May 12, 2017

Gap employees are 80% women (no big deal), and many of those women are also moms. We met with six superstars who love their work, their kids and their families.

Here’s their advice on balancing motherhood and a career.  

Kristen Dolzynski, Senior Director, Design
“I always knew I was meant to be a mama, just like I always knew I was meant to be designer for the young set. It’s a fairytale beyond anything I ever imagined and just keeps getting better. Grey [my son] is my inspiration for everything! I have my own muse now and lots of other littles to draw inspiration from. There’s something so gratifying designing for kids and well, for mamas that dress them. It’s important to have your balance and not be afraid to ask for help or say “No.” Grey’s made me a stronger woman, designer and someone he can look up to and be proud of. Being a designer is such a part of who I am, but I always knew something was missing. Once I had my Grey, I was like, ‘There you are, my missing piece.’ I feel complete.”

Rory Edwards, Director, Marketing  
“I feel lucky to work in marketing for GapKids + babyGap. With a toddler and baby at home, it’s as seamless a transition from work to home as I could ask for, and I feel fortunate to have a role that I can connect with on a personal level. At home, I try to maximize time with my kids by being present and focused in the moment. It’s important to embrace the chaos and laugh at both the funny moments and the completely dysfunctional ones!”

Melissa Ivey, Senior Director, Inventory Management
“People always look at me and say, “How do you do it?! You seem so calm and collected!” I don't think that they're looking close enough. Clearly, they don't know what crazed looks like. I moonlight as a Master Juggler. I juggle sleep, calendars, hours and to-do lists.

Here are my sanity-savers; be fierce in your priorities, learn to take time for yourself!, learn to turn off. I shut down work on Friday night and don't turn re-engage with work until Sunday (there are clear exceptions) and never apologize for having to make a family decision.

I've also come to accept that perfect is perfect for you on that day. I've learned that my kids going to bed late or eating late, or wearing socks that don't match is a part of life.”

Alessandra Brunialti, VP, Design 
“A successful career is central to my life and translates to more harmony at home. It’s a balancing act and also about being transparent with my kiddos. Talking with them, spending quality time together and honoring their needs is the joy of my life. This balance between work and home life is paramount, and my focus is to be able to carve out time for family, and feel fulfilled by passion for my work.”

Gracelyn Williams, Manager, Field Talent Recruiting
“Do what you love. Don’t feel guilty!

Being a mother of two-year-old twins, and having a career where I do what I love, has fired me up to live my purpose!  My authentic self loves to work, win and help others.  So being open with my support system about my personal and professional responsibilities, and prioritizing the work together, has been the key to my balance, and to our family’s functioning as a unit.

I also feel blessed to work for Gap, whose values are centered around authenticity and balance.

Through all of this, I hope to inspire my kids to have strong work ethic, and to know that they too can pursue their dreams!”

Jane Pattinson, VP, Design
“Being a mother and having a career are two of the most rewarding gifts one can ask for. I have learned in my career that one of the top priorities is to have a work life balance. Gap is an advocate of this and supports both in many ways.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the fierce moms out there – doing what they love, cultivating the world, and raising our future. And Happy Mother’s Day to the mamas who raised them!

Celebrate Mother's Day this week!”

Watch our Mama Said video starring Liv Tyler.

Explore jobs at Gap.

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