Mom on the Move


Lives: Baltimore County
Children: 2 daughters in elementary school
Occupation: Executive Director of the Hearing and Speech Agency of Baltimore

Erin Stauder

What sparked your interest in your field of work?
I have a very distinct memory of being in high school and deciding to pursue speech language pathology. I had investigated the medical field, but there were a few sides to it that didn’t quite feel like a fit. As a young student, I had a deep appreciation for many of my teachers and mentors, so I started to consider education. One day, I was reading a flier for Loyola College (now Loyola University), and I saw a description for the speech language pathology major. Something just clicked. It felt like the perfect combination of my interests — touching both medicine and education — as well as a great fit for my personality and passions.

What is one thing that has surprised you about your work?
I consider myself a very organized, scheduled, efficient person, so I would have thought I’d need a job with a very regimented schedule. But I’ve actually found that I love the variety of an executive role — it keeps me intellectually stimulated, and there’s a certain momentum that comes from having so many moving pieces.

So, what then is a typical week for you?
A typical week is one where there is need for great flexibility and adaptability. As a family, we try to keep a consistent calendar and schedule. But between juggling kids, work, school and cultural and social experiences, there’s always a curveball or two.

How do you balance parenting and your other responsibilities?
I don’t like to think of my life as a work-life balance equation. Instead, I like to think of myself as a Venn diagram of sorts. (She laughs.) Bear with me here …
At the end of the day, all of us are just people. Both work and family make up a big part of who we are. I don’t think any of it is mutually exclusive. Being a parent helps me be a more understanding executive, and my job helps me be a better parent. My girls see that I have this great passion and responsibility in both my job and education. It gives me a platform to talk to them about exploring and finding their own passions, and they see that they have the capacity to be and achieve.

What is the best gem of parenting advice you have received? And who shared it with you?
I draw a lot of strength from all the different women around me. I can’t say there’s one specific person or piece of advice that stands out — it’s really the combination of all the nuggets and perspectives and approaches.

It’s not advice, but one of my favorite questions to ask myself is, “What areas of my life can I outsource so that my parenting bubble can occupy more space?”

How do you spend your free time?
I like to joke that I have the world’s worst hobby — writing my dissertation. Most of the time, if I’m not at work or spending time with my family, I’m working on my dissertation. I also like to make time for trail runs with girlfriends, hiking with the family and have some guilty pleasures when it comes to television.

What’s next for you?
One million dollars if you can tell me what I’ll be eating for dinner tonight, let alone what I’ll be doing in five to 10 years! While I really appreciate order and routine, there’s so much unknown at this point, and I’ve learned to embrace it. Not knowing gives you space to dream, so right now I’m really trying to take life one day at a time and take advantage of every opportunity.


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