We chatted with MacIntyre Communicaton‘s Ashley MacIntyre ahead of Mother’s Day about her roles as a Canadian entrepreneur, a PR pro and a mom! —Vita Daily
Hi Ashley! Did entrepreneurship/career come before or after motherhood for you? How did that process go, and what lessons have you learned that you can relate to other career moms?
MacIntyre Communications started when I was 26 years old with no thought of children. For a long time, I thought having both a family and a business would be very difficult. But having a family is the most important thing to me and without them, no level of professional success matters. The most important lesson I’ve learned while being a mom is that taking care of myself both physically and mentally is essential. In order to be the best parent possible, there needs to be harmony to ensure you are showing up for your children. I’ve also earned a PHD in patience over the past two years. It takes a lot of patience to raise young children but that is also a valuable skill that directly translates to my career.
Does work-mom balance really exist? What does that—or, perhaps more realistically, the juggle—look like for you?
I think balance is an unrealistic pressure we put on ourselves as moms. I remember reading about this concept of work-life harmony—I prefer that. There will always be ebbs and flows with the responsibilities and obligations to my family (first) and the business, not to mention my friends, my community and myself. The key is being present—present with my husband, present with my kids, present with my friends and present with the business.
How do you, through your business/work and platform, impact and support other moms—and parents?
It has been a career highlight to be able to support other female entrepreneurs. Some of our greatest partners and clients also straddle motherhood alongside their careers. Understanding the challenges that you face in this position has enabled me to identify the needs of our clients and support them not only from a PR standpoint but also a personal perspective.
Did motherhood come easy to you, or were there challenges (if so, any in particular you’d like to share)?
Being a parent is not easy. We do the things we think are best for our children in hopes that they grow to be happy, healthy adults. “It takes a village” is an understatement but we are lucky that our friends and family (very eager grandparents) are there to support us every step of the way. Every age and milestone comes with a new set of challenges but it’s amazing to see your babies develop their own little personality.
The hardest thing about being a mom? The best thing?
The hardest thing about being a mom—the guilt. Oh, it’s intense. I felt guilty about everything, from leaving the house by myself for the first time to going back to work. But slowly you realize you’re doing the best you can and you need to be kind to yourself. The best thing about being a mom—you see all the “firsts”. You watch this little human experience their first smile, first crawl, first laugh, first step … I remember hearing his voice for the first time. It’s the most incredible thing.
What would the Mother’s Day of your fantasies be? And what, in reality, does Mother’s Day usually look like at your house?
This year my fantasy would be seeing my entire family at our cottage in Prince Edward Island. I haven’t seen my parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew in over a year. We miss them so much. But I will have a quiet Mother’s Day with my boys—a little extra sleep and a bath with a book.
Can you recommend your top Mother’s Day gift pick for this year?