“Let them dream. Let them imagine. Don’t be a buzzkill”, with Marnie Nathanson and Dr. Ely Weinschneider

May I quote Paw Patrol? “No job is too big, no pup is too small.” Kids are so innocent, and have grand plans to be artists, musicians, astronauts. Let them dream. Let them imagine. Don’t be a buzzkill. Cheer on the off-tune karaoke, embrace the costumes and chaos, and put the thousands of art projects […]

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May I quote Paw Patrol? “No job is too big, no pup is too small.” Kids are so innocent, and have grand plans to be artists, musicians, astronauts. Let them dream. Let them imagine. Don’t be a buzzkill. Cheer on the off-tune karaoke, embrace the costumes and chaos, and put the thousands of art projects on display.

 I had the pleasure to interview Marnie Nathanson, Founder and Chief Creative Officer at The Social Status Co. She comes with a background in Television Development and Content Creation. With a degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University, Marnie hit the ground running with a career that has checked boxes at exciting opportunities with Sesame Street, Mad Men, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Radio Disney, NBC Olympics, among other productions. The bulk of her career prior to founding The Social Status Co. was at MTV Networks, where she worked in the Programming, Comedy & Animation, Scripted, and Unscripted departments. Marnie bowed out of the corporate world after her first child’s first birthday, and pivoted into “bite-size content creation” helping launch two start ups with their social media and PR. She met her husband online, so the internet basically encompasses her whole life. She can be found near the closest coffee pot with her laptop in hand.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us the “backstory” behind what brought you to this point in your career? Where you were in your career when your child was born/became part of your family?

I was working at MTV Networks when I became a mom in 2013. I had my dream job, helping develop talent and shows with an incredible team. I quickly realized the balance was challenging, and commuting from NJ to NYC was an added stress to this new chapter in my life. I was fortunate that my boss allowed for a flexible schedule, but I was still missing the first year of my daughter’s life and it was taking a toll on my heart.

Did you always want to be a mother? Can you explain?

I think this is probably a good moment to apologize to my brothers for making them play house with me for so long. I was destined to be a mommy.

Did motherhood happen when you thought it would or did it take longer? If it took longer, what advice would you have for another woman in your shoes?

Becoming a mother happened when I had hoped, but I have had plot twists in my parenting journey. I would say to women finding themselves in unexpected situations to listen to your own thoughts and feelings, silence the noise, and lean on your partner.

Can you tell us a bit about what your day-to-day schedule looks like?

We wake up before the sun rises (all hail the mighty toddler!) and play / get ready for school. I usually pack lunches the night before, so I have a bit of time to cram out some pressing work before my husband leaves for work. I also try and squeeze in a workout when the time allows. Once kids are dropped at school it is GO time. My time is limited as I’m still doing drop off / pick up for school. My amazing team meets MWF and we buckle down and hustle hard. After school, I switch to working on my laptop wherever we are — the TV room, the mall, in my car while someone is napping… the on-the-go work lifestyle can be stressful for some, but I try to keep my chaos organized. My husband usually strolls in around 7:30pm where his (amazing and gourmet) dinner is almost done cooking, the kids smell delicious from their bath, and they are ready to play with Daddy. After dinner I really do the hand off and he takes over while I try and clean up my emails. If I’m not already snoring by 9pm, we continue our weekly Netflix binge.

Has being a parent changed your career path? Can you explain?

Absolutely. I was set on being a kickass TV development exec forever. I lived for the moment I’d be getting my nails done and I’d overhear someone talking about MY show. Sadly, it just didn’t work for this chapter. BUT, it gave me an incredible opportunity to use my skills and pivot into something that worked for me. Without becoming a parent, there would be nothing forcing me to really figure out a situation that worked for my long-term goals. I never thought about being a business owner, or having a team, but I’m so grateful for the career path that brought me to The Social Status Co.

Has being a mother made you better at your job? How so?

I think so! Being a mother means I can prioritize, I can multi-task like nobody’s business, and I can gauge how much energy something really needs. Is that really an emergency, or is the person behind the issue putting a fire under it?

What are the biggest challenges you face being a working mom?

Finding time for myself! I can find time for Marnie the mom and Marnie the boss, but Marnie the wife and tired 34 year old workaholic needs some love too. Are moms allowed to go away alone for 24 hours? #askingforafriend.

Are there any meaningful activities or traditions you’ve made up or implemented that have enhanced your time with your family? Can you share a story or example?

We like to watch thunderstorms on beach chairs in our garage… a tradition passed down from my childhood.

We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed and we may feel that we can’t spare the time to be “fully present” with our children. Can you share with our readers some strategies about how we can create more space in our lives in order to give our children more quality attention?

I can’t wait to read all of the answers from other interviews. I would be lying if I said I was a pro at being “fully present.” What does that actually even mean anyway? We have an electronics-free rule at restaurants. The kids aren’t allowed on iPads or phone (obviously if someone is melting down I may cave in from time to time) but if an email comes in that I need to respond to, I do. That’s not cool, mom! I am fully present at bath and bedtime, when I’m visiting their school, at gymnastics class, grocery shopping with them…when the power is out… haha jk! When I’m home and balancing work/mom life it’s nearly impossible. I admire the parents who can make it work.

How do you inspire your child to “dream big”? Can you give an example or story?

May I quote Paw Patrol? “No job is too big, no pup is too small.” Kids are so innocent, and have grand plans to be artists, musicians, astronauts. Let them dream. Let them imagine. Don’t be a buzzkill. Cheer on the off-tune karaoke, embrace the costumes and chaos, and put the thousands of art projects on display.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better parent? Can you explain why you like them?

I love following Scary Mommy and Chrissy Teigen on social. They keep it SO real.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you share or plan to share with your kids?

“Good timber does not grow with ease: the stronger wind, the stronger trees”. — Douglas Malloch

If you could sit down with every new parent and offer life hacks, must-have products or simple advice, what would be on your list?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s no manual on how to raise a child. If you are feeling overwhelmed, confused, and insecure — that’s ok. Acknowledge and respect those feelings. That’s motherhood. It’s different each child. It’s unpredictable. It’s messy and smelly and sticky. It’s fun, it’s silly, it’s the most amazing job in the entire world.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!

About the Author:

Dr. Ely Weinschneider is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist based in New Jersey. Dr. Ely specializes in adolescent and adult psychotherapy, parenting, couples therapy, geriatric therapy, and mood and anxiety disorders. He also has a strong clinical interest in Positive Psychology and Personal Growth and Achievement, and often makes that an integral focus of treatment.

An authority on how to have successful relationships, Dr. Ely has written, lectured and presented nationally to audiences of parents, couples, educators, mental health professionals, clergy, businesses, physicians and healthcare policymakers on subjects such as: effective parenting, raising emotionally intelligent children, motivation, bullying prevention and education, managing loss and grief, spirituality, relationship building, stress management, and developing healthy living habits.

Dr. Ely also writes a regular, nationally syndicated column about the importance of “being present with your children”.

When not busy with all of the above, Dr. Ely works hard at practicing what he preaches, raising his adorable brood (which includes a set of twins and a set of triplets!) together with his wife in Toms River, New Jersey.

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