C-Suite Moms: “The biggest challenge is practicing being present when I’m at home with my family and when I’m at work.” with Yasmin Kaderali and Jessica Abo

Jessica Abo
Jul 11 · 9 min read

As a part of my series about “C-Suite Moms” I had the pleasure to interview Yasmin Kaderali grew up learning from her mom, Roshan, about the miracle of life, surrounded by the realities of childbirth and infant health through her mom’s maternity center. After attending college at the University of California, Davis, Yasmin spent two years living in Central America, volunteering with programs focused on women’s and children’s human rights. Inspired to learn more and make a difference, Yasmin pursued an MPH and MBA, and continued this work in the non-profit sector for five years. Her path led her back home to California and to Mommy’s Bliss, where she is now CEO of the company. Both Roshan and Yasmin share the dream of helping children and women all over the world to live in bliss with food, good health, respected human rights and peace.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us the “backstory” behind what brought you to this point in your career?

My mom and I had always shared a passion for women’s and children’s health, and initially my career was focused on non-profit work, including helping women get access to health care and basic human rights. Due to family circumstances, I joined my mother for what was intended to be a short-term, “helping mom out” kind of project, but soon thereafter, I began to immerse myself into Mommy’s Bliss. I fell in love with the products, the impact we had on families based on the feedback from parents, and the potential I could see for growth within the business.

Can you share with us how many children you have?

I have two sons, an almost 3-year-old and a 1-year-old.

Where were you in your career when your child was born/became part of your family?

I had been running the company for about four years when my first son was born. Luckily, he was born in July and even though I didn’t time that, it was right after our annual innovation decisions had been made so it was a good time to step away. Even though I was completely immersed in building the team and driving our growth strategy, I knew that being a mom would bring a new perspective to the way I lead, the way we make products — and I was right! There truly is nothing like mommy wisdom.

Did you always want to be a mother? Can you explain?

Yes! I have always wanted to be a mom. In all honesty, I was the last one in my family and most of my friends to have kids because I waited to find the right partner. To me, having kids meant a new purpose to life, a new way to love and learn about life and purpose. I never dreamt that part of my experience as a mom would also be as a CEO of a baby products company, and how the two would complement each other.

Did motherhood happen when you thought it would or did it take longer? If it took longer, what advice would you have for another woman in your shoes?

Becoming a mom happened much later than I thought, but I’m so glad that it happened when it did. Having my first son at 39-years-old meant I had learned a lot about myself, I had traveled alone and had adventures that I knew wouldn’t be possible later in life. And I had waited to find my husband, my true best friend and partner who would share the same dream of being a parent.

Can you tell us a bit about what your day-to-day schedule looks like?

Usually wake to the baby monitor between 5:00–6:00 a.m. when one kid wakes. From then until 7:30 a.m., it’s a juggle of getting the kids up, getting myself showered and dressed, and then both kids off to daycare. Then, I head to work and enjoy my day with my team. About 5:00 p.m. I head out to pick up kids from daycare or meet them at home if my husband picks them up, and then we have a crazy messy dinner, bath time, books and bedtime. From 7:30–9:00 p.m. my husband and I make dinner, catch up on our day, watch TV and head to bed.

Has being a parent changed your career path? Can you explain?

If anything, being a mom has just made me love Mommy’s Bliss even more. I know how important it is to find products you trust and that work, and now I see the opportunity we have to make better products for families and truly make a difference. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Has being a mother made you better at your job? How so?

As a mother, I gain firsthand experience going through amazing times and the not-so-fun times with my boys. The first year can be difficult due to digestive issues they face as their little tummies grow and it seems like the snot party never ends. Knowing how heartbreaking and tiring it is when little ones are sick brings a new level of patience and compassion when talking with other parents on our team. Through every hurdle, Mommy’s Bliss products have been so helpful for my family and I want to make sure we’re there for families in all different stages and this now helps drive our innovation planning. My own experiences as a parent also help me to identify new ways to improve our products, for example, once I started using the Gripe Water, I noticed how difficult it could be to administer it at night. I was tired, trying to use the syringe to get the liquid out while holding my crying baby, and I dropped the bottle on the floor, Gripe Water spilling everywhere. I knew other parents had to have gone through this and shared the frustration. From that experience, I worked with our team to find an adaptor that we could add to the bottle so it was spill-proof and easier to use.

What are the biggest challenges you face being a working mom?

The biggest challenge is practicing being present when I’m at home with my family and when I’m at work. I love my job and my team — it excites me and fulfills me — but I also love spending time with my kids, so it’s hard to find the balance if that’s even possible!

