I wish I could wave a wand and institute a four day work week.  As part of that spell, society would embrace it. Currently, there is not enough operationalized balance between work and life.

Ashley Kraska

Current Occupation: 
Head of Strategic Business Development, Samsung Next

# of Children and their Ages: 
Three daughters:

  • Everly, 11
  • Ellie, 8
  • Emma, 5

What do you love about being a working mom?
Being a working mom provides the opportunity to express the various sides of who I am and what I value. It’s not easy, but I’m grateful - and I feel it’s really important for my three daughters to witness.  

I don’t believe you can “have it all” but I do believe you can have “pieces of it all.” 

What is the biggest challenge of being a working mom?
Oh, where to begin?!?! 

On the highest level I grapple with the universal struggle of feeling far too stretched between personal and professional…feeling like I’m not doing any one thing particularly well.  

On the tactical level it is the exhaustion of a hectic life that operates with very little “margin of error” - needing everything to hit on time and as planned in order for everything to work properly! 
If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change about working mom life?
I would wave my wand and institute a four day work week.  As part of that spell, society would embrace it. Currently, there is not enough operationalized balance between work and life.

On Sunday evenings I often find myself wishing for a weekend from my weekend! 

A third day might truly afford a day of resting and being.   

What tips do you have for other working moms? 
Let me caveat this by saying I don’t feel comfortable prescribing tips when I’m still trying to figure it out myself, but I’m happy to share what I aspire to!

I spend my days in VC and Innovation working with early stage startups.  Much of what we look for in predicting success is the same advice I would share with other working moms:

Stay laser focused on priorities, be militant about protecting resources (time!), get comfortable saying “no” and don’t be distracted by external noise.  

Any relationship tips for working moms? 
My husband has a demanding job and we don’t live near family so it can be tough.  I don’t have any magic tricks other than sharing what works for us: organization through a family calendar and shared google calendar invites, advanced planning, and outsourcing where we can.  

As an example, we’ve made the decision to oversubscribe on childcare so that we have coverage and flexibility, thus minimizing those “squeeze moments.”  Believe me, budgeting for unused childcare hours is no fun, but having our nanny available to jump in as needed for overnights, late nights, etc. promotes breathing room at work and harmony at home.

Let’s be honest -  those debates over whose meeting/travel/work [insert your noun here] is more important never end well! 

What's the best piece of advice your own mother gave you? 
My mom provides me a lot of confidence and perspective:

  • Often times the big problems in parenting aren’t really that big
  • The long days pass quickly so savor this time
  • I’m doing a better job than I think so stop contributing to my own negative narrative.

What stresses you out? 
Dinner and homework - 100%. 

Those evening hours are just the perfect convergence of tired kids, managing calls across time zones, a kindergartener who is the pickiest eater and a middle schooler juggling homework that is getting harder and more time consuming! (They don’t “carry the one” in math anymore!)

It’s a pressure point in our day, for sure! 
How do you mother yourself? 
Unstructured time. My perfect day is spent in pjs having unstructured time with my family.  I also like to squeeze in a run and connect with friends.  
How and why do you take CBD?
There is a big mommy culture around wine and drinking, and while I enjoy a glass (or two!) during the week, I don’t feel my best – or sleep my best –  drinking a lot. 

It’s nice to have an alternative like MotherBar which recognizes the importance of moms taking a moment to decompress and prioritize themselves. 

Please use ASHLEY20 at checkout for 20% off your order of Moment CBD mints made for busy, working moms like Ashley whose advice is to lean into planning and outsourcing while maintaining a healthy perspective on your journey to "do it all."