Back in December, KONCEPT EVENTS was proud to announce the arrival of Carter Gilbert, the youngest male member of KE’s growing team. Still in diapers, he may not be ready for heavy lifting just yet, but he recently mastered crawling (way ahead of schedule) so we’re pretty confident he’ll be ready for his own KE uniform and aqua “murse” (male purse) in no time.
As a female-owned and predominately staffed organization, KE invests in setting the brand apart from the standard corporate environments that don’t go out of their way to support career-balancing moms. In an industry dominated by females, KE believes we need to make a change. We have worked hard to create a culture and working environment that caters to these new moms and their needs. We have put systems in place that reduce unnecessary stresses on them. It already takes a very strong person to juggle the extreme deadlines, long hours and hectic schedule posed by this choice in career; throw in becoming a new mom on top of it…this makes for a major head-scratcher! How do they do it all?
With this blog, KE salutes all working women and rock star moms who bust their a#% to give their families and career the best of what they have to offer. The perfect example was set early on when KE PARTNER, ANGIE NELSON, became a mother to two beautiful daughters, Reiss and Taylor. The ladies at KE commended Nelson for the amount of effort she put into adapting her old life with her new and finding a healthy work/home balance. We also wanted to take a moment and recognize Carter’s mom, CARLYN GILBERT, who has been a Senior Program Manager with KE for almost 5 years. As the newest mom on our team, we decided to get her advice and insight on how she manages to do it all! Way to go Carlyn!
Q: What was the first time being pregnant like for you and how did it affect work at KE?
A: Being pregnant was a great experience for me. He was very easy on me; I never got morning sickness, my energy level remained pretty normal and I was not uncomfortable. I tend not to worry about the future and things I can’t control…so when I thought about being pregnant at work…working the long, labor intensive hours, I figured I’d deal with it when it became an issue; if it ever did. As the months progressed and programs arose, I was given the less intensive events and my fellow program managers would pick up the slack (thanks guys). There was only one program I took on that was really difficult for me about a week and a half before my due date. Usually an easy install of linens and centerpieces – I was beat. After that, I could not take on much more. From then on I was happy to sit at my desk and clean up my files until my last day at the office.
Q: What are some things that KE did for you during the pregnancy and after Carter was born that really supported you and made your life easier?
A: KE has always been good to me since the day I started in 2009. While I was pregnant, one of my other co-workers was pregnant; due 3 weeks ahead of me so they threw us a dual shower. It was such a fun and special day, and of course the theme, ever-fitting for our brand colors was “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” On my first day back they gave me flowers, decorated my desk, and had everyone sign a big “Welcome Back” sign. For anyone who’s ever been a working mom or dad, they know leaving your baby for the first time is hard. But KE made my transition smooth. They have accommodated my schedule, letting me come in early so I can leave early. I’ve even been able to go to “Mommy and Me” class with Carter once a week, schedule permitting of course. I’m so thankful that I work for a company that has a family-friendly atmosphere and attitude.
Q: When you came back to work did it help having other working moms around you?
A: Working in an office with other moms was not only amazing while I was pregnant, but amazing now that I have a son. It’s nice to have people who are a couple of years ahead of me to give me advice on everything from shots to teething. Being a new mom and navigating through all the decisions and unknowns is a scary place to be. I’m thankful to have my mommy gurus as I call them.
Q: What are some of the things you do to balance work and being a mother?
A: I’ve been blessed with an amazing husband who is able to stay at home with our son during the day. Having that sense of security makes spending every day away from my son that much easier. I do leave the office as close to 5PM as possible so that I have as much time with my son as I can get. I also make sure to get up extra early so I can spend the mornings with him before I go to work. He’s only 7 months old so my work/life balance is good…but I know once he gets older it will get harder.
Q: Carter is the first KE baby boy. What do you hope he learns from having a working mom?
A: Well first, I hope he knows that once he’s old enough he is totally going to have a summer job helping Koncept Events (said with a smile). Other than that, I hope he grows up to know that loving your job/career is one of the most important things you can do for yourself; that working gave his mom a sense of great accomplishment, even if it is planning events and not curing cancer. I’ve been blessed to work for a company that cares about their employees. They have made my transition into this new stage of my life very easy and I’m very grateful to them…but the best part of my day will always be walking in the door and seeing my little man’s face light up.