Arielle Patrick Chief Communications Officer, Board Director, Angel Investor
Arielle, you are the Chief Communications Officer at a global investment firm – a very prominent role at a highly regarded and sizable group of funds. You’re also an investor in two early-stage companies, and a board member of several other institutions. Are there some key moments or intersection points in your career that you see as critical in getting you where you are today?
I’m not just saying this because I’m giving an interview about motherhood: but I wouldn’t be here without my parents and my brother. They are my best friends, my confidants, and my personal board of directors. They’re the only thread that connects all the chapters of my career.
How do you strike a balance between work and play, especially being pregnant with your first child?
I’m writing this response at 7 months pregnant in my office at 6 p.m., with a couple more hours of work to do. I got my high intensity workout in at 6 a.m., caught up with my brother on the phone on the walk to the office, and have been sitting at my desk since 8 a.m. Somewhere between then I had a lunch meeting with a company that wants me on their board. On my walk home, I’ll squeeze in a quick call to a friend for a sanity check, to let her know I care. Somehow, I must muster the strength to be a good wife when I get home. My husband, who also has a high stress job at his own company, wants to watch a movie to unwind.
I am so tired that my bones are literally aching. I hope I can stay awake. It’s been really hard.
I think it’s important for women to be honest about the fact that: you can HAVE it all, but you don’t have to DO it all. I wake up every day and feel grateful for my health, wealth and happiness. But, let’s be real: I’m also currently in the process of hiring two new employees to add to my team so that this balance can be struck. I’m still a work in progress. I have not nailed this, and I don’t want to pretend that I have.
You’re a native New Yorker; presumably, you had certain experiences only a true city kid could have. What childhood memories are you most excited to recreate for your children?
I just cannot wait to take my daughter to the Met, the Whitney, and the American Ballet Theatre. Those are three things that I absolutely loved having in my backyard growing up. I also want to ensure she has the privilege that I had of getting out of the city on the weekends for adventures in nature. Getting to leave New York is one of the most important parts of appreciating New York.
Having had the pleasure of meeting you in person, it’s obvious you're a very social creature. Has your community expanded since becoming pregnant? Have you felt welcomed into this network of new and expecting mothers?
I will say that I’ve been overwhelmed with incredibly valuable advice from friends (old and new) who have had babies. That said, it’s important to protect your energy and decide what’s right for you. I take everyone’s lists and unsolicited recommendations with a grain of salt. I remind myself that simplicity is key and try not to overthink everything. I’ll probably make some mistakes. My daughter will be resilient. Self-compassion in this process is what I aim to achieve. I come from families that hail from third world countries in the Caribbean. If a kid can grow up in Haiti and end up at Harvard… I’m sure that the ample opportunities ahead for my daughter, paired with lots of love, will be more than enough.
Who among your inner circle have you turned to for advice as it relates to what’s on the horizon? Why them?
Women with careers.
What aspects of motherhood seem the most daunting to you?
I’m challenged with figuring out how to make sure that my daughter knows it’s ok to be open about her feelings, practice mindfulness, and be an ambitious high performer. It took me way too long to figure this out. I’d love to start her as a toddler on mediation and self-care and give her the tools I learned in therapy at age 28.
What milestones - when it comes to building a family - are you most looking forward to sharing with your husband?
I try to focus less on milestones and more on commitments. My daughter will have a unique personality and special needs that are just for her. I cannot impose my vision on what our life should look like based on what I have achieved or what my life looked like growing up. I plan to take it one day at a time. However, I do want to commit to dinner as a family at least 5 days a week. I want to promise myself that we’ll send her off to school with a kiss and an “I love you” every day. That’s all I can decide right now.
How do you expect you'll structure your time between work and parenthood? In the first six months? And Beyond?
Same answer as above. Being kind to myself means not having expectations.
As someone who is frequently in front of an audience, and also attends formal social events frequently, what have been your go-to pieces (and accessories) for special occasion dressing while pregnant?
I live in caftans, oxfords, and dress everything up with a silk scarf. Simplicity is key in this case, too.