Tina Fascetti (left) from Guidemark Health; Katie Busse (right) from Medela. Photo credit: Erica Berger

Juggling work and child-rearing isn’t easy. Just ask Guidemark Health’s Tina Fascetti, who worked full-time while raising a son. Here she offers Medela’s Katie Busse advice on being a working mother in healthcare marketing.

Fascetti and Busse took part in MM&M‘s inaugural Young Jurists program, in which five aspiring young professionals were invited to participate in the MM&M Awards judging process. Each was paired with a senior industry counterpart for mentoring. MM&M paired Busse with Fascetti. This Q&A is the first in a series of articles and commentaries exploring different generations in the healthcare marketing workplace. 

Katie Busse: How do you balance a successful career in medical device marketing with being a hands-on mom?

Tina Fascetti: My son is a bit older now but that doesn’t change the fact that throughout every year, he needs just as much time, just a different kind of time.

When he was young, we spent time playing with cars; today we spend time learning to drive a car. When I became a new mother, my approach was to replace my former “down-time” with “child-time.” My co-workers would always ask what I was doing on the weekends and I would reply that I was going to spend as much time with my son as possible. I also realized I had to let go of a load of laundry here, a home-cooked meal there. Having everything perfectly arranged just can’t be the priority anymore.

Busse: That sounds like a balancing act! How do you make time for yourself in between?

Fascetti: That is a tough one, there are never enough hours in the day. I fortunately have an amazing husband who would take over so I could escape to either read, spend time with girlfriends, go to the gym or just do nothing. Some people are fortunate enough to have relatives close to babysit. Making time for you and your partner is extremely important, as well.

Busse: Did you have any parenting challenges along the way?

Fascetti: Bullies. When my son was in seventh grade, he was terrorized by a kid who was a national wrestler. Initially, he bullied him verbally and when it got physical, my son began having severe panic attacks, acid reflux and his confidence plunged from the extreme stress of the situation. Fortunately, it was only a moment in time that got resolved. It was also a dark time for both my husband and I, but we took charge of what we could and all of us are in a great place now.

Busse: On the other hand, what do you consider your biggest success as a working mom?

Fascetti: The very strong bond that I have with my son today. Working mothers have enough guilt, add to that the opinions of others and you begin to doubt yourself. Happily, my son did not feel as though he missed out and somehow we managed to raise a kind, funny, compassionate 17-year old.

Busse: We know success can’t happen alone. Is there anyone you counted on that helped you balance career and family?

Fascetti: Hands down, my husband, Tom. He took on an amazing amount of responsibility in every capacity. We really are a team. We didn’t have family around so he truly is my rock. I also had amazing bosses that trusted me to manage my time and schedule. This business is very deadline-oriented, and figuring out how to juggle comes with the territory.

Busse: How do you measure success as a working mom?

Fascetti: Maintaining some semblance of equal balance between work and life. Also those great weeks where everyone is, for the most part, happy.

Busse: Do you utilize any tools that help you stay connected while you’re working, such as a shared calendar?

Fascetti: Absolutely, a shared calendar is a must. I also recommend getting a Nest video security system. Particularly if your kids are young, and you have a nanny or relative at home watching them, it will provide a connection and a great deal of comfort while you are away. I believe daycare now has them, too. I also nursed my son when he was a baby and found that to be an amazing way to re-bond with my son every day, so you will need a breast pump.

Busse: Those are great tips. Were your employers always supportive of your schedule with your family?

Fascetti: I was lucky enough to be able to balance it all. My employers understood, but I definitely worked full-time. I could not have done it without my husband, though. He was always supportive of my schedule and did his best to make it all work since my job is more demanding than his from a time standpoint.

Busse: Would you have changed anything about your experience that could have made being a working mom more successful for you?

Fascetti: Great question. I didn’t have any kind of video monitoring, so that would have provided a great deal of comfort while I was working.

Busse: As I am about to begin my motherhood journey, do you have any advice?

Fascetti: Even the “best” parents in the world are just winging it. It’s okay not to love every minute of it. Make time for naps; you need it as much rest as your baby does. Lastly, It’s okay to go back to work.

This Q&A has been edited and condensed. 

Tina Fascetti, Guidemark Health’s chief creative officer, has been a working mother for 17 years. She said her son Maro understands and respects women in the workplace, and her career has had a large influence on his life. Maro is an accomplished musician and wants to go on to study sciences in college, so the love of art and science carries on through to the next generation.

Katie Busse is due in January with her first child, a son, with her husband Joe. They reside in Illinois, where Katie manages social media and digital communications for Medela, a medical device company and market leader in breastfeeding products.