“None of us are expected to be Super Mom”

Q&A with Crystal Sullivan

If you don’t start every morning by reading theSkimm to face the day armed with the world’s top news stories, you’re missing out big time.

Earlier this summer I had the amazing opportunity to travel to New York City and meet the team behind the popular e-mail newsletter. Not only was I encouraged to ask questions while at SkimmHQ, but my own opinions and interests were equally solicited.

When I shared my passion for working moms with the founders, I was introduced to Crystal Sullivan. She’s a savvy go-getter with seemingly endless energy and good ideas. Moreover, as the first working mom to join the team, she’s laying the groundwork for a healthy work/life balance at HQ.

Self-promo time. What do you do?

I am the HBIC-Revenue at theSkimm…no seriously, I am Head of Media Revenue which means that I lead our Sponsor & Partnership sales team and identify new forms of revenue. I get to work with some of the smartest and most creative people and wake up every day excited to do it.

What’s something about theSkimm HQ that most people don’t know?

Most are surprised to find that we have a mix of both men and women working at the company.  We also have 3 people at HQ that are color blind and one is a running historian {it’s real, I promise}.

Tell me about a challenge at work. What did you do to overcome it?

I have pretty strict hours with my kids’ schedules that doesn’t always allow me to stay and finish things at HQ late into the evening. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day. That led to me having a never-ending workday and we all know that can lead to burnout. I decided that when I came home, my phone would go into a place that wasn’t easily accessible for 2 hours. I announced it to my family to hold me accountable and my team so they weren’t hunting me down. That allowed me to mentally download, cook dinner, spend time with my family and once that was done, I would jump back online and “finish” my day.

That takes some serious self-discipline! What is a typical day like for you?

I wake up at 5:00am and head to SoulCycle for the 5:45am rooster ride. My closest girlfriends {also working moms} and I all meet there-usually still yawning and wiping our eyes. We emerge happy and inspired and ready to face the day. I go home, shower and make lunches for school or camp, pack bags and pick out clothes before getting the kiddos up and ready to face their day. After drop-off at 8:30am, I head to NYC from NJ. My commute door to door is about 1 hour and 20 mins. I arrive at Skimm HQ, where I am literally greeted with the biggest smiles {this is no joke—everyone is SO happy}.

After a full day of leading, mentoring, learning, sharing & skimming I start my commute back home at 5pm. I arrive home around 6:30pm and am greeted at the door with hugs and 101 questions, as well as all of the saved up little facts about what they did all day that they have been dying to tell me. We cook dinner, shower and relax as a family before I tuck them in around 9. I’m then back on my laptop responding to emails, and finishing out my day before I finally hit the pillow at 11 telling my husband I love him and counting down the days until the weekend where I can “sort of” sleep in.

I’m exhausted for you. What keeps you sane?

SoulCycle and therapy {seriously!}. There is nothing I feel I can’t tackle after walking out of either.

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You previously worked in the world of sports. What did you learn about yourself being in a male dominated industry?

Most people automatically assumed that I was just a “sales” woman and didn’t know much about the sport itself. Totally untrue and it helped me build unbelievable relationships that led to long-term partnerships. Women are extremely successful in the sports world, because there aren’t many of us and the ones that are there are incredibly passionate.

Have your professional goals changed since becoming a mom?

Honestly, my professional goals haven’t changed, which is something I love to share with anyone that will listen. I have never felt like I sacrificed a position or desired career path as a result of becoming a mom. Additionally, I don’t let myself feel like I am letting my children down by not being with them all day, every day. I admire and respect any woman who chooses the career path of being a stay at home mom. It’s a hard job that I’m fairly certain I would not be able to handle, for so many reasons. I’ve been clear with all of my employers that while I am fully dedicated to my role, my children are my priority and I have been supported 100%. I want to pave the way for all future moms behind me…we can do both.

Finish this sentence. Before I had kids, I wish someone had told me…

…to enjoy every second of not “worrying.” It doesn’t matter where my kids are, who they are with or what they are doing, I think of them and their happiness and safety all day. I mean that in a healthy way, not a helicopter mom way. There is no carefree,”I have no other little humans to think of.” But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I also think about myself very differently. Being my healthiest physically and emotionally is important to me in general, but knowing I want to be around to see my great-great-great grandkids motivates me even more!

They say it takes a village. Who helps you with your kiddos?

My husband is my number one supporter and a very involved dad. However, because we both have demanding careers we have a live-out nanny. She has been part of our family for 6 years and our kids adore her. She literally runs our house every hour that we are not there during the week. I also have my parents who drop everything to be with their grandchildren {huge plus}. We live in a very socially active community with amazing moms and dads so everyone helps everyone with carpools and sports, etc. It’s awesome!

What’s your best piece of advice for working moms?

PLAN AHEAD. I’m terrible at this, especially with meal prep and grocery shopping. But when I actually do it, it makes a world of a difference. Also, having a network of people around you and your kids that you all feel comfortable with is so important. None of us are expected to be Super Mom…it’s ok to ask for help. Also, create a ritual for yourself either when you first get home or after the kids go to bed that you look forward to. I LOVE to shower and use fancy products. It’s a great way to treat myself after a long day.

I’m on a quest to having it all. Do you think you have it all?

I do. And it’s not perfect for everyone…but to me, it’s all I could ask for. I’m married to my best friend {we fight and annoy each other like every couple}, my kids are healthy and I really love my job and the career path I’ve chosen. I have a home, not just a house, and my family and girlfriends are a part of my foundation. I’m fortunate. And I know it and appreciate it every day.

Want to be interviewed for #workingmomwednesday? Contact me to find out how.

5 Replies to ““None of us are expected to be Super Mom””

  1. OMG !!!…The ultimate human female !….I’m sure soooo many women want to be like her !…..And what man wouldn’t want to have her for a mate !?….I have just one question….What church does she attend ? B –

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