Mother's Day - A Celebration of Moms Everywhere by Emily James
May in Michigan is synonymous with a lot of things - the season finally♐ changes, and we can put away our winter coats, Eastern Market vendors are in full swing as many of us anxiously await flower day; our favorite rooftop in Birmingham is open and we can spend our lunch breaks in the sun. But most of all - we get to celebrate our favorite moms on Mother’s Day. As someone who is recently married, my husband and I are hoping to expand our family in the future, and one of the things that brought me to Shift Digital over three years ago was the amazing benefits our company offers to soon-to-be moms.Coming from a company with no actual maternity leave benefits, I was ecstatic to see the parental leave benefits offered at Shift. New moms can receive up to 16 weeks of salary continuation for their maternity leave - and partnered with Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance (including a free medical plan!), we offer some of the best coverage for employees in the area. Also, new this year in 2022, fertility assistance benefits were added to all three of our BCBS plans. Shift recognizes the financial burden that couples face when they struggle to conceive and now offers a $ 25,000-lifetime maximum to those that need help expanding their family. This amazing benefit brings comfort to many of us that are hoping to start a family someday and may require some assistance doing so.Working closely with the Shift Digital field team, I wanted to ask for some advice as we celebrate our travel team on Mother’s Day.
How do you balance being a mom and working full time?
“I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful niece that steps in when I am traveling for work, kids that understand the times that work has to be a priority, and a great manager who believes that our families are just as important as our jobs. It really does take a village!” – Kathleen
What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
Getting to experience the world through my daughter’s eyes. Watching her learn new things every day and seeing her sheer joy and giggles. I love sharing things from her that I loved about my childhood and seeing her reaction. – Lindsey
How would you spend your ideal Mother’s Day?
“My ideal Mother’s Day would start with sleeping in later than normal, even 9 am would be amazing! This Mother's Day my husband actually dressed all three kids and took them to get the car washed and for a drive so it gave me time to take a shower and get ready without little ones interrupting me. Then a nice family day, BBQ or Lunch would be ideal. The cherry on top would be my husband taking over bath and bed time but that may just be too much to ask for” – Allie
How has Shift helped support both your career and being a mom?
Shift has done a tremendous job in providing a parent positive environment and specifically, for me as a busy working mother, has shown me that they understand the delicate balance that it takes. Many organizations often claim to be family-friendly, but in reality, they don’t actually support working parents in real practice. My experience personally and what I have witnessed with Shift, has been nothing but supportive and encouraging; and even thriving.
I was barely three months into my role as a field traveler when in March 2020, as we know the world shut down. Suddenly, I was pivoting to working from home full time in a very uncertain and scary time, while trying to become a teacher, play buddy, chauffeur, chef, and personal assistant to my then 6-year-old kindergartener son. No one knew what to expect and certainly, being new and in a position that was highly centered on the impact and value we bring face to face with dealers, it was a time of high anxiety. At this critical time, this is where the Shift culture made all the difference.
From key leadership down to the program level management, we were clearly supported with flexibility and acknowledgement of our unique challenges as working parents. I was able to manage my own dealer schedule and work responsibilities to still be productive and valuable; and meet all the competing needs of work, family, home, and personal life. There is too common the experience that working mothers are expected to work as though they do not have children; and at the same time, expected to parent as though they do not work. This is not the case at Shift. Shift has allowed and encouraged the ability for me to achieve true work life integration. There is no unspoken pressure on me as a female employee to act as though I am not a mother; and instead Shift celebrates this part of ourselves as being equally important and valuable. – Felicia
What advice do you have for a soon-to-be parent?
For anyone looking to start a family at Shift Digital – Here’s my advice as a new-ish mom est. 2021.
Great news want to-be-parents! You’re working for an incredible company that supports your quest to be healthy & live your best life! Take a deep breath and let that sink in for a moment.
I’ve been with Shift for 9 years and I’m grateful every day for our health and wellness benefits. If you’re new to navigating the healthcare system on your own, or overwhelmed with where to begin ‘family planning’, here are some tips to help you get started:
Talk to your primary care doctors / OBGYN to get started – get to know them, ask for their advice and best practices, and learn about their history of helping families grow
Ask questions – come prepared with a list of questions to your appointments and take notes on your phone. Doctors tend to talk fast, and medical terminology makes automotive acronyms sound easy!
Explore your options – if you haven’t found the right practitioners or solutions, keep looking – that’s the great part about having a plan like ours (PPO) where so many options are covered. Our Employee Relations team is awesome too, so if you have questions on how to read our policies, they can help!
Stay organized – download the mobile apps to your phone from BlueCross/BlueShield, and if you use one particular hospital ‘chain’ for a lot of your care like Beaumont or Ascension (In MI) – I advise downloading theirs as well. One thing I’ve learned from having to navigate the healthcare system across three states. is that you will speak to a lot of people, and you will need to keep track of several logins, billing sites, appointment dates/locations, practitioner notes, and health records. It can be daunting to keep track of everything for yourself, let alone a future little one, so use physical folders at home, and try to do as much online as possible. Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems have streamlined so much for patients, but it is also nice to have email backups.
Be your own advocate – sometimes researching online is a great start but it can also be anxiety-provoking. If something doesn’t feel right on your family planning journey, trust your gut and seek alternatives. This may mean calling another medical doctor or seeking an alternative medicine / functional practitioner’s opinion. But TRUST YOUR GUT!
- MartyWhether you are a new mom, a mom with 40 years of experience, someone waiting to be a mom, a mom who has experienced loss, or someone who takes on the role of mom - life wouldn’t be the same without you. From all of us at Shift Digital, we wish all of you the happiest Mother’s Day.