

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jBaby Chicago is a program of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF) that helps new parents raising Jewish children make connections, build friendships and community,and engage in meaningful & relevant Jewish experiences in Chicago. jBaby was born in 2014 after many months of research (with a professional researcherfrom Brandeis University) led to a better understanding of what families with babies were looking for in their Jewish world. I became involved in jBaby as a parent with a 5-week-old. I met with a Parent Ambassador and immediately signed up for every jBaby class/playgroup/event that I could fit into our schedule. Six months later I became a Parent Ambassador,and a few months after thatI began working downtown at the JUF office on the jBaby Chicago professional team. Now, almost 4 years later, I cannot imagine my personal or professional life without jBaby Chicago. My family’s village is made up of families I met through jBaby, and my biggest role models are my team that I work with daily.

What has been your biggest challenge as a working mom? Your biggest reward?

My biggest challenge as a working mom is (like most moms) the balance of life! Balancing my time with my kids, my time with my husband, me time, friend time – all the necessary time! I have become much better at organizing life/calendars/schedules. My biggest reward as a working mom is knowing that I leave my house each morning to go to a job that I love. Going back to work when my daughter was oneyear oldwas one of the first steps in taking charge of my postpartum depression and anxiety. There’s also thegreat feeling I get in the morning when I tell my kids “I am going to work and can’t wait to pick you up from school later!”

Where do you think working mom guilt comes from and how can women overcome it?

Mom guilt comes from EVERYWHERE. Social media. Acquaintances. The news. It seems we can never do anything right,and when we come close to doing right, there’s something else that we could’ve done instead. I am working to try to throw away the mom guilt. I use my own mom as an example:She was a single mom, running her department at the hospital where she works,and always made time for my sister and me. I never look back and think to myself Mom should’ve done this and this, so why should I think that about myself?

What have you found to be the motivations and benefits for women that take on the extra stress and time crunch of combining work and family?

I think these women combine work and family because it reminds them of a point in their past and the person they usedto be before having kids.

What would be your time-saving tip for your fellow working moms?

Do one load of laundry every day even if you don’t feel like it. This helps avoid pile-up. Now, putting the folded laundry away is another story….

Who or what gives you your daily dose of inspiration?

My kids and my mom are my daily dose of inspiration. I would do anything for my kids – they make me laugh, they make me crazy, they make my house constant chaos. My mom is my calm. She listens to me, she tells me when I am being ridiculous, and she validates me when I need validation. I want to look back when my kids are adults and know I was the best Mama I could be. 

What was the best advice a momma mentor in your life gave you?

I am lucky to work on a team with almost all working moms. I look to them daily for inspiration, advice, and conversation to calm my fears. One of the moms on my floor once told me (after I had been complaining that I hardly see my daughter during the day), “It doesn’t get easier, but it gets better.” She was 100% right – Thanks, Leah!

What advice would you give to other working moms when it comes to balancing a career, family, and self-care?

Stroll Target with an iced coffee ALONE every few weeks. Read the book sitting on your nightstand and stop beating yourself up. You are your family’s favorite person. 

What is in your briefcase, purse, luggage, diaper bag, that you use every day, that you live for/need, in your life in order to make it a little less chaotic? 

Ugh – any good suggestions? I despise every diaper bag I buy! I did switch to a work backpack when I came back from maternity leave last October, and that has been life-changing. Pockets and hidden storage are key for commuting downtown.

If you go back in time and give one piece of advice to yourself as a young mother, what would it be?

I had Hannah at 25. I was the first of my friends to have a baby, and I had no idea what I was doing + I was really struggling the first year with PPA/PPD. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to just breathe. My team and I recently went to a Jewish Educators conference and attended a session called Embracing the Chaos. Eight weeks later, I am still trying to figure out what Embracing the Chaos looks like for me; however, I am working on it and doing a lot of breathing.

If you could have a theme song for a “day in your life” what would it be? 

I am so boring and not really a song girl,but right now I am reallyinto Halsey. Favorite artists include: Imagine Dragons & The Lumineers.

Bonus: Do you have a favorite quote? Share with us if so! 

I don’t have a favorite but believe coffee and a bagel make everything better!