As a working mom

HB isn’t just a school for girls. It’s a school for the youngest of learners and their moms too! The co-ed Infant and Toddler Center (ITC) cares for and educates small children whose parents are school faculty and staff (along with HB alumnae or members of the broader community.)

While the little ones learn and explore in the ITC, their working moms are teaching and counseling and creating with students in the Prime, Middle, and Upper School. Continue reading for the perspectives of these HB working moms:

Rebecca & DianeRebecca Biggar
Mom to Hamilton ‘33  and Diane ‘37
Upper School Counselor and Director for the Center of Leadership and Well-Being

I acknowledge that historically, women weren’t always given the opportunity and freedom to work and be a mother so I feel inspired to proudly wear both hats, even when it’s hard!

As a working mom, I want my kids to see the value of working hard, having my OWN passion and purpose, and the importance of helping others. I want my children to see how being their mom is an honor and my top priority, but that I also find much fulfillment and joy in helping HB girls thrive and be their best selves.

But,  it’s not easy being a working mom; I take it day-by-day! I try to stay organized, keep my expectations of myself manageable, and fit in small moments of mindfulness and self-care when I can.

I feel very supported by HB as an institution but more importantly, I feel like I am part of an intimate and strong community of amazing faculty/staff moms that I can lean on. Hamilton is in the Early Childhood program and Diane is in the Infant and Toddler Center. I feel incredibly blessed to see my children in the hallway learning and thriving and to have the opportunity to visit them during the day when I miss them!

Julie O. & HeatherJulie Odachowski
Mom to Heather ‘37
Primary School Visual Arts Teacher

It is challenging to be a working mama! I have struggled to find a balance between home life and work life because my daughter is now my number one priority. HB enables me to do both, though, with stellar in-house child care. Being in the same building with Heather has been priceless! I am lucky to have time in the workday to be both a mom and be the art best teacher I can with my students as we create creative experiences in the art studio.

Lauren Harlow & ReidLauren Harlow
Mom to Reid ‘36
Middle School Spanish Teacher and Middle School World Languages Department Chair

Since she’s in the Infant and Toddler Center, Reid gets to come to my middle school events such as assemblies! I love that my students get to see me (and my colleagues) as parents at school because it helps them get to know us as people and not just as teachers. As teachers, we try to help our students find good balance; seeing us with our kids helps our students see us striving for balance as well.

Arete & DylanArete Calabrese
Mom to Dylan ‘37
Upper School French Teacher

Working makes me a better mom. Pursuing my own passions and interests allows me to be more engaged with my kids when I spend time with them. It’s hard, there are never enough hours in the day, but being able to teach in the same building where my baby receives care is a huge help. And being a mom makes me a better teacher, too. It is a constant reminder of what is most important in the work we do–the humanity of the students we teach and the importance of compassion in all of our interactions with them.

Katherine & EleanorKatherine Jenne Chapman ’04
Mom to Peter ’33 and Eleanor ’37
Director of Middle School Admission

Being a working mom allows me to show my children how to balance lots of responsibilities in life. It’s very special that both of my children are with me every day because they get to see me in action as both a mom and a professional. HB students see us as multifaceted and they love to oo and ahh over the cute little ones.

HB has a long tradition of supporting working mothers. My mom was an amazing role model to me and worked at HB in the Early Childhood/Primary while raising me and my siblings.

Alain & Lachlan & BrettAlaina McCourt
Mom to Brett ’35 and Lachlan ’37
First Grade Teacher and Primary School Diversity Liaison 

For me, working makes me a better mother.  Having opportunities to pursue my own passions and grow professionally makes me feel proud and independent, and increases my patience and sense of calm for the time I spend with my children. However, I’m not sure I’d feel that way if I didn’t also have the opportunity to have my children here, in the building, with me. It really allows me to focus fully on my job and on bettering myself, while still feeling fully invested as a parent.

Hallie & ThomasHallie Ritzman
Mom to Thomas ’36 and Baby Girl Ritzman ’37
Upper School Director

I watched my mom break down barriers as the first female lawyer in Akron. She worked fulltime my entire childhood (as did my father) and was always there for me and my brother. There was never a time that I got the message that this wasn’t all possible–hard, yes–but always possible. HB makes it all possible with the ITC. Easy, no–but possible. I want to show my son and my soon-to-be-born daughter that they can carve out a life and a career that makes sense for them.

 

Julie & Owen.pngJulie Lozon Wojtkowski ’07
Mom to Owen ’37
Assistant Director of Athletics, Dean of Athletes, Director of Summer Athletic Programs, Assistant Coach Varsity Basketball

This crazy thing called life is even crazier as a working mom but I wouldn’t change it for the world! It is somehow exhausting and wonderful at the same time. Having the opportunity to continue my career as I raise my son is something that I am thankful for. People often ask me if I would prefer to be a stay at home mom versus a working mom and honestly some days I wonder. More often than not though, I am glad that I chose to keep working. Being able to bring my son to HB for daycare has made things a lot easier for me not only for convenience but also because I can go visit him during the day if I need a pick me up.

Nichole and BabyNichole Lazor
Mom to Keegan ’34 and Grayson ’37
Sixth Grade Science Teacher,  Seventh and Eighth Grade Wellness Teacher, Middle School Volleyball Coach

It’s tough — always trying to find the right balance between family and work and never quite getting it right. I wouldn’t trade it for anything though. I love being a mom and I love teaching. I have great role models both at work and my own mom who somehow managed it all by herself for most of our childhood. I am beyond grateful HB has enabled to bring both my boys with me to work every day. I am attempting to do it all work, breastfeed, and snuggle and thanks to HB I m not doing half bad! Now if only we could go coed before my eldest is in kindergarten and then all my problems would be solved

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