CEO Mom Shares Major Travel Mishap, Proves We All Drop the Ball Sometimes—and That’s OK

Working mom of three Frida Polli, Ph.D. was about to start another leg of an overseas business trip when she experienced every traveler’s worst nightmare. On her way to catch her next flight, the New York-based CEO and cofounder of Pymetrics realized her passport was not with her. Nope, it was at her hotel.

Frida had been in Dubai, attending the World Economic Forum, and was scheduled to travel to Lisbon for a speaking engagement at the Web Summit. But she mistakenly left her passport behind, due to “sleep deprivation, a tight schedule, and general overworking.” She not only missed her flight, she also couldn’t fulfill her duties at the conference.

“I missed the two panels I was scheduled to speak on and let down a group of amazing panelists, moderators, and guests in the final hour. I was so frustrated and disappointed in myself for making the bonehead mistake of leaving behind my passport, as this mistake affected countless others involved,” she wrote on LinkedIn.

After recounting her story, Frida concluded her post with a message for other busy working women—and moms—like herself. “Working mothers—it is not easy. It’s a constant juggling act and unfortunately, many balls get dropped in the process. All we can do is our best,” she wrote.

CEO or not, ALL working moms can totally relate to having a bad day where one slip-up, likely because you’re exhausted, sets into motion a domino effect of plans being ruined and you feeling awful.

On LinkedIn, many applauded Frida for nailing what so many working moms not only go through but also can relate to. “We’re always expected—and expect the same of ourselves—to perform flawlessly once we reach an executive role. But life includes exactly those moments when small mistakes can have very visible consequences. Shining a light on those situations is powerful because it helps us relate to one another even if we don’t know each other. And in these rather divisive times this is even more important,” wrote one user.

“I feel for you and so, so understand your struggles first hand. Keep going, keep pushing forward change and keep hugging your three kids every single chance you get. You are teaching your kids the value of hard work and that you have passion!” commented another.

Frida’s post is an important reminder that working moms aren’t superhuman. We make mistakes and we can feel frustrated over them. Not everything will go perfectly nor do they need to. By being transparent about the challenges we face, maybe, just maybe, we can start a movement where fellow working moms aren’t too hard on themselves and put the same focus on all their successes too!