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#MyPinFlex: Mara Lantz on nurturing a fulfilling career with motherhood and mental health at the forefront

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In this #MyPinFlex edition, Pinterest Senior Content Designer, Mara Lantz, is sharing how joining Pinterest and having a PinFlex work model has given her the opportunity to build a fulfilling career while keeping motherhood and mental health at the forefront. As a result, Mara has more quality time with her young daughter and can carve out time to mentally recharge in nature.

I’m a Senior Content Designer, acting as content design lead for our Advertiser and Agency Experience team. Ultimately, that means I spend some of my time collaborating directly with our product teams to bring new features to life. The rest of my time is spent acting as a design leader in cross-functional Advertiser and Agency Experience leadership discussions to tackle issues such as resourcing, roadmap planning and OKRs.

Prior to accepting my Pinterest offer, I was on the hunt for my next gig in Winter 2021. I had recently returned to work after taking parental leave to spend time with my daughter, Riley. Between COVID and becoming new parents, my husband and I made the decision to return to the US after living in Canada for eight years so that we could be closer to family. As much as I enjoyed my job in Vancouver, it was time to resign and find a new role at a different company based in the US.

Pinterest had been on my radar for years. I’m an avid Pinner, and I’ve used Pinterest to plan everything from my big life moments (decorating my first apartment, planning my wedding) to finding inspiration for the everyday moments (deciding on a new haircut, figuring out what to make for dinner). I’d also been following how Pinterest became a pioneer for offering unprecedented levels of family-focused benefits that encouraged other Bay Area tech companies to follow suit as well. Finding a company that had values that aligned with my own was extremely important to me in my job search, especially now that I was a working mother.

Despite the fact that I live within commuting distance to Pinterest’s HQ, I work almost fully remote by choice. I go into the office for special occasions and our quarterly in-person collaboration meetings, but otherwise I work out of my home office in Marin. This gives me the time and space to spend a larger portion of my day with my daughter. By forgoing a daily commute, I have a few hours with her in the morning when she first wakes up and for a few hours in the evening after I finish work before I put her down for bed. I’m also around to kiss her when she goes down for her midday nap, help out with lunch prep and sneak in moments with her between meetings throughout the day. Having so much time with her on weekdays has been invaluable. It’s also allowed me the important chance to model for her that women can be present, engaged moms while still working and having an identity for themselves outside of motherhood.

One of the things I love most about Marin County is the nature. About a 30-min drive north of San Francisco, Marin is chock full of beautiful hikes through redwood forests, treks through mountains with vistas of the city and strolls along the bay in just about every direction. When I have a meeting-light morning or a break around lunchtime, sometimes I’ll close my laptop, hop in the car and 10 minutes later be on a trail getting a chance to stretch my legs. Breathing in that fresh air and giving my mind a much-needed reset helps me return to my home office desk crisper and full of new ideas. Also, I feel comfortable taking mental health days every once in a while when I’m feeling in need of a quick recharge or want to get a bit of extra time with my daughter. 

Working where I choose means I can spend more time with my daughter in these important years when she’s still young, while simultaneously enjoying a fulfilling career. It also allows me to prioritize my emotional well-being and find moments to recharge and reset to avoid burnout. I joined Pinterest as an excited and inspired Pinner—having a flexible work model, supportive team and career that I love is what keeps me here each day. 

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