Christine Michel Carter: A "Working Mom Who's Changing the World"
To say we were thrilled to talk with Christine Michel Carter might be a bit of an understatement.
Christine knows what it’s like to battle ageism, racism, and sexism in the workplace. She knows what it’s like to work long hours, lead teams without management titles, and get paid less than male colleagues. She even knows what it’s like to interview while pregnant and pump in a bathroom stall.
It’s unfair, and it needs to stop.
Christine gets revenge as a protector and fighter for ignored women. She works to advance policies on a range of issues that affect families and women in mental and emotional health spaces.
She is an advisory board member of Mom Congress and received a Congressional Citation from the U.S. Senate for going “above and beyond in ensuring that Black Moms and Moms of Color have access to important health information for their children and families.”
Because of her bold, disruptive delivery, Christine’s been called the “mother of LinkedIn” by the New York Post. She’s also been named a “career doula,” a “working mom who’s changing the world,” an “inspiring black mom to follow,” a “mom on the move,” an “inspiring, empowering millennial mother,” and the “voice of millennial moms.”
Get to know Christine and learn about her journey to motherhood in today's Matrescence blog post.
Christine, you have been called – among many other amazing monikers – a “working mom who’s changing the world” – WHOA! Can you tell us a bit about the current season you’re in? What was your path here?
Christine: WHOA indeed!🤣 I’m honored that the things I care about- as simple as they are to me- are that impactful. I just pray that moniker is meant to be a good thing! 🤣Without a doubt, my current season is about embracing slow living. Slowing down and remembering I will only be under the same roof as both my kids (God willing) for another 7 years or so. That’s not a long time. Slowing down and remembering that there are 32.5 million businesses in the United States; I don’t have to work so hard to prove myself at one company. I can always go to another if I feel unappreciated. Slowing down and remembering who I was before boys came into my life. I love that you asked what path that lead me here, because before, I was actively focused on growth. I was straining myself looking at the path ahead. Now I’m looking at everything that’s in my peripheral vision. I’m relaxed- softly focusing while moving down the path.
The term “matrescence” refers to the motherhood journey and the process of becoming a mother. Can you tell us about your journey to motherhood? What did you learn about yourself during pregnancy?
Christine: My journey to motherhood was rocky to say the least. With my first child, I experienced contractions for four days before I was admitted to the hospital, diagnosed with preeclampsia, and delivered a two-pound baby at 31 weeks. I learned nothing about myself during pregnancy; everything I learned about myself (my anxiety, the expectations I hold myself and others to) came after I gave birth. In fact, the most important lesson I learned was after my daughter was admitted to the NICU. I didn’t want to see her because I didn’t want to become attached to her, and then learn that she passed away. But my aunt made me see her because she wanted me to bond with her, and I did. When she laid on my chest we immediately remembered each other as home, and our bond strengthened. We fell in love.
Tell us about the fourth trimester and how you first acclimated to being a mama. How did you change, and how do you continue to change as your children get older?
Christine: The fourth trimester is the HARDEST, I don’t care what anyone says. The first three trimesters are all about protecting the baby; but the fourth trimester is when you should be protecting yourself. No one tells new moms that. It’s when you learn the most about yourself, and it’s when I really did the work to accept myself as an anxious woman. I initially tried to hide it, because no one was discussing postpartum anxiety with me. As my daughter got older, and when my son was born, I embraced the anxiety. It’s completely normal, and is only a bad thing if I let it be my driving force.
What are your greatest hopes for the platform you’ve built? What kind of mark do you want to make?
Christine: If my platform is about inspiring something in women, my only hope is that every woman embraces herself as she is. That she doesn’t need to have a certain car or job or be “the wife of” or “the mother of” to be completely beautiful, flawed, whole, and worthy. Unfortunately it’s a lesson we women learn way too late in life. If women can realize that through my writing, be it in my books, articles, or even the through the professional or advocacy support I give, then I’ve done what I set out to do.
Some of our most read content is focused on how moms DO IT ALL! How do you juggle it all? How do you manage your career, creating content, mothering, being present for your friends/family, and everything else that life throws at us?
Christine: I don’t juggle it all, you can literally Google what I say all the time which is “the only way a woman can have it ALL is to go to the grocery store and buy a bottle of ALL detergent. And good luck even getting that s*** right now.” I suppose I now understand how I’ll suck or completely forget one of those things you mentioned in any given moment, in order to kick ass at one in that very same moment.
We of course have to talk skincare. Tell us about your daily skincare routine as a busy mama. What products do you use regularly? How do you evaluate and make skincare purchases? What is your all-time favorite skincare splurge?
Christine: Oh my goodness I should not be talking skincare but here I am! I have the driest skin in some places and the oilest skin in others. Some days my skin care routine consists of running in a bathroom stall and grabbing toilet seat covers to wipe the oil off my face. I’m that delicate of a lady.🤣 As I get older though I DEFINITELY make a more conscious effort to take care of my skin, using Black soap and astringent and a tinted moisturizer. I’m still working on making smart skincare decisions, I mostly rely on my cousin to tell me what to buy! I’m learning the old witches all look wrinkly because their skin dried out… who knew? So I’m trying to keep my skin moisturized. My all-time favorite skincare splurge is actually foundation- if I’m gonna slather the equivalent of cake frosting on my face it better not make the skin underneath look worse than it did before I put it on.
And now some fun stuff! Tell us:
Coffee or tea? Coffee.
Favorite cake flavor? Rum.🤣
Ladies' Night Out or Ladies’ Night In? Ladies' Night Out! Them kids can’t ear hustle on my convos that way.
What advice would you give your young self? Boys are the worst. No seriously Chrissy, they don’t matter. Ignore them. Expect for the one that will give you your two biggest blessings walking this Earth. Every other one, forget about them.
You have one completely uninterrupted afternoon – no partner, no children, no work. What do you do? I lay in bed eating apple pie a la mode and watch The Office or Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Three things you can’t leave the house without? Like Adam Sandler rapped: phone, wallet, and keys. I have to sing it to remember every time.
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