Are there any stories you remember from the early days of parenthood that you want to share?

I recall the first time I pumped at work. I was in our lactation room which felt private but I still felt so exposed. I felt rushed. I felt like it was so inconvenient to have to end a meeting early so I could pump. I was frustrated pulling off my top, everything gets twisted, and messy. After a few weeks, I realized this was HARD but I knew it was worth it. I knew my mindset had to change so I could feel good and relaxed about it rather than frustrated. I began to think about what it was I needed; first, a new pump bra that was easy, then telling my team to encourage me to go pump. It worked! Soon, I embraced the quiet 20 minutes to pump and could work on my laptop or play on my phone and have some “me” time. Now, months after stopping pumping and breastfeeding, I miss those times.

We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed and we may feel that we can’t spare the time to be “fully present” with our children. Can you share with our readers 3–5 strategies about how we can create more space in our lives in order to give our children more quality attention?

1) Putting the phone away when I’m with my kids. To be totally present, I usually get on the floor with the kids so I’m at eye level with them and then play and laugh — both my husband and I find that creating jokes with our kids leads to contagious laughter and great eye contact. I think that’s really important to feeling present myself and for my kid to know I am right there with him emotionally.

2) Planning special mommy dates — setting aside time for me to be with just one kid at a time rather than feeling split for attention.

How do you inspire your child to “dream big”? Can you give an example or story?

We read stories that are inspiring and then we repeat the key phrases that encourage dreams. And we also let anything be on the table — if you want to dream of being anything, there is no judgement.

My almost 3-year-old loves the book, “The Little Engine that Could,” and so even at the park when he’s trying to climb something new he says out loud “I think I can, I think I can” and I say “You can, you can!” It’s adorable that he tied it all together himself.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better parent? Can you explain why you like them?

I like the “Healthy Mama” podcast, and I really enjoy chatting with my girlfriends about parenting challenges, etc. I like to talk through things and discover what works best for me and my boys vs. thinking about anything as “the best” tool. Each family, child and parent have unique skills and needs and part of the adventure is figuring out what works for you.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you share or plan to share with your kids?

What comes to mind often is, “Be Yourself,” and the Beatles song, “All you need is Love.” These are both mantras that I tell myself daily, and that I now share with my little ones. I want my boys to always be themselves and feel comfortable expressing their feelings. My husband and I also encourage them to love, love, love! Love their favorite bunny stuffed animals, love the spider in the bathroom, love mommy and daddy, etc.

If you could sit down with every new parent and offer life hacks, must-have products or simple advice, what would be on your list?

I remember when one of my best friends told me, “Don’t worry about the hard times, something inside you will kick in and you WILL get past it, you WILL get through anything. You are a mom and trust that this in itself is strength.”

This helps me remember that there are so many phases, good and hard, and likely all of them will be missed as they get older.

Thank you so much for these insights! We really appreciate your time.

About the Author:

Jessica Abo believes no matter where we are in our careers, relationships or level of activism — we are all a work in progress. Her debut book, Unfiltered: How To Be As Happy As You Look On Social Media was released in August 2018 and sold out on its first day. Women’s Health Magazine named Unfiltered #1 on its list of self-love books and it was selected to be in the official GRAMMY Awards gift bag. To bring her book to life, Jessica launched a collection of statement tees and hoodies at New York Fashion Week. Jessica has spoken about her research and #liveunfiltered movement on The TODAY Show, Access Hollywood, ABC News, KTLA and in dozens of publications including Forbes, Fast Company and SHAPE.

A multi-award-winning television journalist, Jessica spent 15 years working as a television anchor and reporter. She started her own production company, JaboTV, in 2013, which profiles athletes, celebrities, CEOs, entrepreneurs and changemakers. Her videos appear weekly on Entrepreneur.com.

Jessica’s nationwide speaking tour has taken her to Facebook, Microsoft, Delta Airlines, Weight Watchers, TEDx, the United Nations and hundreds of conferences, nonprofits, universities and schools. In her spare time, Jessica is a passionate philanthropist, having raised more than a million dollars for several causes by organizing her own galas. Jessica sits on several boards and committees and contributes to their recruiting and fundraising efforts.

Jessica received both her bachelor and master degrees from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. You may have spotted her, cast as herself, in several shows and movies including: House of Cards, Gossip Girl, Nurse Jackie, Girl Most Likely, Delivery Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

A New Yorker at heart, Jessica now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their daughter.

www.jessicaabo.com

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Jessica Abo

Written by

Award-winning TV journalist, social media navigator, author, and speaker. Author of Unfiltered: How To Be As Happy As You Look On Social Media

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.