Women who make it work: Margeaux Egorova

Out of all the people I still keep up with after college, I think Margeaux Egorova has one of the most unique jobs I’ve come across.

She is an education coordinator for the Business Enterprise Program for the blind. She teaches men and women who are blind how to run food and convenience establishments and Troop dining in government buildings.

“After they finish their training, I provide continuing education to keep them current with business trends and maintain a competitive edge within a tight market, she says.”

me-2 Margeaux and I met in the Dance and Choreography program at VCU. I switched my major and lost touch with some of the dancers after graduation, but one day on maternity leave I was wandering around Target like a sleepless zombie with a baby strapped to my chest and we bumped into each other. Now we’re in the same moms group, our girls play together and she still teaches dance. (I’ve taken her class and it’s awesome!)

I think all dancers struggle with body image at some point in their lifetime and now that I have a daughter, I know my perspective has changed. I was curious to find out how Margeaux felt now that she’s a mommy and a dance teacher. Read on, we get there about halfway through the interview.

What’s the best thing about being a mom?
It’s hard to pin point one since I couldn’t think of my life any differently and wouldn’t want to. But if I absolutely have to pick one it would be the cuddles that turn into sleeping moments. Those moments fill my heart up and then some!

What tips do you have for working moms?
As I have had to move away from a sitter that is one-on-one with my daughter and enter the realm of daycare I wished someone had some sort of guidance on how to cope with that transition; not just for my daughter but for me too. So this is what I did:
1.  Do a play time 30 mins to an hour at the facility beforehand.
2.  Make a special breakfast the day of and really go over the top excited for your child (more so when they are toddler) that they are a big kid starting school.
3.  Brace yourself for not only your little one’s cries but your own.
4.  Know that it is what is best and you can always call or visit the location on breaks (some places have live web streaming).
5.  And most importantly: at drop off DO NOT LINGER, it made it worse for both of us.

What are your career aspirations?
Goodness, well I am actually adjusting to a career change now. There is no corporate ladder in my field since it’s government/public service, but my main goal is to make the public program a thriving one and a poster child for the other state agencies.

Sr. Proj. Fall '07 049You’re also a dance teacher. How do you balance that calling with you career and family?
Luckily I work at a studio with a director who is flexible on the times and amount I work. So to get back in the swing of things I only took on two days after rush hour. On my tight day I have to pick up my daughter then head straight to the studio. My daughter loves to watch the “big girls” do ballet as mommy preps for class and for papa to pick her up. I am also very lucky to have a husband who splits the responsibilities with me. Since I’m expecting my second child, I’ve recently decided to take a sabbatical until my baby is born.

light danceDancers put a lot of pressure on themselves to have a “perfect body”. Now that you’re a mother, what do you want your daughter to know about body image?
So as much as I always wanted the “perfect body” I knew with my genes that would never happen. I realized at puberty that I would never be a professional ballerina and that was ok since that wasn’t the only form of dance I could do. But I will take the same approach as my mother did. I remember her saying, “the moment that you start making unhealthy choices is the moment that you need a break from that environment.” I held that near and dear since eating disorders are common and I even saw two friends of mine when I was younger go through the pain. My mother never sheltered me from the ugly parts of such a beautiful thing. She was always honest.

What’s in your purse/bag?
Well, my husband calls my purse “the universe” since it contains everything and things tend to get lost in such a questionably small space. But currently I have: my personal phone, work phone, crackers, bobby pins, hair tie, my hand cream, keys, wallet, pen, Colgate wisps, lip serum, my FitBit charger, and apparently a hotel key I forgot to turn in after a conference in DC last week.

What do you think the biggest challenge is that working moms face?
Mommy guilt. I don’t think there will be anything that can change that since it is imprinted in us, and that is fine because that is what makes us do so well as a moms.

Who is your role model?
Tina Fey. Silly I know, but she is a strong women who has built a huge brand AND she is a mother. She also knows how to take on life to embrace it, to go with the ups and downs. She truly “makes it work.”

apples with papaHow do you “make it work”?
Planning. I embrace our family calendar app Cozi up the wazoo! I have to even plan my cleaning throughout the week to make sure I don’t neglect it! But most importantly my husband; he really makes it so I can be me and helps take on the responsibility more than I have ever known a father to do. He is my secret weapon in parenting.