MomForce Network

Chattanooga Mom of the Month

March 2015

Ashley McCue, Freelance Scriptwriter, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce

Photo by:  Chris Stephenson of www.snapoutloud.com

Photo by: Chris Stephenson of www.snapoutloud.com

 

Tell us about your family.  What do you like to do together?

I am a single mom to 5 month old Miles McCue as well as 3 dogs (Balboa, Marfa, and Mags) we live in a little cottage on Signal Mountain.
Miles and I love walkin and rollin’- I mean strollin’ together. :)
It’s my greatest joy to show Miles the wonder in each day and share in the moments of beauty that surround us…. Watching him look around to find the sound of a bird singing, seeing that toothless smile light up when his cousin’s sing “You Are My Sunshine” to him and being able to give him all my love and attention.

Tell us about your professional experience or your MomForce position?

I just completed my first project Momforce found for me. The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce hired me as a copy/scriptwriter for their upcoming business awards production. I was honored to be chosen and enjoyed working with the Chamber of Commerce. I wear multiple hats in the creative fields. I would best describe myself as a creative producer. That could entail working with a global or national brand by employing my skillset to find holistic approaches to suit their marketing and sales needs   or it could be working one on one with an individual or small company to put their best foot forward to reach their goals. I’m the ultimate go-getter and absolutely love being able to work out creative solutions to reach a goal.

My background includes film and event production, photography, writing, casting, artist relations, and sales. More than that, I have over 17 years of professional relationships in film, media and music which helps most any project I’m a part of.

Why MomForce? Or how did you find MomForce?

I found MomForce on www.nooga.com in January. I have had an incredible experience working with Carlene and MomForce. It’s such a blessing to have a recruitment company that understands the needs of the professional mom and advocates on her behalf. For me, as a single mom and sole provider, it is incredible to partner with businesses that value what I can bring to the table and provide flexibility in the work environment- ie working from home and being family friendly.

What would you want to tell other moms’ who are trying to balance family and career?

My advice to other Moms trying to balance career and family:
1)Treat yourself to a housekeeper. Even if it’s once a month.
2) Know that it’s all an ebb and flow. The sun is going to rise tomorrow and it’s going to be ok.
3) Find humor and joy every day.

 

 

Knoxville Mom of the Month

February 2015

Meet Michelle Oosterling, Part-Time Project Coordinator, Todd Richesin Interiors!

Michelle Oosterlin                                                                          

Tell us about your family.  What do you like to do together?

My husband Kris and I have a daughter Nicole, age 12 and a son Ian, age 10.    The kids extracurricular activities keep us very busy:  Volleyball, baseball, youth group.  However, we are looking forward to exploring all that Knoxville & TN has to offer this year —  hiking, historical places, area festivals.

Tell us about your professional experience or your MomForce position?

I was a Trust and Estate Paralegal with the same law firm in NY for 14 years.  I was with them through all my life changes – getting married, having children.  They were like a family to me.  Then my husband took a new job that very quickly transferred us here to TN.  I took the first 2 years getting the kids and us acclimated to the move and looking for houses while my husband traveled a lot.  Then I started looking for employment.  But I knew I didn’t want to go back to the demanding law firm schedule.  My old firm had allowed me to have a flexible work schedule and complete work at home, but that was because I had been with them for so long and they knew my work ethic.  How would I find that in a state that didn’t know me?  And after having been out of work for 2 years?

Why MomForce? Or how did you find MomForce?

Someone at church mentioned a friend who found a website called MomForce.  I looked it up and immediately knew I had found what I was looking for.  I knew I was a dedicated hard-worker and had skills that could apply to a variety of jobs.  But I would interview for a  job that had a reduced schedule  and kept hearing that I was over qualified! But this is where Courtney excels.  She helps potential employers understand it is a win-win equation.  They are getting a proven hard working, highly qualified mom because a reduced and/or flexible schedule is a priority for us.  Through the MomForce questionnaire and interview, they are also able to better match employers and potential employees.  Courtney was able to look at not just my employment history, but my skill set and overall attitude and demeanor to recommend a job I never would have applied for.  I decided to interview anyway at Courtney’s suggestion and it turned out to be the best decision.  I love my job and my employer and I wouldn’t have even considered it otherwise.  I now recommended MomForce to everyone.
What would you want to tell other moms’ who are trying to balance family and career?

We are our own worst enemy.  There is no elusive secret out there to make everything fall magically into place.

So first:  Stop the guilt.  Every decision has a trade-off.  Your best decision is what works for you and your family in your unique circumstances.  For me, I am working so we have the finances for my children to be involved in sports, and our family can attend events and activities.  It also brings me some much needed satisfaction and sanity.   But, by working I can not be at every school function.  That is my selected trade-off and I am grateful for the other parents who are able to attend the school field trip to make it possible for my child’s class to go.  They also have a trade-off decision that they made to be there.  We need to focus on what is best for our family.

Second:  NO ONE is the PERFECT.  For example:  I am not a cook—it does not come naturally to me, and for me is a time-consuming task.  So it just doesn’t fit into our schedule.  So we eat a lot of sandwiches and quick-prep meals (like macaroni and cheese).  No gourmet meals here, or even a lot of variety.  But I cover what I think is important –they get vegetables and fruits — limited chips and candy.  Most importantly They are fed!  Perfect does not equal “good mom”.

Third:  Stop trying to find a way to Do It All.  Focus your energy on what is important:  my kids are safe, clothed and fed, and know they are loved.   My house is not fit for company.  There are clothes, books, piles of paper, toys, everywhere.  The laundry gets done, but not always folded and put away before being worn again.  But I’d rather spend my hour of time with my kids.  Helping them with their homework, reading a story before bed.  It is my decision and it is OK.

Just do what works for you and your family.  Each of our personalities, abilities and circumstances are unique.  So, we can ask and get ideas to try from other moms, but don’t compare ourselves.  Only we know and can make the best decisions for our family.  Trust yourself!