To all the working moms out there, I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day! Before I was a mom, I used to pooh-pooh the holiday, saying it was just a consumerist idea. But now that I’m a mom (to Caroline, 14 and Christopher, 13), I really embrace the holiday. I mean, moms should be celebrated for all they do, right?

On Mother’s Day this year (while I was eating breakfast in bed prepared by the kiddos), I had the chance to reflect on the words of a few “outstanding mothers” I heard speak at the 40th Annual Outstanding Mother Awards, held at the Pierre Hotel in New York City on May 11. The event was hosted by the National Mother’s Day Committee, a part of the National Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council, Inc., which is  a not-for-profit organization that channels funds raised by its annual awards luncheons to help philanthropies dealing with issues affecting mothers, fathers and children. To date, the National Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council has donated over $30 million to deserving family-related charities nationwide.

This year the committee honored Chelsea Clinton, Jessica Simpson, Jan Singer and Artemis Patrick, who were all  recognized for balancing successful careers with the demands of motherhood. This year’s honorees shared insights on mastering a healthy balance between work and family, and what helped them to achieve their successes. Here are some of their thoughts:

Artemis Patrick, Chief Merchandising Officer, Sephora
“Always stick by your word. If I make a commitment to be there for an important event, I will not break that commitment to my daughter. And the same goes with work and my professional life. It’s important that my daughter sees that I may not always be able to be everywhere I want or am needed, but what’s most important is that I’m up front about that and then I stick to commitments.”

Jan Singer, Chief Executive Officer, Victoria’s Secret
Accepting the fact that there’s no perfect definition of balance is very freeing. As much as we all want the magic solution, I’m often reminded by those I admire that it’s much more about agility. The willingness to adapt to the situation, the moment and sometimes even the minute is what matters most. Having it all is possible; it just may not be that we have it all at the same time!”

Jessica Simpson, Entertainer; Founder and CEO, Jessica Simpson Collection
“One thing I’ve done that I know is non-traditional is always mix business and family. I’d rather have the people I love around me all the time. We share in our mutual successes, and we help each other through any bumps in the road with complete trust. And in the end, the relationships are what’s most important. I hope I can teach that to my children.” 

Inspiring, right? I would love to hear from you on this topic. How did you celebrate Mother’s Day? Please let me know by sending an email to me at


Melissa Campanelli
Women in Retail Leadership Circle