The pressure to attempt to do it all—and do it perfectly—is all too real for moms these days, and no one understands that better than Catherine Morrissey. As president of White + Warren, and mom to two daughters under four, Catherine is no stranger to juggling—as she balances motherhood and a business—but admits it took her some time to get used to that. “Motherhood has given a new sense of purpose to my life, and it has definitely taught me not to sweat the small stuff,” she says.

As a mom navigating the new norm, life is filled with challenges. “My 3-year-old Shea is at a point in her life where she's challenging everything, as most kids do that at her age,” Catherine says. “I feel for her right now, being isolated from friends at an age where it’s so hard for her to explain how she is feeling, I have to consider what rules to stick to and what can slide. ‘Sure, have another Fruit Snack, but no you can’t watch another episode of Peppa Pig.’” It’s about picking your battles. During quarantine, she’s reveling in seeing her daughters navigate their successes and celebrating every win, both big and small. One recent victory came when Shea learned to ride a bike. “She is very cautious and thinks through things,” Catherine says. “But once she gets it, she’s fully confident. Now she’s all, ‘Look at me mommy, I’m the fastest person in the world and nobody can catch me,’” Catherine says with a laugh. 

They are also enjoying spending more time in the kitchen as a family. Catherine and her husband Jared are making more time for home-cooked meals. Shea loves to play the role of sous-chef, while her 8-month-old baby sister, Edie, is already a mini taste-tester. “They both like to be a part of that process and, hopefully, find it as therapeutic and fun as Jared and I do,” Catherine says. Their favorite meal of late is a roasted spiced cauliflower recipe, courtesy of Eric Ripert. These days, it’s Catherine’s favorite way to unwind. “We’ll put some music on, chill and completely tune out from the world (even if it has to be the Frozen 2 soundtrack).”  

Like Catherine, Shea is interested in fashion. “She has such a strong point of view,” Catherine says. “Her style is very girlie—rainbows, frills, unicorn slippers, a braid to the side like Elsa. If I could let her run around in a tutu all day long, she’d be happy.” As Catherine’s mom, Susan, recalls, she was just as decisive in the style department. “From the time Catherine could dress herself, she did it from head-to-toe,” Susan says. “When she turned five and started school, she’d change outfits several times before she was satisfied—I swear,” Susan says with a laugh. “Catherine always had an eclectic style that looks effortlessly pulled-together—and she spent a lot of time on it.”

Shea and Catherine have been keeping up on the trends in quarantine. For example, they have recently taken to tie-dyeing as a way to add a little flair to weekend mommy-and-me athleisure. It’s just one of many ways she is encouraging Shea to pursue what she loves, like fashion and art. “Nothing would make me happier than to see my kids find something, or many things, they are passionate about and go after it.” 

These days, Catherine is also relishing the extra time she gets with Edie—including the many “firsts” along the way. When Edie recently started crawling, Catherine and Jared were right there, rooting her on from the sideline. “I love being able to see those first big moments for Edie at home. With Shea, I wasn't always able to be there since I was in the office Monday through Friday,” Catherine says.

“What I’m most grateful for is that I am able to watch Shea and Edie get closer as sisters every day. Seeing them spend so much time together has been very rewarding. It’s time that I wouldn’t have gotten with them otherwise, and there’s a small part of me that doesn’t want quarantine to end for that reason.”


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