Chrysula Winegar: Harnessing the Disruptive Power of Motherhood

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Give yourself (or your favorite mom) a Mother’s Day gift — episode 17 of the Disrupt Yourself Podcast! My guest is Chrysula Winegar, Senior Director for Communications and Special Initiatives at the United Nations Foundation. Chrysula leads a community for the Foundation titled The Global Moms Challenge, which focuses particularly on health issues affecting women and children worldwide.

She has some super inspiring things to say about women and children worldwide, the work of the Foundation and her particular contribution to it, and also the contributions we can all make by ‘leveraging our privilege” to help lift others.

Chrysula Winegar Disrupt Yourself Podcast

Another topic we discuss was the lessons Chrysula, an Australia native and mother of four, learned from her own mom.

She reveals: “My parents helped launch Tupperware in New Zealand in 1972.

“So I grew up in the back of a warehouse filled with Tupperware. And my parents would always take us to work…we would finish school and our caregiver would drop us at the warehouse and we would climb boxes and we would go to sales rallies and my parents would throw the four of us in the back of the car—probably without seatbelts back in those days—and we would travel all over New Zealand and we would be with them at work. So I think that one of the first lessons I learned was that it’s possible for husbands and wives to work together and it can be very dynamic and successful. I also learned that kids are a perfectly acceptable part of work and that where possible you should involve them if you can.”

Then came a time of poor health for her mom and she scaled back her work load. Sometimes she worked nights to be available for her children in the day. And with an attitude that Chrysula describes as “counterintuitive” for modern working moms, but which she is discovering to be correct, her mother worked less when her children were teenagers than she had when they were young.

“What I’m finding and I think it echoes what my mum showed me, is that some of the biggest needs are now, now that my kids are entering the teenage years. And figuring out where to be to capture that conversation and how to capture that conversation and show up at the right time for my kids is probably even more demanding and complicated than it was when they were tiny.

“My mum would never say she taught me this, because I don’t think it would necessarily occur to her, but she taught me that it’s acceptable to be ambitious, and it’s also acceptable for that ambition to take a back seat at certain points. And so the interplay between, or the yin and yang or the push and pull of those things are acceptable. Lives are complicated.”

I hope you enjoy Chrysula’s insights on motherhood and her work to address the critical needs of moms and their children throughout the world. You can listen through the link below or on iTunes.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Show Notes/Resources Mentioned in the Show and Transcript – Episode 17: Chrysula Winegar

Follow Chrysula Winegar on Twitter – @chrysula

United Nations Foundation

Wake Up World Communications

Global Moms Challenge

The Fistula Foundation


Design Mom

“Oh My Goodness, I Left My Voice on the Bus”  by Chrysula Winegar

Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Family Planning Voices: Melinda Gates

Disrupt Yourself Podcast – Susan Cain: Unlocking the Power of Introverts

My Friend Flicka

The Secret Garden

“How Could I Ever Know” from The Secret Garden

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