Q&A with Babies4Babies founder, Kate Marie Sigfusson
Kate Marie Sigfusson is the #startupmom behind Babies4Babies, the baby brand on a mission to save one million newborn lives. She's winging it everyday, both in entrepreneurship and motherhood, and she is loving this aspect of life. Her squad includes one tall husband, one spirited toddler and a tiny baby who will be joining their family early this summer. Follow her daily #startupmom story on Instagram @babies4babies.
Learn more about this amazing mama below in our exclusive Q&A with Kate. Plus, shop her #momstyle on sale this week only!
Mix ‘n match day to day tops/bottoms
Billie t-shirt - white
Split back tee - arctic blue
High-rise denim shorts
High-rise skinny denim
Bought this pre-maternity and still going strong at 22 weeks pregnant
Piper chambray tencel jumpsuit
Rhoads jumpsuit curly lace
Novelty stripe ruffle top
Obsessed with this -- a postpartum must have
Hello baby bag
Across industries and levels of income, a bigger indicator of inequality than gender is motherhood. A single, childless woman is paid almost the same as a man, but a mother is paid 20 cents less. What. The. Hell.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos was an honor but it was also an eye opening experience that showed me how far we still have to go to reach gender equality in the workplace. At this rate, we won’t get there for another 118 years. The good news, there is a lot of talk about how to keep women in the workplace, an economic necessity for our country because we miss out on 12 trillion GPD dollars every year by forcing women to opt out. The bad news, while we know when and why women are being pushed out and off of their career tracks, outside of the mom club, it’s taboo to discuss exactly what makes being a mother in the traditional workplace so damn hard. Women in lesser earning jobs can’t out earn the cost of childcare and the women heading for the top get stuck breastfeeding on airport bathroom floors, leaking through their shirts in classrooms and board rooms and asked by coworkers “how was your vacation?” after a traumatic C-section birth and six-weeks unpaid maternity leave with a sleepless newborn.
There is an amazing groundswell for federally mandated parental leave, something every country in the world has minus the United States and Papua New Guinea, but we also need to talk about creating a culture that values caregivers, breastfeeding and the incredibly important role of being a parent.
We also must include men in the conversation because they are not reading the mommy blogs and they need to know why we need to pump while we’re away from our babies and what our bodies must do to recover from pregnancy and birth. And more than anything, both men and women have to face the fact that women simply cannot lean in during new motherhood without something to lean on. And that’s okay.
Being a #startupmom, an entrepreneur who’s constantly trying new things to create a workplace that supports my role as a mother, is an incredible opportunity to test out what might work for other workplaces. I hope that all startups will use their naturally agile workplace cultures to test and share new best practices for supporting parents (and caregivers in general). Call me ambitious, but I am certain we can get everyone to join the conversation to create a workplace that reflects the year 2016, supports mothers to stay and thrive in their professional roles, and gets us to gender parity in less than 118 years.
My iPhone, patience and the bare toddler essentials because we are city people and I hate feeling like my kid’s sherpa. Also, Instacart.
I’m currently living and working in LA for a few months, but home base is Chicago. We’re soaking up the California sunshine and beach bike rides but are really excited to move back to Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood later this spring. We love the energy, diversity and possibility of living in the heart of the city.
I am not a morning person, but family snuggles make our crack of dawn wake ups something I actually look forward to. I do a quick email triage, check what’s coming up on my calendar, get an overview of orders and do the normal getting ready for the day stuff. Then my son goes into an hour of daycare and I hit the gym. It’s my unbreakable me time and I rarely schedule anything that conflicts with it for the sake of my health and sanity. I spend the rest of the morning with my son, but when he goes down for his noon nap I hit the laptop and get cranking. I have a babysitter who takes over afternoons so I can dedicate myself to work. We try to do family time in the evenings but my laptop is always out after my son’s bedtime (sometimes before, too) and depending on what’s pressing, I may or may not make it to bed at a reasonable hour. This second pregnancy has been great in that it forces me to prioritize sleep a bit more, I am a firm believer in the power of a good night’s sleep but it’s hard for me to make it happen with so much on my plate. (You know the feeling.)
There is no such thing as balance. If you strive for balance there will always be something pulling you here or there and you’ll feel like you’ve failed because, let’s face it, the life of a working parent is wobbly. So instead of balance, I focus on finding a work-life-personhood flow that works for me at whatever stage I’m in. Sometimes my son needs more of me, sometimes I have 10 things I have to get done for Babies4Babies, sometimes I really need to chill out and watch a movie with my husband. My goal is to seek that flow and live my best life, day to day.
It makes me think of an older, wiser mother, like someone I hope to be in twenty or thirty years. I’m totally not there yet, but I feel like the beginning of being motherly is that primal instinct to protect your babies. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my son.
business owner: ambitious
What helps you sleep: Keeping up with my toddler all day.
Cravings: I just want to eat moooore.
Babymoon / Vacation spot: Any place with a beach and a masseuse.
Push present wish: I am the more financially prudent spouse, so I tell my husband I don’t want a push present (but if you could call him and tell him that I’m lying that would be great. The answer is always diamonds.).
Children’s Brands – what are you buying for baby #2: Between owning a baby brand, having a 22 month old and being a minimalist, I honestly do think we need anything. Maybe a three-bedroom place, although a two-bedroom with a walk in closet big enough to turn into a tiny nursery could totally work for us.
Um, everything? But I suppose the steep learning curve of becoming a first time parent is like an initiation; once you get through those early weeks and kind of know what you’re doing, it feels really good.
Do well, but first do good