Millennial Moms: Representation is essential in all fields of livelihood!
Representation is essential in all fields of livelihood. It’s especially essential that this representation is authentic, transparent, and enlightening in every form. Christine Carter, an incredible writer and global marketing strategist based in Baltimore, Maryland, has been using her successful career in marketing to serve as a leader to an audience completely relatable to her: Black millennials and millennial mom consumers. Christine is inspired by fellow mothers who strive everyday to thrive in both their work and home life, and she is committed to reducing the all-too familiar stress and hardships that comes with finding that balance. In addition to a bomb support system, self-love is crucial as well; being able to decide when to take a break for your own well-being is honestly non-negotiable. To practice growing self-love, Christine recommends reading, “The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and Thrive” by Christopher Germer and Kristen Neff. We love that you’ve taken your business and personal experience to pass along to the younger generation, Christine. We pray your gift keeps on giving. We’d love to introduce you to Christine, Queen of Marketing!
What inspired you to start your business? What motivates you to keep going?: My career in marketing started in 2006, when I was the director of marketing for a retailer in Baltimore. I enjoyed providing leadership to and advising the CEO, director of operations, and other stakeholders on effective communication strategies and messages so much, I decided to open a retail marketing firm. Over the years I’ve been labeled a thought leader because I’ve headlined workshops, seminars and panels, instructing, educating and inspiring organizations on successful marketing to black millennials and millennial mom consumers. I’ve also trained organizations on launching more effective and cost-efficient events and content to reach a millennial audience. This includes finding the right influencers for their brand.
I’m an advocate for working millennial moms because they are ME! I’m passionate about seeing my tribe represented in a positive light. I have the opportunity to promote us on some of the largest platforms in writing, like Forbes and TIME and I do feel pressure to clarify misconceptions and make sure I get it right. I’m motivated to tell the story of a generation, a gender and a race: our hopes, fears, challenges, everyday struggles and wins… and having someone listen to the story and made a positive impact as a result of the story.
What does your company stand for?: It may sound trite but Malcolm X once said, “The mother is the first teacher of the child. The message she gives that child, that child gives to the world.” I feel by giving working mothers positive, insightful content, I’m doing my part to reduce their stress, raise loving children and thus- change the world.
For example, brands assume that we’re selfish, entitled, and lazy. As mothers, we are often portrayed as women who want to be perfect. But that’s not it. In fact, we don’t like this idea of perfection. What we really want is a balance. Brands like Luvs get it. On some days we’ve got it all together and on other days we’re a mess. This resonates with us as consumers. I’m also proud of the advancements in technology that we’ve helped to create and spread. My generation is also reinvigorating the civil rights and women’s rights movements.
When I think about single Millennial Black women who are also moms, 30% of African American Millennial moms are the primary breadwinners in their homes, as compared to 19% of all Millennial moms. We’re facing so many obstacles and also have to think about how childcare expenses are widening the wealth gap. Childcare is often the second largest monthly expense after paying the mortgage or rent. I get to comment on our everyday struggles as black women. I want to tell the whole story so they don’t feel alone and frustrated, because that’s how women get depressed. I want people to listen to their stories. Even for readers who are not millennial moms of color, they may connect with the topics. They may listen to that story and choose to be a part of the solution. As long as I am representing us, building and improving on the narrative of women, I am doing something right.
How do you create the life you want?: My family and friends make it possible to live the life I want. They’re always willing to pick up and drop off children or watch kids for a few hours while I work or write an article. It is critical to have a good support system. The support system shouldn’t just be good, but should be customized to the mom. I am a single mom. My aunt is an excellent mother to her children so I knew she would be great for a support system for me. My aunt has managed to customize the care of my children to fit my lifestyle. For example, I am vegan and my aunt gives my kids healthy snacks. She drops off and picks up my children. She does that because she wants to support me. The support she gives me bleeds over into my professional life.
I also hear due to household responsibilities moms have they have very little time for sponsorship and networking. I know what that feels like. That's why I created Mompreneur and Me events, which are inclusive parent and child-friendly networking events. Moms no longer need to feel guilty for wanting to focus on their career or for leaving their child to do so- their child is with them at the event and they're in a room with like-minded women. Plus the events are nationwide and free, which everyone loves.
I also don’t have a strict work schedule and it is understood that family obligations come first. I understand not every mother is lucky enough to be in this position, and work-life balance is a far-fetched idea.I was once told independence is a spectrum, and the only way a mother can achieve true work-life balance is by relying on the help of others. This includes everyone in her circle, from her employer to partner to friends. I find the moms who are having challenges balancing work and life, are the ones who just can’t bring themselves to say anything to their circle other than, “I’m fine.” That’s easier said than done and even I struggle with that, but to balance your worlds, you’ve got to ask for- and accept- help.
What makes you HUMAN?: My children! Oprah once said that a mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself. My kids do that for me. I also do a lot of public speaking and professional development work for teenage girls and I’m so inspired by this next generation of passionate, self-confident #blackgirlmagic.
What are three things your want people to know about self-love?: Self-love is more important than self-care. The two concepts are not interchangeable. Self-love will take on various forms, grow, and look different than it did the day before.
What's something we can incorporate today to start loving ourselves more?: Moms can stop believing in the myth of work life balance. When I think of work/life balance, I think of having it all. I said on a recent podcast I did that the only way for a mom to have it all is to go to the store and buy a bottle of All detergent. There is no perfect work/life balance. There are times that you are not spending as much time with your kids for work, and there are times when your work is pushed to the side because you need to walk away from the company, recharge, practice self care and have time with your children. It always ebbs and flows.
What has been your own journey with self love?: I'm still working on loving myself. Over the past year I made it a point to focus to self-care, thinking the concepts were similar. They are not. This year I'm on a quest to figure out what it means to love me, because I am worthy of a deep love. Especially from myself.
Leave an affirmation for readers: I will surround myself with positive women who will help bring the best out in me.
Email Address: email@example.com
Social media handles?: @cmichelcarter on Twitter and Instagram
Any books or apps recommendations?: The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and Thrive