CHICAGO: All mothers know: It truly does take a village to raise a child.
For the past seven years, Zeno’s Chicago office has upheld a unique tradition to help support new moms at the firm: a “traveling bassinet.”
The original owner of the bassinet, deputy MD of Zeno central Allison Aaron, said that she was gifted the bassinet when her second child, Lily, was born. She used it for six weeks and then it sat idle in her basement for years.
“It was beautiful and worth keeping, and I knew I wanted to have it for down the road for when my children have children, but it was just sitting there,” said Aaron.
As more of her colleagues started families of their own, Aaron wanted to help. In 2016, when SVP Liz Risoldi was pregnant, Aaron offered to let her borrow the bassinet.
“She took me up on it, and two years later she had another child and asked if she could borrow it again,” said Aaron. “We made a rule that if this bassinet was going to travel, the people who borrowed it had to put their name, the baby’s name and the date of the baby’s birth on the bottom of it.”
Today, the bassinet has 11 signatures on the bottom.
For Mother’s Day, Zeno created a video sharing the story of the bassinet and included images of the babies that have used it.
Aaron said that when the video was made, she reached out to all the moms to collect pictures of their babies in the bassinet. Even though some of the moms have left Zeno, Aaron heard from everyone within 48 hours, a testament to the bond they all share.
“We are all human and there is no longer a strict separation between work life and family life,” said Aaron. “There is something about the culture at Zeno and the ties that bind us together that this kind of simple offering connects us all in such a basic, familial way.”