One week from now, Amy Henderson will open the relief valve for a group of working mothers in the heart of San Francisco’s high-pressured tech scene, during a lunchtime “Career Moms” cohort that starts up September 5.
“We ask each mom to share one of the moments they’re most ashamed about in the confluence of their journey of working and parenting,” says Amy, CEO and co-founder of TendLab.
“There’s so much that happens when you become a new mom that feels isolating and shameful,” says Amy. “When you’re in a cohort of others who have either experienced, it or are experiencing it, it de-stigmatizes it and you realize you’re not alone.”
For Amy, her boiling point came when she lost nine pounds working 20 hours a day for two weeks on the #YesWeCode initiative to increase diversity in the tech sector.
She had brought along her husband, two kids and mother-in-law to New Orleans, because her exclusively-breastfed youngest refused to eat anything else. So the four hours of sleep she was squeezing in, weren’t entirely hers.
To top it off, she found out she was pregnant again a few weeks later, which would mean she’d soon have three kids under the age of four.
“I had always been really committed to my career,” said Amy. “It’s like the wheels fell off the bus.”
Amy’s moment of panic led to an epiphany, as she dialed up dozens of high-powered working moms to find out how they managed it all.
“What happened was this organic revelation that many of these moms had: ‘I’m performing better in my career because of my kids, not in spite of them,'” she says.
Amy soon learned that there was neuroscience to back it up. (You can read more about the important role of oxytocin here along with more of the wisdom gleaned from her findings.)
In a particularly impactful conversation with the original VP of HR for Twitter, Amy learned the same skills acquired in parenting “are the skills needed in the workplace of the future.”
“The light bulbs went off, the heavens opened up, and I was like okay!”
Amy had stumbled upon the catalyst for TendLab, and the woman who would become her future co-founder.
And so their mission became “to unlock the power and potential of parenthood in the workplace.”
In addition to the “Career Moms” cohort, which Amy believes “can actually be fuel for really positive transformation in our own lives and in our collective society,” TendLab also offers workshops, consulting and special events.
To learn about scholarships available for the 4-week cohort, leave a comment below or contact me directly.
In addition, you can read more about the neuroscience and career benefits of parenting–for actively engaged mothers and fathers alike–in articles Amy’s penned for Mother Magazine, Fast Company and Slate.