How many kids do you each have and what are their ages?
I have a 7-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter.
What are your favorite family activities on the CT Shoreline?
Our ideal family day would probably start with a hike (Neck River and Chatfield Hollow are two favorites), followed by a visit to RJ Julia and some time at the beach, and end with dinner at Gargano and ice cream at Ashley’s.
What do you love about living on the CT Shoreline?
So many things! I’m originally from the Midwest, and the people here are open and friendly in a way that feels very familiar. Plus, the natural beauty can’t be beat.
Tell us about your company, Jessica Wilen Coaching.
I offer executive coaching services to high-achieving working parents who care about building a meaningful career and being an involved parent. These two priorities are often framed as competitors, but they don’t have to be. I also write a weekly newsletter focused on working parenthood called A Cup of Ambition—you can subscribe for free here!
What is the inspiration behind your business?
I have training in both developmental and organizational psychology, but it wasn’t until I became a mom that I realized how much these two fields have in common. At its heart, leadership is about influencing people towards a common goal, which means that working parents are constantly leading! Many of the same competencies that make a great parent also make a great leader. I believe that cultivating these transferable behaviors and skills makes us better in both domains.
What is your #1 tip for parents looking to achieve their maximum effectiveness at home and at work?
Get clear on your core values. You will be presented with many tough situations at work and in parenting, but you will never regret making decisions that feel authentic to who you are and who you want to be.
How do you juggle work and mommyhood?
I do my best to set boundaries, which can be hard as an entrepreneur. I’ve gotten better at this with time and intention. For example, I avoid sending emails in the evenings to be more focused and present with my family.
On a practical level, I try to delegate what I can. My husband does all the grocery shopping and cooking, we hire cleaners to help with the house, and I empower my kids to help out and be self-sufficient. My son is old enough to pack his own lunch and backpack—it’s one less thing off my plate and it fosters his independence. Double win!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
Perfection isn’t just unattainable, it’s also undesirable. We tell our kids it’s ok to make mistakes and encourage them to take a growth mindset, but we don’t always extend the same grace to ourselves. You’re doing your kids a favor if don’t model perfectionism.