In commemoration of Mother’s Day, Ternium presents the stories of three employees that are mothers.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the life of everyone. Since the sanitary emergency started in Mexico in March 2020, hundreds of thousands of families had to follow the preventive measures in order to be safe from this disease. One of them is to stay home.
In that moment, activities like home office and homeschooling became part of the daily life. The family bonds between mothers, children, and fathers, became more present with interactions that couldn’t happen before because of work, school, and home duties. Ternium presents the stories of three employees that are mothers, who share their experiences more than a year after the pandemic.
Claudia Cano, Business Partner Manager
More time for family interaction
For Claudia Cano, Business Partner Manager and mother of a twenty-year-old daughter and an eight-year-old son, this COVID-19 pandemic has not only brought bad things. It is thanks to the sanitary emergency that she has been able to carry out the family activities that were difficult to do before.
“It’s true that we had to get used to this new form of work, but now I can do things that were more difficult to organize in the past. For example, eating with all my family is something that we can now do more frequently every week,” Claudia explained.
To find the perfect balance between her role as a mother and her job, Claudia realized that she had to do two main things: focus on one thing at a time and trust her ‘support network’.
“The key is to enjoy the here and now. If I’m in a work meeting, I’m 100% focused on that meeting. If I’m helping my son with his homework, I’m completely focused on that, not checking emails on my cellphone. The key is to focus and pay attention.”
On the other hand, Claudia noticed that sometimes she puts too much pressure on herself. For that reason, she sometimes has to rely on her ‘support network’, so she won’t forsake her family nor her job. She knows she can trust her ‘support network’ in situations where she has to be absent.
“In my case, this ‘support network' is mainly made up of my husband, who I totally rely on; but in past times, when my children were younger, my sisters, my mother, my mother-in-law, and my friends helped me out. At work, my ‘support network’ is the great team I know I can trust,” she said.
One of the challenges in this COVID-19 pandemic is to present an optimistic scenery to her younger son since bad news is everywhere and information is now accessible to everyone, thanks to social networks and the internet.
“You can’t keep them in a bubble, saying that everything is fine, that things are not what they seem. You have to talk to them about it, depending on their age. We have to tell them that this is a worldwide situation, that there is nothing to be scared of, show them that things are not as bad as they seem. Try to give them the good news about the vaccines or the decrease in cases.”
María Eugenia Chávez, Engineer of the Energy Efficiency team.
The path to work-family balance
“Having a newborn baby requires a lot of caring and attention. It can be even more challenging if you are working from home,” said María Eugenia Chávez, Engineer of the Energy Efficiency team.
This is where communication with her partner has been fundamental for the care of her daughter, who is one year old. “It is a matter of organization and collaboration. It is about coming home in the afternoon and deciding who will take care of the baby and who will make dinner. The activities are 50-50. I make dinner, you do the dishes while I take care of the baby. That’s how we handle things,” she mentioned.
“Having a baby during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for any family since most people are working from home. Finding the right balance between work and family has been complicated,” María confessed.
“There was another hero, my mother, who helped us in this case. Personally, she helps me with the baby, since I’m in meetings all the time and it becomes complicated. At the same time, my bond with my mother strengthened more.”
“My husband and I try to balance everything. We are learning a lot, we know that we have to be responsible for everything, at home and at work. These months have been about the organization and prioritizing.”
During her pregnancy, María joined Ternium’s Maternity Mentoring program, which helps women in their process to become mothers and to find their right balance between both roles, which was very important to her.
“It gives you the tools to not feel like you are forsaking your job. Your role as a mother and as an employee is important. It teaches you what you should know about maternity leave, and how to reintegrate into the company. It was really good, as it helped out with all the stress due to the pandemic. It gives you a clear direction,” she emphasized.
Diana Montealegre, Hygienist in Ternium
The importance of constant communication
“Constant communication is the key for a successful marriage and for raising a baby,” said Dr. Diana Montealegre, Hygienist in Ternium and mother of a one-year-old baby.
“Having a baby is complicated, it requires a lot of commitment, love, and above all, communication with your partner. We have to value what we both do for our family and our home, that is fundamental for keeping things working,” she highlighted.
That communication allows them to have an accurate organization and to accomplish and give results in their jobs, it even helped Diana to study a degree alongside her other activities.
“This year has been difficult, but not impossible, since I completed another master's degree. I was studying online, working, and being a mother. I had to learn to organize myself better and to enjoy each moment with my baby and family,” she commented.
“We have to know how to make use of our time, that is the way I have done it, live my life with commitment, love, and dedication.”
This coronavirus pandemic may have represented a challenge for her family, but Diana said that any challenge can be overcome through the help of her partner and her mother, who has been a great support in her life.
“The COVID-19 came to change our lives, but I know that if we help and love each other, we can overcome anything. In the end, the most important thing is to learn how to organize, take care of us, and above all, being united.”