Happy June and Happy Pride Month, Moms! This month we're spotlighting local mom and executive chef, Robin Cwiklinski-Kertscher! Get to know Robin in our exclusive interview below!
Please tell us a little bit about you and your family.
I am an executive chef and have three kids- Dyllan (10), Liam (9) and Payge (8). I am the youngest of 5 children and was raised by a strong single mother. We were taught to be appreciative of what we had and do our part to help out those less fortunate. My mother was a strong role model and taught us that hard work is how you achieve success in life. I teach my kids the same lessons and when they say they cannot do something, I always tell them “never say I can’t, always say I will try”!
What is the best part about being connected with Working Moms of Milwaukee?
Hearing stories from other women and finding resources to enrich my family. It feels really nice to know that I am not alone and that there is someone that is experiencing motherhood like me. Working Moms of Milwaukee has really given working moms a platform to express themselves without being shamed and it gives a spotlight on how women can be both a working professional and still have a family life that is rich and fulfilled.
How has Corona Virus impacted your life?
Covid-19 has put a damper on my emotional outlet. Sometimes we all need to get away and just take time for ourselves. While I am still working full time, at this point my only alone time is grocery shopping! The major impact it has had has been on my kids. As adults, we can express ourselves but our children are slightly struggling with this new way of life. Between homeschooling and lack of socializing our kids are going through their own personal challenges. I just try to be as supportive as possible.
Explain/describe one of your proudest mom moments recently.
My son loves to read but cannot go to the local library. I have a friend that has bought him books, he wanted to collect the books he reads and donate them to other kids. It’s his way of paying it forward. It really made me feel like I was raising a strong, caring person! Another moment was when my daughter told me she is proud to have two moms and it makes her feel unique and special that she was chosen to have two moms. My wife and I often worried about how our kids would be treated having two moms but have realized as long as we show our kids how much we love them and support them, it takes the worry out of the equation.
My wife and I often worried about how our kids would be treated having two moms but have realized as long as we show our kids how much we love them and support them, it takes the worry out of the equation.
What's the hardest part of being a working mom?
Working in the Service/Hospitality Industry, the hardest part was working so much and missing my kids growing up. Luckily, I found a job that allows me to have a great work/life balance.
Do you have a favorite place to go in Milwaukee?
I have a few places I love to go in Milwaukee. My favorite place to go rather alone or with the family is Klode Park in Whitefish Bay. It has one if both the best Sunrises and Sunsets. You can exercise, find a bench and read or play on the beach with the kids. Another great place is Seven Bridges Trail in Grant Park. I feel in love with Seven bridges while on the Cross Country team in high school. It’s the epitome of being in the middle of nature!
Do you have any words of advice for other working moms, especially those that are newer working moms and learning how to navigate this new world?
My advice would be to not overthink or second guess yourself, give yourself a break once and awhile and to ask for help when needed. We are not alone and if we ask for help it does not show weakness is shows your strength. Cherish each moment with your kids, they grow up so fast.
What (in your opinion) is Milwaukee's biggest opportunity to improve the lives of working moms and better support them?
I think more companies should offer some form of daycare assistance for working moms/parents. Although I am fortunate enough to work from home, not everyone has this luxury. It is really tough when your child is sick and you have to chose between work and childcare. I think if we had more community programs that fit with the schedules of all moms not just 9-5, it would better enrich our communities.
What are you most excited for this summer?
I am most excited about being able to take my kids to the parks. My kids enjoy swimming at Hoyt Park in Wauwatosa, hopefully we will be able to get back to some of the fun things we like to do as a family! I am most excited to just be able to socialize with my friends and family.
What are your plans for Pride this year? Anything special/fun?
We usually go to the Pride Fest one day and the Pride parade on Sunday. Since it has been canceled this year, we are going to do our own parade around our block. Hopefully some of the restrictions will be lifted and we might have a bonfire with a group of our friends.