Moms Making It: Curator Jonell Logan on mom guilt, clearing her head at the gym and Pinterest fails

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Courtesy of Jonell Logan

Meet Jonell Logan, 46, a collector, an independent curator, public speaker and arts advocate.

Logan works independently as a curator, which is someone who selects, interprets and supports exhibitions for different works of art. She works with Advent Coworking, the Arts Center of Greenwood and the Mint Museum. Additionally, she is executive director of the League of Creative Interventionists and founder of 300 Arts Project. She balances all of this while taking care of her two boys, ages 16 and 12.

CharlotteFive: What does a typical day look like in your house?

Jonell Logan: The kids have to be up by 6 a.m. The alarm goes off, we do rock/paper/scissors to see who has to go get the kids out of bed. My husband is great. He’s an artist and has a flexible schedule. The kids are out by 6:55 a.m. Depending on the day, I follow them out and — since I’m trying to be healthy — I’ll either go to a quick yoga session or go to see my trainer. By 9 a.m., I am either taking calls, preparing for meetings and getting the day started. I have found that exercising in the morning has been key to clearing my head and getting me ready for all the things I need to do. My kids get out of school around 3 p.m. and they both take the bus home. They have homework, we usually do a little check-in, we get ready for practice. I sometimes have meetings in the evening, so sometimes it’s dropping the kids off, running out for a meeting and then making it back to practice in time to scoop them up and take them back home.

C5: How do you manage your time between working, being a mom and taking time for yourself?

JL: I’m not always good at it. I think that I have realized that in order to be an effective parent, I need to find time for myself. It’s super easy to get caught up in other things for other people and I know that I am cranky when I don’t have that outlet. Sometimes my kids are like, “You need to go to the gym, mom.” Which is really funny, but I appreciate that they get it.

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Jonell Logan

C5: At any point in your career, have you ever felt like you were not offered new opportunities because you are a mom?

JL: Yes. It’s funny, in the art world and in academia, because I also have taught college classes, there are a lot of questions and comments about how if you are a mom versus a woman who is single without children, your career is directly affected. And I’m sure that happens in other fields as well. I know that having children changed the course of what I was doing and limited some of my opportunities. I know that I would be in a different space if I didn’t have children, but I’m really glad that I’m not in that space because I have these amazing people. I think that there’s definitely, in terms of career, issues with artists who are moms who are excluded from certain opportunities. As an arts administrator, it’s the same dynamic. But the great thing is that I do feel like that climate is changing.

C5: What advice do you have for other working moms who are juggling parenthood and the workforce?

JL: Know that you aren’t alone in this. I think that because you can feel so busy, you can feel isolated in it. Finding a network of people who really can support your soul in this is really important so that you can feel grounded and like you have people who you can confide in. Somehow we have created this guilt around parenting, whether you are a parent or not. I think that living the life that you feel is what is right for you is critically important. As long as you are creating the best environment for yourself and your family, don’t worry about what that looks like for other people.

Courtesy of Jonell Logan

C5: Do you feel that the working parent experience is different between working moms and working dads?

JL: I do not think that I could do what I do without the support of my husband because he is a really active parent as well. My husband travels for his job and the dynamic is different because the kids are so used to me being present more often. I think that the emotional expectations or needs are different when I’m gone. And I think also as a mom, I personally try to balance it all— but I feel guilty sometimes because I’m not there and I’ve always been there.

C5: Who is another working mom in Charlotte that you admire?

JL: My best friend, Aisha Strothers who works for the Charlotte Housing Authority Scholarship Fund. She’s great because she has three children, one college age, one who just left high school, and one younger one. And seeing her balance the different energies and the different phases that they are in is inspiring. She works to support young people in general through her scholarship fund so she has this level of awareness with young people, and I can see how it balances in her daily life at work and at home.  

Is there a Charlotte mom you would like to see us interview? Email info@bethbooker.com with your suggestions.

Responses were lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

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