In honor of Mother's Day, company moms share what it takes to balance kids, career
While Mother’s Day is one day a year, moms at EFH, TXU Energy and Luminant said the company goes out of its way to help all working parents be successful in both aspects of their lives.
“I know in a crisis, I don’t need to worry because my team will take on the workload and my leaders will support me,” said Stephanie Allison, a leader in the employee-organized Parents at Work group and the mother of 2-year-old Brody. “I know if I need to take time off it does not reflect poorly on my work nor hold me back from raises and promotions.”
Michelle Due is a resolution specialist in the Office of the CEO and the mother of three “kids” who range in age from 29 to 13. She said TXU Energy has opportunities that provide stable schedules so parents can be with their children when they are needed most.
“This place is very family friendly,” said Michelle, who’s worked for the company for four years. “There are a lot of volunteer opportunities that allow me to teach my children that they have a lot more than others and to give back to those in need.”
EFH Wellness Consultant Dina Mistry didn’t fully appreciate the company’s health benefits until she needed them as a new mom. When suffering back spasms during her pregnancy, Mistry turned to the company’s partnership with Airrosti Rehab Centers to quickly eliminate the pain without medication.
Following the birth of her now 13-month-old son, “I’m more organized, prepared and set my priorities differently now,” she said. “Compass Professional Health Services has been going through all the medical bills so I can spend time with my family.”
Tuyen Kamo, a TXU Energy customer support representative, has two children and expects to deliver her third in October.
“The fact that the leadership at TXU Energy care so much about expectant mothers that they would provide us with a free service from Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Texas, called Special Beginnings, is wonderful,” Tuyen said. “They make sure you have a healthy pregnancy and help you find resources for any complications that can occur. I also love that the company provides Compass’ services. Being a mom means not only worrying about health care bills for yourself but also all of your children. They make sure that I am paying the right amount because as a mom I need to save money where I can to be able to help my family.”
Twane Gray added that TXU Energy helps reinforce values that are important to her and her 15-year-old son.
“We encourage kids to think about volunteering and giving back via all the numerous community projects in which children can participate, such as the tree planting and the fun run and walks,” she said.
Motherhood reinforced the importance of passion and pride when choosing a career and company, says Claudia Morrow, Luminant’s vice president of commercial sales and mom to an 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter.
“My children see me enthusiastic about heading into work most days,” she said. “They ask lots of questions about what I do and want to learn more about power plants and electricity. Because I know I serve as an example for them – and they are always watching – I make every effort to conduct myself in the manner I would expect of them. That includes approaching my work with equal doses of integrity, strength and grace.”
EFH Director of Political Affairs Rebekah Kay involves her nearly 6-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son in elections to help them understand her job. “I’m much more conscious of talking about what I do and why I do it with my kids. I also want them to know that mommy and daddy work for various reasons – one is that we enjoy what we do, but also because we’re saving for their future educations,” she said.
With the support of her team, Kay said she’s found flexibility in her schedule to attend her kids’ “numerous and precious” school activities. “I’m fortunate to work for a boss who is a wonderful mom,” she says. “I can work at night after the kids go to sleep and I’ve been known to bring home labeling or stuffing projects, too.” And with the company women’s networking group that meets primarily at lunch, and a walking workstation available in the building, Kay can skip happy hours and the gym for evenings with her family.
“My job isn’t just about me anymore,” said Katharine Ladd, operation optimization team member at Luminant’s Three Oaks Mine. “My daughter is almost 2 and one day I want to be able to explain to her what mommy does for a living and have it be something that she will be proud of. Knowing that, I take pride in the fact that our company is a good steward of the environment and want to do my part to make sure that the legacy and reputation we have is a positive one.”
Balancing work and family life is made easier with supportive leadership and colleagues, she adds. “There may be times in my career when I pass up opportunities due to work schedules and work/life balances, but family comes first and I feel like the culture at Luminant supports and understands that.”