With Mother’s Day in just a few days, we wanted to take a minute to honor all the working moms out there. Being a mom is a full-time job in itself, but then working full-time in the office as well, it can be very exhausting. Moms can often be seen as a superhero in their children’s eyes and the glue that holds the whole family together. How do they do it? That will always be the big question!
You may also be asking yourself, what does this have to do with interior design? Well, sometimes being a mom in the workplace is not always the easiest thing in the world if the space is not designed to accommodate their needs. Below are some ways to help make life as a mother a little bit easier – whether they are in the season of being pregnant, fresh off maternity leave, surviving the terrible two’s, balancing school and sports schedules, or experiencing the dreaded teenage years. Let’s help these sweet mamas out!
1) A Mother’s Room
First and foremost, they need a mother’s room! Returning fresh from maternity leave, mamas already have enough stress on their plate. They are worried about how their baby is doing during the day without them, let alone digging out of their email and trying to get caught up on the projects they may have missed. Mothers should not have to worry about where they can safely and securely pump. A mother’s room provides just that. A room completely dedicated to mothers that usually contain a comfortable chair with a side table, a sink, a mini fridge, and sometimes locker storage so they do not have to carry their pump supplies throughout the office every time. This can help make mothers feel more comfortable and less awkward about it in the workplace.
2) Coffee Bar
Let’s face it, lots of moms out there rely on coffee or teas to help get them through their day! When designing spaces, it can be nice to sprinkle in a coffee bar station or two throughout your space outside of the breakroom. This creates less of a cluster in the breakroom and easier access for all.
A new trend we are starting to see is name-brand coffee kiosks in the common areas of office buildings. This would be a shared amenity for all tenants to be able to enjoy.
3) Fitness Rooms and Walking Trails
Not only do mamas have to juggle being a full-time mom and full-time employee, they also have to try and find time to take care of their own health. Having a fitness center in your building can be so accommodating. This would allow busy moms to work out over their lunch hour because if we are being honest, working out at home does not always happen. If the baby doesn’t sleep through the night, it’s hard to get up in the morning. If the kids have practice or other school activities at night, it is hard to squeeze in a workout at night. Having a full lunch hour to herself to work out can be the peaceful, stress reliever a mother needs to help her finish the day!
While getting up and moving throughout the day is important for everyone, it is especially important for pregnant women. Having walking trails or sidewalks near your office building, can help these mothers-to-be get the steps in throughout the day to stay healthy. Treadmills in the fitness room can also be a nice substitute in the winter months or when the weather is not so nice.
4) Corporate Kitchen
Another common struggle that mothers face is time. There is never enough time in a day, especially in the mornings. It seems to never fail that the mornings you accidentally sleep through your alarm is the same day your kiddos do not want to get out of bed or get ready, and your husband has to go in early for a meeting. You are suddenly faced with the realization that you don’t have time to pack yourself anything for lunch, in order to get the kids dropped off on time. This is where having a corporate kitchen as an amenity can come in handy. Corporate kitchens are a place for grab-and-go style foods. They have a good mix of healthy vs comfort foods – both dry and refrigerated. They also come with card payment kiosks, so no need to worry about having to carry around cash.
5) Focus Rooms & Wellness Rooms
It can be very easy to feel overwhelmed throughout your day, especially if you have a lot of work that you need get done with pressing timelines. Focus rooms can be a great amenity for some heads down, distraction free work! If you are someone who sits in a cubicle in an open office, distractions can sometimes be every where and you don’t have the luxury of closing your office door. Focus rooms can help bridge that gap and allow you to be in total concentration mode.
Focus rooms can be a good alternative for mamas-to-be on their bad morning sickness days. This can be a temporary workspace for moms who cannot handle the odors of a co-workers lunch over the lunch hour.
Wellness Rooms can sometimes overlap as mother’s rooms. These are rooms with comfortable seating and can serve as rooms for a mental rest. They can give you a moment of quiet if a migraine or headache may come on quickly, or if a mother is dealing with nausea and needs to be away from their desk. Being pregnant is hard work and can be exhausting, especially if you are having to get up and go to work every day. Having a specific room to take a few minutes to rest can go a long way and make for a better day!
*Westfield Campus. West Des Moines, IA. Designed by Alissa Nelson – Design Manager – SPARK Design.
At the end of a long day, make sure to thank the working mom in your life! If you are the working mama in your life, remember to give yourself some grace! We are all trying to do the best we can, hold it all together, and enjoy this thing we call life!
Make sure to say thank you to your mother and all the other special women in your life! Happy Mother’s Day from everyone at SPARK Design!