Growing up with a stay at home mom, I never truly experienced the concept of a working mother until working with my current boss and mother of a 2-year-old son, Mercedes Ritchey. Mercedes has not only excelled in her career, but she never misses a play date or doctors appointment, bakes brownies for day care class parties, and plans family get togethers, all while having time to listen to everyone's ups & downs. She has become the go-to on our team for, what I like to call, "adult problems" ...
At Bellē Up, we understand and appreciate that being a mom is the hardest, yet least recognized, job ever. Yes, we said, EVER! We created Mom of the Week (MOTW) as a way of recognizing moms who do the hardest job ever and then some. It is our honor to present you our Mom of the Week … MERCEDES RITCHEY!
Growing up with a stay at home mom, I never truly experienced the concept of a working mother until working with my current boss and mother of a 2-year-old son, Mercedes Ritchey. Mercedes has not only excelled in her career, but she never misses a play date or doctors appointment, bakes brownies for day care class parties, and plans family get togethers, all while having time to listen to everyone's ups & downs. She has become the go-to on our team for, what I like to call, "adult problems"—from finding the perfect shade of grey paint, to coordinating family photo outfits, to tips and tricks for future brides, she always knows how to solve the smallest and largest of issues. This past month, I had the opportunity to help throw an office baby shower for Mercedes, celebrating the impending arrival of her second son. While compiling cards, gifts and notes, it was very clear that not only will Mercedes be greatly missed during maternity leave, but many would like to know her secret to being such a successful woman and mother. She is a mom worth celebrating. We all wish her the best on her delivery[!] ~Halie Bojovic
Name: Mercedes Ritchey
Hometown: Des Plaines, IL
Current Town/Neighborhood: Mt. Prospect, IL
Names and ages of your children: William, 2 and baby boy No. 2 on the way
Tell us about your family: My family is growing since we’re adding a new baby boy to the mix in October.
Career: I’m an Associate Director at Starcom and I work on the Procter and Gamble business. More specifically, I plan consumer communications for the Hair Care team which include Herbal Essences and Aussie.
Tell us about the cause and/or organization that is most important to you and why: Portraits of Hope is an organization that I became involved with through my work, and have fallen in love with the amazing work that they do with different communities. Two brothers (Ed and Bernie) created POH which was “Developed initially for seriously ill and physically disabled children, the 501 (c)(3) program conceives and develops one-of-a-kind motivational art projects that merge the production of dynamic public art works with creative therapy for hospitalized children and civic education for students of all ages.”
Hobbies: Spending time with my family, working on decorating my house and walking the neighborhood for exercise.
Hidden Talents: I love to bake!
Favorite family activities: We have been big swimming pool junkies this Summer. It’s been a great way to cool off and have fun together.
Q&A w/ Mercedes
My favorite part about pregnancy was feeling the baby move in my belly. It’s so cool and an amazing reminder of what’s coming in ~9 months.
My least favorite part about pregnancy was swelling feet and ankles in the last few months.
When I was pregnant, I wish I had known that “sleeping through the night” could be defined by 4 hours!
I would tell a new mom the following three things:
(a) do the best you can;
(b) ask for help when you need it and when you don’t; and
(c) keep the fridge stocked with ready to eat snacks.
When I became a mom, I was surprised to learn that new challenges pop up everyday, and despite all efforts, it’s really tough not to be a worry-wart.
When I hear the term “Work/Life Balance” I think that there’s no such thing. I do the best job I can when I’m at each place. At work, I stay focused on my work and at home I stay focused on my family. It helps me feel like a better mother and employee.
The most important thing(s) my mom taught me about parenthood was to be patient and try your best to give your babies what they want and need (at least when they are babies). My mom is commonly referred to in my family as a baby whisperer so she was a huge help when I was learning how to take care of a baby.
My parenting style is best described as casual and comfortable.
The most incredible part of parenthood is watching my sweet little boy learn new things every day.
The most difficult part of parenthood is not over-thinking or questioning all of the decisions we make. There’s not enough time in the day to enjoy life and feel guilty.
The funniest part of parenthood is not cracking up when your 2 year old does “naughty” things that are actually hilarious.
My greatest hope for my children is that they will be happy and accomplish all of the things that they want from life.
My mom is my inspiration as a mom, because she is the most amazing woman ever.
I try to set aside at least 2 hours per week as “me time”. I spend this time doing whatever I want, mostly reading books and/or catching up on my favorite TV programs.
Favorite book about pregnancy or child birth: My favorite baby name book by far is Baby Name Wizard.
Favorite book about parenting: Baby 411—it’s a medical book, but it helped me trouble shoot a fair amount of issues with my first born and helped me feel like a more confident mom.
Favorite movie about motherhood or parenting: Parent Trap
Favorite children’s book: Brown Bear by Eric Carle
Favorite children’s movie: The Lion King
Favorite clothing item when I was pregnant: Leggings and dresses—they feel like you’re wearing sweats, but look appropriate for work!