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Powerful Working Women Have Work Nurseries; How to Build Your Own

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This week, First Daughter Ivanka Trump shared a photo of herself holding her baby Theodore while taking a business call in the White House. The image drew tons of love and praise and jeers and taunts. Some called it an example of feminism and others called it hypocrisy. Politics is a tricky game and these days, they are at a fever pitch. But politics aside, the topic of balancing work and motherhood is an ongoing hot bed issue.

Trump and Marissa Mayer both infamously announced plans to take short maternity leaves after having their babies but each soon learned that it is very difficult to have it all, and they reversed course. Fortunately for each of these women, they are the boss and therefore, they have tons of options.

Mayer, for example, built a nursery alongside her office so she could have easy access to her infant, whom I believe she was breastfeeding at the time. It was a controversial move because it came around the same time that the ex-CEO of Yahoo! banned telecommuting for her workers. Many women (and men) with children loved that option so they could work and care for their little ones.

My mom watches my baby sister’s 10-month old daughter while my sis works and my mom reports the baby not wanting to go to her mom after work. Having a baby nearby for those early years are crucial for bonding and the emotions of having your baby prefer a nanny and caregiver over his own mom could be devastating for any mother.

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I really did what another Bellyitch Bumpwatch alum, Rachel Zoe, did for the women who works for her. Zoe said in a blog post on her The Zoe Report website that five other women in her company were expecting in 2014.

“I found out they were all expecting within the span of a couple months (something’s in the water here, I swear), and my immediate thought was: We need to open a nursery. We might not be styling out of my garage anymore, but I still think of my staff as family,” Zoe wrote. “I wanted to create an environment where these new mothers wouldn’t have to make a choice between career and motherhood. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to grow my company from just a few people to more than 40 while having my kids (and my husband) by my side, and so I knew I had to do everything in my power to give my staff that same luxury.”

It was a great move by a woman in power who wanted to empower other women too.

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“My days are filled with an assortment of photo shoots and school pickups, business meetings and play dates, styling sessions and grocery runs. I am launching style boxes and boxing school lunches.” she penned. “In the words of Penny Lane (eternal muse to my editors), ‘It’s all happening.’ And if I can bring my babies to editorial meetings (it happens), fashion shows (guilty) and designers’ parties (most fun ever), why can’t my girls have their babies close by too?”

Zoe opened a nursery in her West Hollywood office that December right next door to her studio. She said she thought all companies ought to consider the same.

“Sure it required us to make additional investments—the physical space, the insurance required to protect everyone, the furnishings—but what we are getting in return is invaluable; the working mothers at our company can improve and grow our business without having to sacrifice spending precious time with their babies at such a crucial stage in their mother-child relationships.”

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Bravo! In the course of two years, my eldest son had two different teachers check out after having their babies and my youngest lost two teachers who opted to stay home after having their little ones rather than return. Nearby nurseries could be a great alternative for those who want to continue their craft, passion and work and be near their babies.

And for those, like me, who work from home, a nursery office could be a great alternative. Here are the elements of creating a fab home office/nursery.

Start with a space-saving crib that isn’t too bulky! You can get one that coordinates with the furniture already in your office or redecorate to have one cohesive theme.

Fill the walls with colorful and attractive wall art to lift the mood and keep things vibrant and alive!

Finally, accent it with  a colorful or ‘in-theme- rug where baby can play while you work. A toy chest to house rattles, stuffed animals and educational toys would be a great added fixture.



Good luck!

photos: courtesy Apartmentherapy

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