#TribeThursdays with Beverly Egamino
Becoming a new mother was a big transition for me to navigate. I had to accept that the person I was before was gone. However, after time, I learned that the person I have become is even better. She's stronger, wiser, resilient and beautiful. However, it took a community of mothers to teach me that. During my maternity leave, I was so fortunate to be a part of an amazing community called MOM HALO (previously known as Moms TO) where all mother's gather and share and create experiences together. There were so many interactive events where I can bring my newborn daughter and at the same time socialize with other human adult beings. That's where I met the woman in this next interview.
She approached me on social media and noticed that I joined MOM HALO. I was so grateful that she reached out to me. At the time, I was not only scared to step foot outside my home with my baby but scared to socialize and meet new people. I never used to be that kind of person - scared to network with other people but I felt like motherhood was a whole other ball game.
Fast forward to today, Bev and I continue to stay connected and stay in touch. When we did this interview, she exemplified traits of not only an amazing mother but an incredible leader in her industry. We talked about balance, mindfulness and empathy. Read ahead and see what it takes to navigate being a working mom!
Bless: Tell me about yourself. I mean, I already know you but tell the world about yourself ;) Bev: So as you know, I work as a property manager. Personally, I've recently started getting into this whole mentality of mindfulness.You know I've always done yoga and that it has been a part of my lifestyle, even pre-baby. I always like going to yoga studios. I've always been in tune with my health and fitness and all of that. However, I’ve started this mindfulness journey and it was more to keep myself grounded throughout everything that I’ve been going through. There has been so many moving pieces in my life and a few difficult times to juggle. So I'm really trying to focus on being present and not losing sight of the present time.
That's where I'm at right now and then obviously, at the same time I’m trying to navigate this pandemic and everything as a property manager. A lot of my role is dealing with our tenants in the building; making sure that the building is running efficiently. It’s been a difficult time even for our tenants, since they too are struggling. A big part of my job is to help them through these times. Our strategy is to be partnering with them instead of working against them.
We do our best to just be there for them. I actually haven’t stopped working through all of this, because the building stayed open for the retail component of the building since they were categorized as essential services.
Bless: Well props to you girlfriend. It's tough. Especially as a working mom. It's a really tough role to juggle; trying to support your tenants, your family and then yourself at the same time. I love that being present has become a priority for you especially when you’re home with the kids. It’s always good to be able to separate work and home life.
What is the best lesson you've learned from being a property manager or in another case?
Bev: I'm a working mom. So, the best thing I've learned from being a property manager, and I guess this could also apply with my home life but my “mom life” is really about listening to people and I feel like it's so easy. Like for me it’s easy to come up with a response to their questions and respond to their opinions. I learned to just listen and be empathetic to people.
What we learned in this role of mine is we need to be understanding and I think it's important that I listen to their concerns and put myself in their shoes. It’s important to listen and like to be empathetic to that.
As for my personal life, I really learned to just stop and listen. My kids are at the age where they don’t stop talking and they’re curious about everything. So I have to remind myself that I need to be present with them.
Bless: What would you say is your mission behind being a working mom? Bev: My mission is just to have a work life balance. Ideally, I would love to be a stay at home mom if I could. I, hundred percent would, but it's just not my reality. And I don't think it ever would be.
I gotta work. I gotta help provide for my kids. Which I think is also very important. However, I also need to balance everything. I can't always be on my work phone, replying to emails. It’s so easy to get looped into the hustle and check emails without feeling the need to reply to it. Then I’ve taught myself to say, “ I guess I'll reply to it in like an hour”.
My mission is to just be the best version of me that I can be for them. That way they have like a role model to look up to and they could take what they can or don't want from me, and become the best versions of themselves.
At least that way I know I've done my best and I think that's good enough. I already know, it is good enough. I think a lot of working moms need to hear that.
I need to stop, chill and enjoy it instead of just looking for the next thing and the next thing. I try to build those experiences for them, but at the same time, I'm losing out on being present with them. So I'm really trying to work on that.
Bless: I think you're doing a great job. Do you have a morning routine? If yes. Describe it.
Bev: Yes. I'm so glad you asked, because this is new. The first thing I do in the morning is I don't check my phone. Before, the first thing I would do right away is check and my immediate reaction would be “Ok I need to do this.” I read this book called “Think like a monk.” and it says, when you look at your phone, first thing in the morning, you get bombarded with news or notifications and all these negative things. He says “If you start your day at 5am and the first thing you do is check your phone and you see one negative thing, It's like you start your day at like a minus one, because of all those things that's the first thought you started to build your day with.”
I also started doing like 10 to 15 minute meditations and I have to make sure I’m using noise canceling earphones to block out the sound completely. I love having that time to myself. In the beginning it was very hard for me to meditate. It's hard for me to keep my mind from running to all the things I need to do but now I've sort of reached a point where I could check out and just have 10, 15 minutes just to read and focus on me.
The third thing I've been doing is getting on my Peloton in the morning. I used to not be a morning person. I started my working out at 8am. What I started doing is doing at least a 20 to 30 minute ride, first thing in the morning and it just helps me.
Bless: This is Amazing, I’m so glad you have a morning routine. Having a morning routine will depict what kind of day it will be for you. What do you do on days where your brain is on pause and you can’t generate productivity?
Bev: I just stop and take a step back. You know, it's actually just happened recently. There was just a lot going on and I told myself “I can't do this right now”.
So I just went out. I went to get a coffee and then I listened to a mindfulness podcast. And that just really helped me get in check. Right? Like it's so easy to get very worked up when things aren't going as planned. So, you know, I just stopped and I took some time. It helps me ground myself a little bit and not indulge in all the negativity.
Bless: Totally! We need to remind ourselves to give ourselves a break.
Who are your biggest inspirations?
Bev: Okay, so obviously my mom. I think a lot of people like our moms, in our culture, they came here with nothing, right. They came here and left this full life they have back home and you know how it is back home. Like you have drivers and a full community and like all these things. They come here to build a better life for us, and for the next generation. So, my biggest inspiration is my mom, because it's like, how do you let go of all of that and choose to rebuild here? You start a brand new life with basically nothing in a brand new country.
There’s also my sister, because she's had a lot of health conditions and she's gone through a lot at a very young age but just seeing her push through it all is incredibly inspiring. If I think I'm having a bad day or tough time. I think about someone like my sister who has endured so much more than me. Like I haven't been through half of what she's been through and who am I to complain. You know what I mean?
Bless: Yeah, definitely. That’s a great perspective to have. What is one thing you would share to those who are, um, working moms and are struggling to balance both lives?
Bev: Honestly, like we talked about just trying to balance it all. I think it's important. Just having that mindset, checking out of work during times when you need to focus on family. I'm not going to lie, being a working mom has been tough for me. When I went back to work after Mason, I still remember my very first day I was crying at work. I'm sure a lot of moms feel the same. I remember I started to question myself, and think about what I'm missing out on like all these moments with my kid and while I'm at work.
This is why it’s important to at least be in a role or a workplace where you feel fulfilled because if it's a place where you're like very unhappy or, you know, you're not valued, then it will really make you feel like crap because it's like, you're missing out on these times with your kids, for THIS?
Like one of my staff, for example, she just came back from mat leave. The first thing I did when she came back was tell her “whatever you need, I'm here for you. Like, if you need to FaceTime your daughter, do what you gotta do.” I just want her to know that I support her and it's tough transitioning back to work. I even told her to start with half days to transition back because I know how hard it is and she just felt so grateful for it. And I think that's important, right? Like we've got to support each other. Like we were all going through the things.